Sunday, February 28, 2010

McCall 5522 is history

And I like it again, so hallelujah for that.

I think I just spent too much time on it was wasn't able to see it clearly because of that.

There are still things I'm not thrilled with, aspects of the top I'll change next time, but this is a definite keeper after all. Thank you all for your encouragement with this one.

The full review is here, but there are a few things I'd like to point out.

1. Sleeve cap ease is, indeed, a load of crap. I took all the excess out of the sleeves so that I could get the plaid to line up properly - as it would in a man's shirt, which would also be easier to sew - and surprise, it worked. The plaid isn't perfect, but it's close enough that I'm going to call it that and try harder next time.

2. The collar band on this shirt is ginormous. I said it before, but now that I'm done, I'll say it again. Freaking ginormous. My neck isn't skinny by any means, but it makes it look that way. And since I just got all my hair cut off, I have no interest in looking like a Q-tip.

3. When sewing give you lemons, make lemonade. I wasn't thrilled with the ruffle and the collar band was oversized. Hmmm. What if I fold back the collar band over the top of the ruffles? It'll anchor the ruffle and keep it from pouffing too much, and I won't notice that it's oversized.

Note to self: fix that next time.

4. I'm biased. Not only the ruffle, but the upper collar band and the outer cuffs, were cut on the bias. I really thought it would make the ruffle lay better and also since there was no way to completely match it all the way down (and would that even look good, merging into the pattern but adding that extra bulk on the front?). My other motive there was that since it was a single ruffle (not cut on fold or sewn together), McCalls wanted a teeny-tiny hem along the edge. I didn't want any visible topstitching on this to detract from its already overwhelming plaid-ness. At least cut on the bias it's not likely to fray, and if it does, it won't be as noticeable as a straight-grain fray and I can tidy it up.

Glad to be back to sewing and enjoying it again. I hardly got to work on this all week long, and I'm beginning to think maybe I left my mojo at my aunt's house last week when we picked up some stuff. Yesterday was my last trip up to the duplex, which goes to settlement on Thursday. I convinced a thrift store to come pick up the saleable furniture, and hopefully some of the random other junk that was left. I got there at 2:30; they got there at nearly 5:00 p.m. So as I stewed and paced and grumbled about wasting my entire Saturday, I could feel my mojo returning like Peter Pan's shadow.

Somebody pin it down before it escapes again!

After the furniture pickup, I made a brief stop at my aunt's apartment to pick up the utility bills that I have to take care of shutting off. My aunt is understandably nervous about the settlement, and about the house falling apart prior to then (it could happen), but she's decided that all this has become my fault and she's done nothing bit accuse me of ruining her life, putting her in a nursing home (which it's not) and being the realtor's accomplice in fleecing her, a poor, helpless little old lady, out of her life savings.

Honestly, she's the only person who makes me yell when I'm mad. Normally when I get angry, I get quiet. Or snarky. Or sarcastic. Betty makes me yell. And then when I yell at her, she tells me I sound just like my mother, who always yelled at her, and that just makes me madder.

Once Thursday is over, I think we need a little vacation from each other. It'll be nice to just go up and visit her as an elderly relative who needs company, instead of the great black hole of need who sucks up all my free time for weeks on end and then tells me I don't do anything for her. Just a little break.

That will be good.

Back to the sewing room. The Colette Patterns Sencha blouse is on the table, and so far, so good.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Soon it will be done

This really isn't coming along as quickly as I would like. Last night I did all the hand-sewing (which I don't mind, though it does eat time). Hand-sewing was required on the back of the front bands, the inside collar band and it will be required on the underside of the cuffs, once I get them attached later tonight.

I'm sticking with my mostly on-grain, occasionally bias layout - the cuffs are on the bias, as is the collar band, which I think looks pretty good.

For anyone making this shirt, the collar band is GINORMOUS. As in, my neck's not that big. For the band collar shirt that I'm making, it's fine. If I was sewing the collar, and especially if I planned to button it, this would be a problem.

What I'm finding interesting, although a little distressing, is that I am no longer totally in love with the ruffles. Now that, of course, they're sewn on, the front bands are sewn on, and the front bands are hand sewn down from the underside. Of course now is when I decide I don't love them anymore.

But I couldn't take them off anyway, because then the front band wouldn't match, and I don't have enough fabric (unless I tried to cannibalize the bias ruffle) to make a bias band instead.

Leave it alone. It'll be fine. It's orange plaid; it's not like I'm going to wear it every day, anyway.

