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Nov 28, 2011

Post-Holiday Mish Mash

With Thanksgiving behind us, we can finally catch our breath here at MPB before the true holiday madness begins.  In the interim, why don't we take a few moments to catch up on where we've been and perhaps think about where we're going.

Do you remember this famous photo from Life magazine of Liz Taylor at age 40 without makeup?  (I'm not making the claim, they are.)  I thought it might be interesting to see another beauty icon without makeup, as well as inspiring to those readers who occasionally wake up feeling less than beautiful.  Anything's possible with a little powder and lipstick and rouge!  Of course, I had to get Cathy's permission to post this photo; fortunately she has been in something of a turkey-induced haze all weekend.



By the way, if you haven't yet seen Cathy modeling her 1944 outfit, you can do so here

In other news, readers, Rain paid a visit last week, to repair a problem I was having with my Singer 201 (which turned out to be a loose feed dog), and un-stick the stop motion wheels on both of my vintage Kenmores (that's the smaller wheel within the hand wheel that you release to wind a bobbin).  Who says nobody makes house calls anymore?  It's always fun to catch up with Rain and hear all the latest news about his vintage sewing machines, of which there wasn't a great deal, sadly.  Speaking of vintage sewing machines, I saw a black Featherweight at the flea market on Saturday and didn't even ask the price.  Now that's discipline!

Did I ever tell you about this book, Sewing for Special Occasions, from the Singer Sewing Reference Library?  I bought it last month on Amazon and it's really quite good, if not as interesting to read as Susan Khalje's Bridal Couture. 

But since you can buy a copy of the Singer book on Amazon for next to nothing and a printed copy of Bridal Couture costs a small fortune, it might be worth picking up if you're planning on sewing up something snazzy for the holidays, or getting married, or both.   Like all the books in the Singer series, it's full of highly detailed color photographs.  Are you familiar with it?

I recently received these four lovely framed copies of vintage Forties fashion illustrations from Michael's mother, who found them at a church bazaar.  Aren't they wonderful?  You really have to inspect them closely to see that they're not original oil pastels.  Truly, one of the best gifts I've ever received.

Finally, somehow, without my knowing it, the vinyls have doubled in number!  Frankly, it's feeling a little spooky here.

Now to address the question of next projects.  I really have no idea what I'll be sewing next.  Michael has requested a shirt made out of this vintage cotton I picked up at the flea market last week.  It doesn't exactly scream mens shirt to me, but hey, why not?

Friends, that's it for today.   Right after Thanksgiving weekend, I always feel a little unfocused, not to mention bloated.  I hope to spend some of today getting myself back into my routine and straightening up.  There's so much fake hair to put away at our house.

Happy Monday, everybody!  What are you sewing these days?


  1. Glad you're doing well. I'm working on matching coats and hats and Christmas dresses for the girls. The coats are currently kicking my butt. Soooo much hand sewing!

  2. I am jealous of that gorgeous fabric you snagged--can;t wait to see how it turns out. I'm busting out a batch of mittens for the Mitten Commitment project, and I'm starting to see the things in my sleep. After that, it's on to taking in a dress for a Christmas party...mustn't let my public down lol.

  3. What happened to the daily ditch? The 40s fashion illustrations are gorgeous, truly a wonderful gift. I think that fabric will be a fine shirt for Michael, if you are so inclined to sew it. Oh excellent restraint at not even looking at the price of the Singer featherweight at the flea market. I'm quilting a zoo animals baby boy quilt.

  4. i would not have been able to resist the Featherweight! i would have been haggling my way to a second Featherweight...but then, they're not as prolific here (Australia) as they are in your neck of the woods.

    I love the fabric that will end up a shirt for Michael! It will sew up beautifully.

    Lastly, i'm at the tail end of making a summer short sleeved tunic. As soon as that's done, i'll be making a muslin of a blouse for miss19s graduation ceremony on the 8th. It's a significant date in my family and i'm so pleased that she's graduating on that day wearing an outfit i made her.

  5. Perhaps Michael is letting a bit of his inner twin cousin peep out?

    Lovely illustrations! Thank you for sharing them with us.

    I'm crocheting pink gloves for my little girl. It's hard to find crochet patterns with fingers, most of them are fingerless; and I didn't want the sleeve on most I found, so I'm winging them a bit. No, actually, I'm completely winging them, fitting as I go and pulling out stitches if a bit doesn't work. I really should have used a pattern, it would have saved time...

  6. I think the fabric Michael picked is beautiful for a shirt. Not one to wear with a dark formal suit, but on a jeans: perfect!

    I'm starting a shirt project tomorrow. From scratch that is. Tomorrow I'll be drawing my pattern up and maybe even start on the muslin.

    But I won't hijack your blog any longer .... ;-)

  7. OK - I think the magazine was stretching it a bit to say that Liz was not wearing makeup. At the very least, she has on mascara and some rather heavily applied black eye-liner all around her eyes and her inner eyelid on the bottom. I also think she's wearing a little bit of lipstick too. So, she isn't wearing foundation and blusher - she has a very nice complexion no matter how you slice it but she definitely is wearing eye makeup.

  8. I love the Singer Sewing Reference library series. I am slowly but surely collecting them all as I have need and opportunity. This weekend I picked up the one on Quilting (softcover for $2!), sewing Activewear (hardcover), and sewing for the Home (hardcover). I am Quite pleased with them. I have been itching to make a wee quilt with some of my cotton scraps.

  9. Love the fashion illustrations! You are soooo lucky!

    There is no way I could have walked past the featherweight. I'm not sure if your were in a turkey haze or just very, very disciplined.

    I am deep into beading, beading, beading. I got started on it because of a formal I am making that will have an endless amount of hand sewn beads. Then I don't know what happened to me; I started beading cuff bracelets for Christmas presents.

  10. If you've no idea what to sew next, there has been an email in your Inbox since yesterday, with a suggestion. Something very glamorous, not too bad to sew, and right up Cathy's Fifties alley. Gold lame, for starters....

  11. I think Cathy needs a glamorous evening gown. Maybe something from the 30's/40's/50's.

  12. The fashion prints are fabulous! What a perfect gift. Lucky you!

  13. I just finished up a vest from Simplicity 2556 made in wool twill (tuxedo fabric) with a leather collar and silk charmeuse lining. It's for my rocker daughter and I was just on Ebay looking at nailheads for embellishment

  14. I think there's a Bedazzler for sale on Etsy, Phyllis!

  15. For some reason the Asian brocade said "Western shirt with black piping" when I looked at it.

  16. Awesome! Came here stalking Liz Taylor and found another doll collector xD


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