it's just a phase

i made a flow chart.  kinda.

so yeah, i've been thinking my creativity is directly linked to my uterus.  peeps of the female persuasion, do you find this to be true?  during the ovulatory phase, i'm literally going full blast.  that's right about now.  been sewing up a storm against kenny's will.   stand back, citizens.  my body has decided if it's not making babies, it's sure as hell making clothing.  oh, i have so much to show you!  to wit:  one skirt!  two tops!  THREE DRESSES!  all patiently waiting for the move and a sunny backyard!

it's rocking in kalkatroona.  but i know the end of the luteal phase is coming, when hormones give the order to commence preparations for le Time Of The Month.  during those days, i'll pick up fabrics and match them with patterns, disgusted at my pairings, or try to drape something that quickly becomes a miserable mess, or hell, maybe just attempt a tracing, but none of these suddenly rocky paths will lead to mecca.  my brain comes back when the cycle begins again.  i guess it's really about three days out of the month where i'm sunk (and this is not my actual period, it's the time just before it; my period ROCKS, y'all, i want to shout it from the rooftops).

luckily, during this particular post ovulatory meltdown i'll be on a plane and then unpacking, so no botched projects for me this month.

what about you?  does yo pre-flow slow yo roll?


spotted on spring and lafayette


i kind of love it.


edit: SCORE. a lovely anonymous commenter says this glory is courtesy of the peeps at l'asso nyc, who implore you to "eat the pizza! drink the beer!"  ooh i like these people.  i hope we get to gorge before we leave.  and... THEY SELL T SHIRTS.  you can have a different version of tom selleck on this one, and i so totally need this masked avenger.  thanks anonymous masked friend!


suspicious activity


are you watching the new bbc sherlock series? it's on netflix instant watch.  excellent MLK day activity.  though really it doesn't have much to do with the day.

unless you consider knocking off this african print mini skirt a celebratory act?  my young nephew celebrates by eating cupcakes and coloring pictures, so i'm pretty sure i've got him beat in this very questionable contest.  i like to win, especially over small children.  

(ps: a TBP favorite.  again, apologies to do the math peeps that may have found their way here.  my knowledge of jazz is most certainly suspect, though my admiration for MLK is much greater than this post would lead you to believe.  if you care to hang out, we'll sew and drink and swear together.)


our lady of the subway car

A man shoved irritatedly past me on the A train today, muttering open the doors stupid and barging through to the middle of the crowded car. (I don't give attitude to people who shove past me while muttering to invisible foes.) He got off at the next stop, still muttering, and got right back on again before the doors closed.

oh no y'all can't be in here you got to go.  y'all move around too much, i can't get no SLEEP.  you don't see me barging into your home and putting my feet up, get your feet down.  you call it homeless what do you call this, this car is my home, i got a ten car condo.  if i want you out all i got to do is take off my shoes, y'all WILL get out. i moved out cause i couldn't stand my wife. said she wanted a steak i said we'll go get a sandwich and a MILK. said she wanted champagne i said get a cold glass of water we'll drop two alka seltzers in it and call it DOM PERIGNON. she said wait till we get home i'll show you something. she took off her jeans and said her stomach hurt. i said WHICH ONE.

The monologue went on for another three stops (this being the express train). Although the comedy stylings were banal, I could appreciate his ability to completely tuck the rage away and launch into a standup routine.  


i like me some me

i don't actually play xbox.  i just have a profile because you get to dress them.  I WANT THIS OUTFIT.  and one day, they will have my hairdo.  yo microsoft, can i get a what what for mixed chicks?  recognize!

so, i was thinking the other night during my clickety click down the drunken rabbit hole, how great would it be to use pinterest to organize the things you've made?  you could have your dresses, tops, skirts, UFOs, all at your online fingertips, in one beautiful clean space... you could get an idea of what you need to make and what you need to stop making...  genius, no?  everyone must already be doing this!

then i looked around, and it seems that nope, no sewist is pinning their own creations.  it can't be that no one has thought of this yet.  or you know, it could be, i am an innovator of the first degree.  or maybe i'm just full of myself.  which begs the question, is it against pinterest etiquette to pin your own garments?  is it totally big headed bratty?  

be honest, you never know which mood i'm in, saying it's big headed bratty just might be the swing vote i'm looking for.   


but baby, he's two thousand more than you...

well i'll tell ya.  kenny is giving me the glacial shoulder.