And as a partial save, I actually like it as pictured right, with the collar band opened out and covering the top of the ruffles.

If I can get up the energy to go in tonight and work on it, I'll finish the cuffs and maybe mark the buttonholes. And try out a few buttonholes on scrap to see what size buttonhole I need to make to accommodate those long narrow dark buttons I decided to use (with a lot of support from you all).

On other fronts, can I get a hallelujah? My aunt's duplex has sold ALREADY, and goes to settlement in the beginning of March. Now all I need to do is keep my fingers crossed that the snow doesn't make the roof cave in before it becomes someone else's responsibility.

Also, I went to the opening of my friend's play on Friday night, and it was really good. The dress looked much better than anticipated under the lights and I was able to let it go, watch the play and enjoy the performances without spending all my time obsessing. So it must have worked.

I've been told what the next play is going to be, and the theme for the costumes. Not for publication just yet, but I think I'm going to enjoy that one.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Plaid in Progress

So far, I'm really pleased with how McCall 5522 is turning out.

Like a few others who made this shirt, I've rearranged the order of construction to suit my own methods. Instead of sewing upper bodices together at shoulders and sides, then sewing lower bodices together, then sewing upper to lower, I sewed upper to lower on fronts and back, then sewed the shoulder seams.

At that point, I could pin the sides and see how the fit was going, but I still didn't sew the side seams until I added the ruffle and the front bands - which is now done.

I had a suggestion from Nancy K to do the front band on the bias, and I thought I had enough fabric left to do that, but I didn't. So I did the next best thing, which was to rearrange the front bands so that they line up perfectly on the lower part of the shirt, and where they don't line up, it isn't as noticeable because the ruffle is on either side.

I'm liking it.

I'm doing it my way on the sleeves, as well. When I cut the sleeves, I removed some of the extra ease in the sleeve cap. There was a lot. After thinking about it a little, I decided that rather than easing in the rest of the excess, I would treat this as a man's shirt. Men's shirts have no sleeve cap ease. You sew them in completely flat, and if there's a plaid - guess what? it lines up!

Excess fabric - gone. I did it sort of quick-and-dirty instead of doing it properly. If this way hadn't worked, I would tried another way, but this worked. I started pinning the sleeves in - flat, remember - from each end. I pinned until I got to the ease marks. I put a pin at the shoulder seam mark. Then, I looked at how much excess there was, and where, and I started fiddling.

After only minimal muttering and swearing, I got the sleeves to where they are now. They don't line up perfectly, and I'll continue to tinker with that, but they're much better than any attempt at plaid-matching I could have achieved after easing in 2 extra inches of fabric.

I pinned the sleeves from the cuff all the way up, and then back down the shirt to the hem. Just like a man's shirt. And it worked.

Best of all, IT FIT. But Project Runway will be on shortly, so it's time to stop for the night.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Put on your shades

'cause this is one seriously orange plaid.

And I like it that way.

Now it may be over the top for me to even be considering the ruffles on McCall 5522, especially since I groused in my last post about my sneakily-enlarging boobage, but I confess. I have a weakness for ruffles and girly fluffy stuff, and I hardly ever give in to it.

I certainly wouldn't give in if this blouse were pink or white or any even vaguely floral pattern. But a loud orange and chocolate brown plaid? With the ruffles on the bias?

Okay, then.

And if after I attach them and try it on and don't like them, I have two more button plackets cut out on the bias that I can swap in place of the on-grain ones. If I can't have bias ruffles, something unusual has to happen on the front of this.

I have to say, BTW, that a fresh measuring seems to have done my fitting a world of good. No surprise there. All that's been done so far here is to sew the upper and lower bodice pieces together. It's pinned at the shoulders and side seams, the ruffle is pin-pleated and pinned on, and so is the front band.

I'm also having button issues at the moment. That's the problem with having a good button stash: too many choices. The blouse calls for 9 buttons - 5 on the front and 2 on each cuff (I'm making the long-sleeved version). Of the buttons pictured here, I have more than enough of the squarish white ones and the dark oval ones. I have 7 of the round white ones, which have little flowers etched into them. Since they're slightly larger, I could get away with single button cuffs there.

Any opinions on button choices? I think I have a favorite, but it's too early yet to tell. I'm going to marinate on them overnight and look at the pictures tomorrow and see if anything jumps out at me.

Just for a change, it's snowing outside. Again. Like the 2 feet of frozen white crap outside isn't enough. Like the 2 snow days last week didn't cause me to miss the PR shopping day in New York today - and it looked like everyone had a great time and bought some lovely fabric.

