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Apr 18, 2012

Odds and Ends + Marilyn Fans Rejoice!

Readers, I'm in one of my typical post-project states of disorientation: a little worn out and not sure what's next.

In the meantime, remember those torn pants up top?  Well hallelujah, I finally turned them into shorts -- just in time for the July-in-April weather.   I live in shorts once it's hot, so these should get a lot of wear. 

I have a few other chores to take care of.  I've been needing to make some sewing machine covers for years.  I think I mentioned that with a handcrank attached to my new Singer 66 I can't close the case it came in, so I'm going to just keep the machine out and cover it with a cloth cover.  Not sure what to do with the hard lid...  I had a wooden Singer 66 base once and got rid of it (it came with my Singer 15-90) and wish I had it so I could sell the Fifties-era case the hancrank came in, not that it would fetch very much.

I also want a cover for the Featherweight when it's in the table.  (Did I mention I made the maternity ensemble on that machine?)  Surely I can do better than this:

Even worse is my ironing board.  I'd intended to make a well-fitting wool cover for it with an old blanket and instead just threw the blanket on as-is and covered it with the cheap commercial cover I'd been using before.  I don't know why I find these projects so daunting.

Speaking of ironing, the price seems to have dropped (dramatically) on the Black & Decker Digital Advantage 2030 iron on Amazon, so I ordered myself one.  My current one, which I've used almost daily for three years, has been acting weird for months, and although it's officially operative, it's only a matter of time.  I think this is an excellent iron overall and as you can see, it has received stellar reviews.  A few of you have recommended more expensive irons but I can't see spending a lot on one, especially as the failure rate is so high.

In other new, a marvelous new book for you classic Hollywood fashion and Marilyn Monroe fans!

 I found Dressing Marilyn: How a Hollywood icon was styled by William Travilla at the library, and it is fascinating.  Travilla was a major designer at Twentieth Century Fox in the Fifties and designed many of Marilyn Monroe's most famous costumes as well as much of her personal wardrobe.  If you've seen Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, How to Marry a Millionaire, and The Seven Year Itch, many of these clothes will be familiar to you.  There are many detailed construction photographs, as well as insights into the industry and wacky MM herself. 

Finally, friends, when I finish a project I always feel I should post pics on BurdaStyle and write a Pattern Review review, but sometimes I don't bother.  Do you generally do this?  At a certain point it starts to feel like work.

On that note, I'm off to make sewing machine covers unless I find another distraction.  I depend on you to provide one.

Have a great day, everybody!


  1. I am remiss in posting anything on PR. I sewed at least a dozen garments since I last did a review, but my aversion to the camera makes it difficult. I love the feedback I get but it is indeed too much like work to get gussied up in the new accoutrements, take photos of myself and then post them.

  2. Wow the Marilyn Munroe book looks beautiful! Although its a bit sad to refer to her as wacky - she was actually an amazing and intelligent woman. Highly recommend listening/reading the feminist writer Jacqueline Rose's recent lecture on her - it's a Marilyn most people don't know of.

  3. I'm the same regarding home sewing. I've had a piece of fabric draped over my iron board for months now---I know it would only take minutes but for some reason I find it daunting as well! too funny.

  4. That posting interface on PR is a joyless experience, but getting feedback is nice. I have used PR for a while to pick other's brains, but just recently started posting reviews. You should do it. Its like when celebrities "give back to the community" only not nearly as glamorous!

    1. I agree. Every time I go to that site, I have to figure out again how to post. They need to overhaul it!

  5. What a fine, newsy post. I was just noodling over sewing machine covers when I checked your entry. For those without the sewing table, the most interesting Featherweight covers (Yes, I have succumbed.) have the separate sleeve for the fold down arm with an extension that runs under the presser foot. It does help to protect the arm from the face plate screw. Will look forward to coverings and who knows, the design(s) may end up being Marilyn-esque.

  6. One more thing. About Pattern Review: I agree about the interface being clumsy and that's why I don't go there frequently. I do wish that there were a smarter site like Ravelry (Knitting and spinning) that is so comprehensive and easy to use. Thanks so much for a great blog.

  7. I love to write up projects for PR or Burdastyle, however I find the photo shoot to be the daunting work. I am a harsh critic of any photograph of myself which makes it hard work for any willing photographer to help me. If only I had on eof those handy electronic shutter release buttons and fancier camera.

  8. Peter, This looks like an excellent way to procrastinate:
    Wish I lived closer to Astoria, Queens. I'm not one for review writing either -- but I so appreciate the ones posted by others at Burda and at Pattern Review.

  9. Oops. I think I posted last year's notice. In the New Yorker it says that they will be doing this year's festival from May 4-13. And it will includ Hitchcock's Marnie, Paul Schrader's American Gigolo, and Curtiz's Mildred Pierce (among others) . . . inspiration aplenty.

  10. About the ironing board cover. Just get RID of that awful metallic thing and pick up or make a heavy muslin cover to cover the wool. No need to fit the wool, just cover it up! Easy!
    think I'll take a look at Burda and Pattern Review. Never been there, can you believe it?

  11. I'm a derelict ironing board owner too.

    What happened to us all? Why have we all lived with this in silence? Has another taboo subject been brought into the public discourse by MPB?

    Of want of heavy muslin and some "sew-jo".

  12. For all you folk who need ironing board cover inspiration:

    I've still to get around to it myself :-)

  13. I also have an ironing board in very similar state, Peter; the old wool blanket has at least been trimmed, but the cover I'd hoped to make for it has never happened. Instead, I slapped the stained commercial one back on. Not sure how to explain this fear-and-loatching response to such chores. Could it be that the items we use most are likely to be ignored...?

  14. Ugh, I HATE home dec sewing. It's soooooooo boring. People always say to me, "It must be so great to be able to make your own curtains!" and I'm like, "I can't think of anything worse than making your own curtains!" (Same goes for sewing machine covers — which I sorely need — and ironing board covers. You can't wear them, so why would you want to waste precious sewing time on them?)

  15. Think of it as "sewing machine wear" to PREVENT wear!

  16. Thank you very much for the lovely plug for my book. dressing Marilyn.
    Nice to read from someone who obviously knows what they are talking about.
    Thanks again. Love you blog.
    Kindest regards

  17. Thanks so much for recommending that book about Dressing Marilyn! I found it at a local library and devoured it in just a few sittings. May actually have to fork out for a copy for my own library now! And now I'm going on a "watching Marilyn movies" spree! Weeeeee!


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