occasionally the needle, which has 3 positions, doesn't want to shift when i turn the knob.  his screws get loose. so i tinker and turn and curse for a bit and then he snaps back into place.  not so today.  after taking the hood off and hearing a pop when i messed with the cam housing, i enlisted the magical fixit skillz of ruggy.  but kenny's sat obstinate on the table for several hours now.

here's why:

never kid yourself that you can cheat on your man and keep it under wraps.  eventually they WILL find out.  i found ricky (riccardo is his formal name) in a goodwill store near mother ruggy's.   it was our last stop on a whirlwind tour of thrift shops that had only produced sad and beaten shells of machines.  i spied a small white suitcase on a high shelf, with a price tag of 50 bucks.  that hefty sticker had kept anyone from touching what looked like an overpriced vintage carry on... but i knew what must be inside.  shoppers stared curiously at the petite girl struggling with an old empty suitcase, and then swarmed when i revealed its contents.  oh riccardo.  so debonaire.  so accessorized.  full set of cams.  full set of feet.  original owner's manual.  

removable bed.  

i took him with me that day and had my way with him.

when it came time to return home, i left ricky behind, but i couldn't stop thinking about his smooth cam housing... his super long stitch... i thought i was hiding it, but kenny... kenny KNOWS.  he can tell by the way my hand keeps reaching for a slightly larger knob.   you may think he's not the jealous type-- after all, he shares a room with that psycho ellie-- but bring another man into the mix and it's kaputz.    he won't even eat, his feed dogs are on hunger strike.  it doesn't matter that i left ricky in another state.  it still happened.  to make matters worse, kenny's model 600 has been mocked by ricky's 2600.

size does matter.

i guess i'll have to fiddle with my girl ellie for awhile until we get to california.  as natalie portman so rightly observed, nothin like a little lesbo action to get a man interested.


pattern clones

nothing like a box full of vintage patterns to get your sewing mojo back.

could be the impending move, could be the recent plague, but i haven't been able to sew a STITCH yet this year. fortunately on friday, i received my box of goodies from lisette's amazing duplicate pattern offer, and ruggy said he could see the joy swirling around me as i rifled through. 

i want this one in: lace underlined top, crazy taffeta striped bottom.  i believe in my soul it will give me boobs.

you know i'm not making this in black.  but i do have an estate sale copy of "the bishop method of sewing" in a box somewhere in LA.  i've got to pair them up.  totally worthy of precious space in my meager two suitcases.


i thought i had something similar, mais non, these are separates!  and this chica.  so awesomely ahead of her time with her 3D TV glasses.  her white gloves are for safe passage through the bladerunner future she imagines. 

love the princess seams down the front!  those are princess seams, right?  these simplicity envelopes are my favorite.  when i get my ass together, i'm going to scan them, and then frame the envelopes for my sewing space. where ever that ends up existing.

(lady number 3 is a replicant, she scoffs at gloves.  those skin jobs are hostile, man.)

out of 62 patterns, many of which were actually my size, i decided to start with this one:  too small,  with a ton too much ease.  i've adjusted so much it's a mere shadow of what it was out of the envelope.  this could be bad. in the past, i haven't had much luck with "very easy" vintage vogue patterns.   and i really want my first one out of the box (literally) to be a win.  fingers crossed.

thank you lisette!!! and happy sunday sewing everyone!


administrative interlude

ruggy's watching the razorbacks. i'm going down a rabbithole of clickety clicks.  we're both drinking johnny walker black.  (thanks big daddy.)

so, i'm gonna claim my blog on le bloglovin.  i don't know why.  it's part of the rabbit hole.  so here's the jibjab i'm supposed to put in a new post:

oh lookit that! the code comes out as a follow me link!  no seriously i did NOT know it was going to do that.  okay. scroll down and read about more interesting stuff!  i gotta go drink clickety click!

and now for something completely normal.

(ETA 2016: Every time I trace a smaller pattern piece on my ironing board, I wince at the thought of this tutorial. Guys, don't trace your patterns by sliding them under magnets. It's a TERRIFICALLY  bad idea. I'm leaving it up here for posterity. But hopefully the red warning label will catch your eye. Read on, if you like.)

i realize that many of you come here for the sewing.  (some of you come here through do the math.  it's confusing, i know.  shhhhh.)  and yet i bombard you with exorcist christmases and sweaty ballerinas.  so i thought i'd share a little tracing tip i came up with the other day.  it involves the power of MAGNETS.  ooooooooh.