Of course, do I need fabric? No, I do not. The ever-multiplying stash made a few new friends last week as a small box wandered in from Gorgeous Fabrics. I looked at the drool-worthy Chanel fabrics she had and my budget was very glad that none of the colors really suited me. However, there was a much more budget-friendly boucle called "Persimmon Princess" in orange, gold, brown - my colors, no? I bought 2 yards of black RPL and a yard of orange to keep it company in the box.

If it's not too alarming, the orange RPL may become a pencil skirt to wear with this blouse.

That's going to need a seriously neutral jacket to tone it down. Or maybe I'll just glow in the dark.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Have you measured yourself lately?

You might be in for a surprise.

My recent lecture to Elizabeth - you're not a size, but a measurement - is only effective if you are the measurement you think you are. Otherwise, it's just a random number as the size assigned by the pattern company.

I thought I had a 35.5" bust. Maybe a 36 on a good bra day or if I'm PMSing. I generally fit into a Big 4 size 12 with little alteration. Occasionally it's been known to be a bit tight in the boobage if I'm trying to make a fitted shirt, but fitted shirts and I have always had issues. (I love them but look like crap in them, for the most part). You can see some of the many shirt patterns who have tried - and failed - to move successfully into my closet.

McCall's 5522 recently caught my eye. It was one of Patternreview's Best Patterns of 2009, and has 30-some positive reviews. That kind of an assortment of bodies has to be on to something. Plus it's one of their patterns drafted to 4 different cup sizes. I bought it. In sizes 2-12, since I'm a 12.

Which, according to the envelope, is a 34" bust. Oops. So I'm a 14? Well, I can draft up a size. No biggie.

I grab the measuring tape, wrap it around my chest. 37.5"? WTF? When did that happen? Did they grow? At 46? Did I shape-shift? I've always been fairly broad across the back and working on my house and in the yard seems to have done more for that than going to the gym. But still - 2 inches?

I measure everything else - waist, hips. They're within a half inch of where I left them. I haven't lost any weight in the past few months, but I haven't gained any either. I'm the same solid 140 I've been for the last couple of years, and - I thought - the same general shape.

Stomping out of the workroom, I ask he who should notice these things. "Have my boobs gotten bigger lately?" Look of complete mystification. "No."

So were they always bigger than I thought they were?

I go back and face my dilemma. Thougth I was 35.5", turns out I'm 37.5". Pattern is for 34". Even at my most optimistic, the pattern would have gaped (if it had fit at all) and I would have blamed the pattern.

Because I know my measurements.

Have you measured yourself lately?

Bottom photo is of my recent new patterns: the Jalie scarf tie top, McCalls 5522, and my first two Colette patterns - the Sencha blouse and Oolong dress. McCalls 5522 (adjusted to my new measurements) is up first, in an orange plaid. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Burdastyle 6016 - Heidi

Okay, I'd better post here about the first Heidi dress before I go off and make another one. Which I have every intention of doing.

Apparently Heidi is contagious. I caught it over on Dressaday, and now maybe I can pass it on to one or two of you.

Isn't it cute? The dress looks way better on me than it does on Evelyn, but it's still cold. And I'm still cold. And I'm not putting a sleeveless dress on and standing in my drafty living room with bare legs and high heels while I get my picture taken. No way, no how.

Not until it's above the low 60s in here. Which it won't be until sometime in . . . April?

Things I really like about this dress: the neckline, which is really flattering and not as low as it looks, at least not if you've got sufficient boobage to put in it. Another thing I like is that after a few recent bleh patterns and issues with boob placement / storage in some of those patterns, it was nice to run across one that was drafted to fit them.

The bodice has tucks front and back, and while they're placed well as it is, they can be adjusted in or out to lay flatteringly on whatever you've got under them. Thank you! The back tucks don't do as much for me - I like them this time, but next time I may turn them into 4 or 6 smaller tucks, or use gathers, or just plain old dart the back bodice. I'll figure that out when I get there.

I also like the pockets. Generally I'm lukewarm on pockets - I like them in some things, but they're not deal-breakers for me, and frequently in pants and skirts they are deal-breakers because they make the fit so wonky. These are quite substantial pockets in a relatively narrow skirt. I like efficient use of storage.

If Ikea designed dresses, this might be one of their bestsellers. Follow me here. It's like a good Ikea product - clean lines, modular (pockets and tucks that can be added or left out, to suit the user), the ability to fit into most wardrobes in a variety of fabrics.

