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Mar 25, 2020

Holding it Together (with WONDER CLIPS) + More Movie Links!

Friends, when I read that Amazon was holding off on shipping orders of non-essentials, I assumed this bag of 100 generic "Wonder" style clips I'd ordered last week would be delayed for who knows how long.

Instead they were delivered yesterday. Whether or not this is a good thing depends on your perspective: I will admit that these clips aren't really essential, at least not to me at the moment.  I have heard great things about them; many people use them instead of pins, especially when working with non-pinnable materials like leather and vinyl.  Have you ever used them?  Do they come in handy for other types of projects as well?

We're still more or less in lockdown here in New York City and apparently we've become a Covid-19 hotspot, which isn't great news if you live here.  I do get out of the apartment occasionally, mainly to walk the dogs or to go for a run (trying my best to keep at least six feet away from others, many of whom don't seem to be trying to keep six feet away from me).  That's about it however.

Aside from the generic Wonder Clips purchase, I've managed to pick a few other sewing-related items this week in an effort to keep the economy humming.  Seriously, it does feel good to support small independent sellers on Etsy and eBay not that my purchases have much of an impact.

I stumbled upon this vintage 1930's Vogue evening ensemble pattern (below) a few days ago and couldn't resist it.

This Vogue swimsuit and coverup pattern from 1959 found its way into my Etsy cart and should already be on its way here.

Buying fabric online can be difficult, but this inexpensive floral poly crepe print with a 1930's-40's feel looked like something I could use.  I've very curious to see what it looks like in real life.  It looks more like a chiffon to me, which would be okay: I'll keep you posted.

I've been keeping busy sewing samples for a second Bluprint class I'm teaching, which has been delayed due to the pandemic but which I hope to film this summer.  I'm also writing monthly blog posts for Threads.  Aside from those things, I've been reading, chatting with friends, exercising, and generally taking it easy.  This too shall pass.

Here are a few more movie recommendations:

The Devil and Miss Jones (RKO, 1941)  Costumes by Irene

Was there ever a more endearing screen comedienne than Jean Arthur?  I love movies about ordinary working people and if The Devil and Miss Jones wears its pro-worker politics on its sleeve, that's okay by me.  I've watched this one multiple times and always find it fresh and funny.  Certain scenes are unforgettable, particularly Charles Coburn trying to sell a pair of shoes to make a good impression on the department store manager, played by Edmund Gwenn.  This one has lots of laughs and ever so much heart.  Give it a try!

Watch it here.

Scaramouche (MGM, 1952) Costumes by Gile Steele

I'm not a big swashbuckler film fan but Scaramouche is extremely entertaining and co-stars the lovely Eleanor Parker, one of my all-time favorite film actresses (yes, I have many), who is best known for her performance as the Baroness in The Sound of Music, which is not really representative of the kind of work she could do if given the chance.  Scaramouche is one Parker's best films and she has some wonderful moments in it.  The costumes, scenery, score, and color cinematography are lush and scream Film Spectactular.

Watch it here (with Arabic subtitles) or here (a bit out of sync).


Vertigo (Paramount, 1958) Costumes by Edith Head.

Entire books have been written about this Hitchcock classic, which was something of a critical and commercial disappointment when first released.  I watched Vertigo the other day and found some of it extraordinary (Kim Novak in closeup, the Mid-century San Francisco locales) and some of it excruciating (the Barbara Bel Geddes character).  Many people think James Stewart is too old for the role, others think Kim Novak is out of her depth (not mutually exclusive of course).  Regardless, you're unlikely to be bored.  

Watch (a beautifully restored print) here.

In closing, friends, if you're locked inside, I hope you're finding ways to amuse yourself.  It won't be forever!

Stay well, everybody!


