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Sep 5, 2011

Peter's Labor Day Labors

Friends near and far, today is Labor Day in the USA, a legal holiday we enjoy thanks to the struggles of union workers, and probably on the chopping block.  But let's not get political.

Labor Day or no, I have a lot of labor staring me in the face. 

1.  My BurdaStyle sew-along project is still not completed.  It's coming along, but very, very slowly.  After fitting the bodice and skirt on Leah last week, I realized the skirt was too large.  I guess I'd forgotten that the bodice seams and skirt pleats needed to line up exactly.  They didn't: the skirt was too wide.  If this had been a normal skirt I could have simply narrowed the skirt panel seams, but this isn't a normal skirt -- it has four pleats (with four underlay panels).

The skirt seam allowances attach to the contrasting underlay; the panels are then folded over the underlay and meet in the center of each underlay panel to form a pleat.  Long story short, I could think of no easier way to narrow the skirt than to take it all apart and put it together again, measuring the width of each panel to make sure that it matched the width of the bodice panel it was going to be lined up with.

In the end, I think I succeeded, but is was a PITA. 

I pinked the seam allowances, something I rarely do, but the skirt is so heavy (it's basically three layers of fabric) I wanted to eliminate some of the extra bulk.   It's still heavy, alas.

2. I'm supposed to pick up a sewing machine today from Rain -- a Singer 201 he has restored and wants me to test out.  Don't tell Rain, but if he thinks he's ever going to get this machine back, he's mistaken. 

For those of you who don't know what a Singer 201 looks like, here's a pic (not that one Rain is "loaning" me, however):

I'm really excited about it as I've never sewn with a 201 before and it was considered Singer's premier (and most expensive) model, but I've been feeling so cluttered lately, I'm ambivalent about bringing another machine into my life right now.  What to do?

3. My mother is coming over for lunch.  I know that sounds like great fun to the rest of you, but it goes in the "Labor" column today.

4. Here's some good news: remember that battery charger (and battery) for my Canon S90 camera I'd lost?  Well I found it.  It had somehow ended up in one of the pockets of a shoe organizer that hangs on the inside of one of our closets, don't ask me how.  Unfortunately, I didn't find it before I'd ordered a replacement.  Fortunately, the replacement cost less than $8.  Don't you hate when you lose something and then find it again just a little too late?

Friends, I could go on and on but nobody likes to hear other people whine, and I've been whining for days now. 

How about this: Cheryl Crane, Lana Turner's daughter (the one who killed Lana's abusive mafia lover, Johnny Stompanato, in the late Fifties) is selling off Lana's HUGE estate of jewelry, clothing, and other assorted bric-a-brac.

Cheryl has her own eBay store, Lana Turner Estate Property, and you'll find everything from the Ferragamo alligator pumps Lana wore in Imitation of Life, to Lana's own personal handkerchiefs, ashtrays, and a TON of costume jewelry.

Prices vary, but you can pick up a pair of poodle and kitten guest towels for a mere $30.  I'm tempted! Wouldn't you like to own a piece of Lana -- or at least Lana's clutter?

Readers, it's time to start my Labor Day labors.  Am I the only one laboring today, and are the rest of you lounging poolside with a cool drink and a trashy novel?

Anybody sewing?

Whatever you're doing, have a great day!

P.S.  If you haven't already entered yesterday's vintage pattern giveaway, there's still time!


  1. I have TWO 201s - a traditional black cast-iron head in a treadle base and an aluminum electric. They both sew smoothly & flawlessly and will sew through anything! I predict the 201 will be staying with you. And yes, I will be sewing as much as possible today.

  2. I'm laboring today. But I'm a freelancer, which means the work (and procrastination) almost never end.

  3. Enjoy your Singer machine, if it's anything like my mum's Singer treadle machine it can cope with anything. They don't make 'em like that anymore!

  4. I've done my yard work labor, have some tile grout restoration labor to do, but I will be sewing today! My last summer sewing, I think, a sheath dress in linen, a wild palm frond-y print in greens on off-white with bursts of darkest magenta.

  5. Get the towels! I would myself if I didn't have an embroidery machine I could make something similar on (not a major Lana fan, so the cache of celebrity items holds little appeal).

    I'm finishing a formal dress for DD to wear in a county fair pageant (because I wanted to make a dress, not that I am a pageant mom at all). Then, I have a valance for my mom's dining room to sew, THEN I can get to some new stuff.

  6. I'm tackling something I keep putting off--yards and yards of rolled hems on the I owe you dress. Blech. I'd much rather be making Bit something. Anything.

  7. I'm sewing today! That's how I relax, want to make cute work clothes

  8. I am SEW excited about you getting a Singer 201! I love mine so much. It is super quick to rethread with the tension knob on the front and the drop in bobbin and yes of course sews like a dream through as much as you can fit under the presser foot. I think you will love it! I would put it in a table if you have one though.

  9. I'll not be buying anybody's clutter anytime soon: just spent two weeks with the fam cleaning out my in-laws' house (they have moved to a nursing home and assisted living facility). They collected stuff. Wonderful stuff, some of it, but OMG what a lot of it! It made me completely reconsider everything I bring into my own house and for now, at least, I am against anything with limited practical value.

    I had just started a pair of navy pants when we got the call about FIL's decision to vacate the house, so I'm *this* close to finishing those. But I'm afraid a friend's party that began with drinks last night and ended with mimosas this morning has left me unlikely to do anything so ambitious as hemming pants this evening.

  10. Can't wait for your 201 report. I just bought one and am schmitten. But I don't have a bank of other old Singers to compare it to... but you do!

  11. Spent my labor day visiting my sister in Oregon. Can't sew or do anything but read and talk and walk. Sigh! It's a good way to avoid the temptation to hoard...hint hint.

  12. I just discovered the 201 myself after using the 15-91 for a while and I have to say it is much faster and smoother! But I read that it doesn't handle heavy thread as nicely as the 15-91. I' m sure you'll love it!


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