Are we back now from my trip to the fantasy Ikea clothing store? Good.

Maybe not next up, but definitely somewhere in the line: another Heidi in plaid. I've already marked the pocket edges and the hip yokes to match my plaid, and in between the two hip / pocket pieces there's another narrow center panel, which will have the plaid run on the bias.

I like a pattern that gives me ideas for the next version before I've even finished the first one.

Here's the full patternreview, which has more details and photos.

Back to work today. The snow is still everywhere, and more is expected Monday into Tuesday. Just what we all want.

I was supposed to be off Monday and go to NY for a Patternreview shopping day (which I instigated), but now I have to stay home. Missing two days of work mid-week got me so far behind that I can't justify taking a vacation day for retail therapy when I'd be spending the day fretting about the state of my desk. And it was much appreciated when I retracted my vacation request. Things have been really busy in work lately and we're in the midst of staff reorganizing, so I would just as soon be around while the "fun" stuff is going on. (Sorry Elizabeth!)

I'm not sure what's up next. I'd like to just jump into the next Heid, the way I made two Fatina dresses when I fell for that pattern last year, but I think I'll try something else next and then go back to my new friend, Heidi.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Snow Day No. 2

Home for the second day in a row. It stopped snowing around midnight last night, but that was after it had snowed for 26 hours straight (okay, there might have been a few hours of sleet in there, but it was 26 hours with something unpleasant falling from the sky).

Yesterday, after much coffee and the first round of shoveling, I retreated to the workroom. Damn, it was cold! Heat's always a little sparse in the back of the house, but when I turned on the space heater, it said it was 58 in there. I gave it a little time to warm up before Lily and I went back in.

Even with stopping for lunch, and then having an early dinner, I managed to finish my Burdastyle Heidi dress yesterday. Completely - lining, hem, everything.

I think I must be having a reaction to all this snow - why else would I have made a sleeveless dress? But Erin at Dressaday has been on a Heidi kick, and having fallen for a pattern and made multiple versions myself, I'm always willing to try out someone else's addiction. Heidi has great possibilities, and considering my recent run of not-happy-with-fit, this made me feel better.

Pictures will follow. It's too busy a fabric to photograph in the workroom, and I'm too cold to put it on for pictures against the white wall. I could haul Evelyn into the living room, but I'm cold and lazy. Instead, I'll show you the stretch velvet BWOF 12/09 #120 tunic I finished last week and just reviewed. I'm not thrilled, for the reasons stated in the review, but it's okay and I need stuff to wear around the house so I don't always look like a homeless person in training.

Today I got the call at 7:30 that the office would be closed again, though some peple were going to try toc ome in. I'm actually one of the closest employees, but located on the wrong type of public transit. The regional trains have a better chance of getting you in from the burbs than I do with the local buses or trolley. I could get the el, but that involves a 6 block walk through unshoveled streets, and delays of up to a half hour for the normally every 5 minute train. Nah, I think I'll bake something and then sew some more.

Shoveled this a.m. and the snow was really wet and heavy. My poor front yard - one of the 7 foot rose bushes along my front porch appears to have fallen forward from the weight of the of it. I hope it didn't snap off under there; I don't mind hard pruning, because it will always grow back, but I don't want to have to replace it.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Some Progress

I think my mojo's been hibernating. Ever since I finished the blue dress and handed it over, I haven't really felt like sewing. Oh, I've felt like it, all right, but not to the point where I actually accomplish anything.

I go in the room, I look around, I see the UFOs and the mess, and I get disheartened and go and either read or watch TV with the man. Both of which are worthwhile activities - I just finished the new Barbara Kingsolver while being unable to sew - but they weren't really want I wanted to do.

So last night, enough was enough. I was going to sew something, and if that meant I had to tidy up, then so be it. I got rid of the last of the blue scraps, and then I made envelopes for all the patterns I've traced in the last 3 months, and then I put all the patterns and magazines away. And then I faced the UFOs.

The sausage dress. The unfinished black dress. The other one.

The sausage dress had pins in it from where I altered it to fit my friend when it was too small for me. I decide to start with this one. I threw it out. Much as I loved the print, the fabric wasn't that good, and I had deluded myself from the beginning that it was nice enough to work with.

The black dress has been given permission to wait. I'm having a sleeve dilemma, as in which ones to choose. It will come, and then I will finish it.