  1. Thank you, I didn't know there was such a thing as an Alfred Hitchcock Channel - it looks like a great way to while away some time.
    As for Wonder Clips, they are useful when quilting or holding glued pieces together.
    One of my favourite actresses is Grace Kelly, she was perfection in Rear Window. My favourite actress name is Veda Ann Borg.
    I enjoy your posts and am sorry that you are having a tough time.

  2. I LOVE Wonder Clips, but I use them for making bags, mostly from cork. I can’t do without them, but may be handy for some tasks in sewing clothing. I have given up on sewing clothing. It drives me nuts! But, I do love seeing everything you make.

  3. Loving these film recommendations, Peter.

    Many of my Aussie compatriots will remember Bill "Mr Movies" Collins - a much-loved, trusted and super-knowledgeable film critic and enthusiast. He curated and presented old films on TV for 50+ years.

    Like generations of Aussies, Mr Spud and I grew up watching Bill's Saturday night double feature "Golden Years of Hollywood". Old movies are still a ritual for us every Saturday night thanks to Bill but we miss his input so thank you for going someway toward filling the void ... Mr Movies II!


  4. Those clips quickly become go-to tools. They're faster to move around than pins, are more visible when serging, and also work to keep pattern pieces and fabric together while working with lots of fiddly bits. I often use mine according to color-- ex. red for notches or back pieces, and I also place them face up to indicate fabric front on easy to confuse fabrics like jersey solids. Thanks for the film links, I love classics too!

  5. Is Cathy about to show some leg upon a sandy beach? Or is she "ensemble worthy", and being Cathy, only too quick to squat on some other gals vintage vibe?


    1. Shirley you remember this:

  6. I love those clips, and have them in all 3 sizes. They make it so much easier to fasten fiddly bits that shift when putting in pins, things that shouldn't be pinned, and of course quilt bindings sit so nice in that little notch.

    Amazon prioritizing shipping for essentials applies to their own warehouses. Vendors who have their own storage can ship like they always do. Presuming they aren't under "shelter in place" orders that is. Maybe the clips could be considered essential - they might make face mask assembly easier.

  7. I used my clips a lot lately when gluing cardboard masks together!

  8. Instead of wonder clips I use clothes pins when I'm sewing fabrics like cork that I don't want to pin. It works just as well but they're not as colourful as the plastic clips you ordered.

  9. SeamsterEast at aolMarch 26, 2020 at 4:35 PM

    I find they move around on me. I use them as "kinda fingers" as in when I might "use my fingers instead of pins." I use pins when I want the fabric to STAY where I want it to while sewing and/or when I am trying to avoid "fabric creep" due to the presser foot. Precision sewing I use pins, more casual sewing I use clips. I also use clips to hold the fabric in place as I am pinning.

  10. I use the clips a lot. I started using them for attaching quilt binding, then started using them for long seams, and then for everything but quilt seams where the points had to match. (I hate those, btw.). Now that I’ve started sewing, I use them more and more.

  11. BYW, what is your second BluPrint class going to be about? I enjoyed your first class, and just received delivery of fabric for my first camp shirt! Maybe I will cut it out and sew it up this weekend!

    1. That's great, Aidan. It's going to be a jean jacket class.

  12. I love those clips! Anytime I can possibly use them instead of pins, I do.

  13. I avoided buying the clips for a long time until I started working on a vinyl bag. Some things should not have pins. Some things are too damn thick to pin. Clips are very hard to sew over.

    1. SeamsterEast at aolMarch 27, 2020 at 9:52 PM

      "Some things are too damn thick to pin."

      I sometimes sew heavy acrylic canvas which is impossible to pin. For that I usually use a seriously heavy one-handed office stapler with the staples in the seam allowance. The staples must be removed afterwards or they rust.

  14. I love to use these as well. I find that I do tend to use them more when the fabric is too thick to pin as I love to use really fine sharp pins and they were getting bent all the time. These have a really good grip and I find that layers of fabric do tend to stay together when I use these clips. I don't think anyone would be disappointed with purchasing some of these. They are very handy to have lying around in your sewing space.


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