my beloved ikea ironing board is made of metal (or the ikea version of metal), and it's fairly wide.  i've traced many small pattern pieces on it using my pin catchers as weights, the magnets inside creating a slight attraction between paper and board.  my ah hah! moment came yesterday when i realized removing the middle man (plastic case) would up the force field.

if your ironing board is metal and flat (not too much padding), you're good to go.  grab an invisible ruler, tissue paper, flat magnets (you can find these in packs of 10 at any arts & crafts store), and a very fine pen that writes easily without requiring much pressure.

this method is easy when the pattern piece is small, like a facing, but i'll show you how to trace sections that won't fit on your board.  have a swig of coffee (or tea, whatever, but by all means put some bailey's in it).  repeat. now, align the pattern edge with the edge of the board.  let the excess hang off towards you.  then align a sheet of tissue paper to the edge.  all edges of pattern, tissue and board should meet.

yes, that's better homes and gardens in the background.  it was the booby prize when readymade got canceled.  i am NOT happy.

place several magnets around your sandwich, enough to keep the pieces in place.  one near the grainline is especially nice.  mais, not too close to each other as they will flock to their mates!  (yeah, DUH, but i did it twice.)  the love affair between magnet and metal board will keep your pattern nice and secure.  trace away!

(but oona, i hear you cry, what if i break through the paper to the board and mark up my cover?  okay, one: that's what washing machines are for, and two: use a light touch, meathooks.)

when you've traced all you can, move each magnet one by one to the edge of the board closest to you, making sure you're not moving your papers.  don't slide the magnets.  I SAID DON'T SLIDE THEM.  

then lean ever so gracefully over and grasp BOTH paper edges delicately, and with an even pressure pull the sandwich away from you.  hey!  you must pull both paper edges at the same time and equally!  go ahead, pull...

until you've reached the point where you can begin tracing again!  you can see my turquoise tracing lines match up perfectly.  spread your magnets out, and you're ready to start again.

so.  did you know this already?  was this completely pointless?  how do you trace your patterns?

(ps: faye, here's the double agent dress tutorial you were looking for. bonus, it involves way more alcohol!)


late to the party, but i bring booze

are you sick of resolutions and wrap ups yet?  i'm sorry.  my past sickness trumps your present sickness.

click "read more" to see 2011's collage of 67 garments (or after the jump, as the kids say...)



i wrote this post last friday, and patted myself on the back for having such foresight.  all i would have to do is click "publish" on january 1, et voila!  new year's post sans drunken spelling!  however, i got so sick (unfortunately, not from drinking) that i spent all of sunday and monday in bed, asleep.  seriously, i slept about 39 hours in two days.  i'm all better now, besides the fog my head is in from linking wordpress, sew weekly and gravatar accounts to each other.  i HATE online clutter.  anyhoo.  here's the story:

as we left the country for the big city, ruggy sensed i was unhappy.  (this unhappiness was due to the sore throat that would shortly turn into the Thirty Nine Hour Disease).  after completing airport security, he escorted me immediately into the Private Club Bar.  lest you get the wrong high fallutin' idea about us, anyone of age can walk into this joint. they have to call it that because it's a dry county.  somehow, those magic words make it all okay. we settled in with two shots of knob creek, my pour all the better when i made the bartender aware the shade of lipstick on my glass was not my own. 

i almost drank it anyway.

WHY HAVE WE NOT DONE THIS BEFORE.  the flight was wonderful.  ruggy gave a haaaaayaaayyyy to a startled female passenger snapping a pic of the empty plane (there were six of us onboard) and we were off.  

and we had magical seats.  we were supposed to be in 5B & C.  pre knob creek, i angrily switched us to row 4 when the computer screen showed a possible reclining issue.  on board, ruggy walked us to row 5, thinking it was 4, and presented me with the window seat, even though it was not my turn.  (cue en vogue chorus here.)  when i flipped the tray table down i found this note.  i let out a little yelp and beat ruggy's arm.  oh, that's nice, babe, he purred.  

now, i'm not really one for hang-in-there type phrases, but you wouldn't have guessed it from the way i lovingly patted my note for the rest of the flight.  i've never been the recipient of this sort of surprise, and it made me giddy.  some stranger purposefully stuck a post it on the inside of a tray table for whomever should sit there next. and i wasn't even supposed to sit there.  now i want to leave notes on subway cars and in bathrooms and on small dogs in the park.  

but for now i'll leave a note here, to any stranger who's reading, may your new year be bright, in every happy way imaginable.

(my new year starts right now, the first two days of it having been a thobbing blur.)