The third dress is in limbo. There's something way too 80s about it right now, but I still like the general style and the fit and I love the fabric. Since it was drafted from a top I really like, maybe the problem is that it was never meant to be a dress. Right now I'm contemplating taking scissors to it.

Question for all you readers out there: anyone have a good reference for working with fur? I've got my great-aunt's mink sitting downstairs in a bag - I know, only the best treatment in my house. It's got some damage, but I don't want to pay to get it fixed - it's 60 some years old, so it's fragile, and I don't have the cash for a furrier. I'm either going to repair it myself or turn it into something else, but it turns out there's not a lot of information out there on working with fur.

I asked on Patternreview and did get one book reference, but besides a suggestion that I sell the coat because fur isn't in, and I would get a lot of grief for wearing it, and do I know how they harvest the skins . . . not much actual info. Yes, I know I'd get grief. Yes, actually I do know how they harvest the skins, since I have relatives in upstate NY that make a living by selling bait and trapping animals and selling skins. My cousins tried their best to gross me out one summer by teaching me how to skin a squirrel.

But this has come into my possession (and those little minks died) through no act or omission of ine. And the fact that my aunt (and her aunt before her) kept it since the 1940s means I should hold onto it at least a little longer, perhaps until I can't justify wearing it. Who knows? But any info would be greatly appreciated. Lectures, not so much. :)

Oh, and once I cleaned up and dealt with the UFOs, suddenly the fog cleared, I taped and cut out Burdastyle's Heidi pattern, and then I cut out a dress. Feeling much better.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Where did the weekend go?

It snowed. I had lots and lots of unfilled time. So why was hardly any sewing accomplished?

I was looking forward to the snow for that reason alone.

But there was laundry to be done, scones to be baked, half-price sales at the thrift shop, snow to shovel, dinners to cook and eat, naps to take, books to read . . . I guess that's where the weekend went.

Plus this afternoon I pulled out my display head and a couple of wigs and started photographing the hats. Not only do I have Betty's hats, but as I got into the idea, I remembered there were hat boxes in the attic that had belonged to the former owner's aunts.

Jackpot again!

Of course I only got 11 hats photographed before the camera battery died, so no listing has happened yet, but I've posted a sneak peek or two here just because nothing else photo-worthy happened (except the snow, so okay, I'll add one of those, too).

The other noteworthy part of the weekend - we got an offer on my aunt's house already! It's only been listed for a week! It's an investor that's buying it, so while fingers are crossed for the home inspection, if they do this for a living, I don't think there's much they're going to find that they can't cope with.

Getting that sold will be a huge weight off my aunt, and therefore off of me.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

January: Month End Review

January was a busy sewing month. It was also the first month in probably a year where I ended up with UFOs at the end. I will try to remedy those by the end of this snowy, sewing weekend.

Counting the UFOs, I made 9 projects and used 12.75 yards of fabric.

This of course doesn't count the fabric for the blue dress, which was provided to me by the costumer, other than a half yard of denim used for the structure of the bodice.

And one of the projects was the welt pocket samples, and they used next to nothing. But every scrap counts when you're trying to reduce stash.

My favorite project of the month was BWOF 4/08 twist top. I've worn it a few times now, love how it feels and always get complimented on it.
I also used ny favorite KS 3338 to make a classic short sleeve tee and one with flounced sleeves. Useful tops, and sometimes a quick tee is just what you need to clear your head.

The prize for most useful - and long-awaited - project goes to my new kitchen curtains. The kitchen has been a work in progress for the almost 9 years I've owned the house, and pretty curtains at the windows makes me feel like it's almost done.

Making the kitchen curtains also made me frame out the window over the kitchen sink (the trim wood has been on standby for about 5 years), patch the paint from the cabinet installation 2 years ago, and do some touch-up painting. Ah, the magic of sewing.

Then there are the three UFO dresses: the sausage dress, which is going to a friend (and therefore I have no motivation to finish it quickly); a black version of the BWOF 5/08 drape front dress that I ran out of time to finish (and therefore have no motivation to finish now); and a raglan sleeve dress drafted from a favorite sweater that looked vaguely frumpy and I haven't quite figured out how to solve that.

We got a foot of snow between last night and today, so guess what I'm going to do? Yep - sew!!!

And do lots of laundry, and makes scones with the dried cranberries I got at the farmer's market, and take pictures of each of my aunt's hats because I've decided to set up shop on Etsy and see if anyone wants to subsidize my fabric habit by buying them.

I'll let you all know when they're up.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Can I get an amen?

The dress is done. And miracle of miracles, I think I like it.

It's getting handed off tomorrow night, so I won't see it again until the show opens, but after all the twists and turns of this particular journey, I think the result is better than anticipated.

Tonight I got the last of the lining sewn in. The lining isn't completely fitted - I just didn't have the time and energy to cut a bodice lining that exactly fit - but it fits along the top edge and it's tacked to the zipper and at the side seam, and the minimal excess fabric won't take up any extra room inside the dress.

Good enough is, indeed, good enough.

I realized today that it's the 3rd of the month and I haven't done my month-end review for January yet. I was going to put off doing it, but I like the reviews just because it keeps in front of me how much (or how little) I accomplish each month.

I have been a bit unfaithful to the dress. Whenever I need a change of fabric, I've been working on the BWOF 12/09 #120 hooded tunic made from a toast-colored stretch velvet. I got it almost finished tonight, just need hems and buttons on the placket to call it done.

It was supposed to be the last project for January, but I think not. There are actually a few UFOs for January, which I need to take care of soon. I don't like to keep UFOs around anymore. I won the UFO Contest on Patternreview in 2006, and I haven't recovered from the shame of it yet. You should never have so many UFOs that you can win a contest with them.

I have 3 dress UFOs - the BWOF dress that was too small and that I'm finishing for a friend; the dress I started to wear to the wedding the other week and lost interest in; and another dress that I started based on pattern I drafted, that just isn't exciting me right now.

First up I'll finish the dress that I wanted to wear to the wedding. It's a pattern I've made before; I just got h ung up on the sleeves and got distracted. Easy fix.

The BWOF dress is easy, too, but after working on the costume, I'm done with sewing for others for at least a week.

The third dress may well be a wadder, or it may be a successful top, if I can bring myself to chop it off at waist length (it was an attempt to lengthen a favorite top into a dress, and maybe there's a reason it's a good top).

Coming soon: I stopped in at the thrift store after work today and found an absolutely beautiful navy blue wool pea coat for $18. The wool is very good quality, and it has all its buttons, plus the extras. The only problem is that the lining is frayed around the hips. But on the plus side, the lining is still intact, so it'll be easy enough to remove and duplicate. The sleeve linings are still perfect, so I may just make a new lining and attach it to them, then bag it around the jacket. I do some navy floral poly charmeuse in the lining stash. I hate re-lining, but not so much that I'll pay someone else to do it, and certainly not enough to leave a jacket that fits that well hanging on the rack.

Notes on the dress photos here: top, dress without flash; next, closeup of the pieced bodice; third, bodice from the side, showing the invisible zip; fourth, dress with flash (shiny); and last, the unfitted lining.

I'm tired now.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

My Loss = Your Gain

The slips have found new homes - Linda and Myra, please email me with your mailing addresses. Don't worry, Elizabeth, I've got yours. Neighborhood Gal, hankies to Canada is doable - send me your address too.

Since there was interest in the hats - some people seem to think I did it just to torture them (not true, but it was a plus!), I'll let you all know when I decide to thin out the hat collection.

BTW, putting the blog on comment moderation for older posts for a while. I've been getting massive amounts of spam comments on old posts and it's just easier that way until they find someone else to bombard.

In closing, I give you Bad Kate, who spends all her time tormenting Annie, trying to pry open the sewing room door (undeterred by yelling, water squirts or canned air), and making messes. She's my dirty girl - grubby white feet, potatoes in her ears, and yet the most fastidious cat you'll ever meet, tiptoeing around the litter box with her nose wrinkled.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Too much stuff

Tonight I unpacked some of the stuff I brought home from my aunt's yesterday. There's just too much of it!

Most of the haul is pictured here, on my dining room table: 2 sets of floral sheets (earmarked for sundresses); 3 vintage slips in white, pink and pale blue, a ridiculous number of mostly floral hankies, in original folds; a red-and-white check housedress (!) with a border of Scottie dogs. That is so getting cut down to fit me.

I grabbed the hat box out of the closet without even looking in it - I assumed it had a hat or two, but I didn't have a chance to check.


Once upon a time, my aunt was quite the stylish woman. You can't tell that from any of the remaining wardrobe, but apparently her past was put away, in this hatbox, to rest for 50 or so years.

We have pillboxes, covered in flowers. The little one covered in daisies was worn at my christening in 1964; I have the photo to prove it. There are a bunch of those hairband types, including this very cute leopard one with veil, and a green leafy one that I wish I had the guts to wear.

There are little bands made out of feathers in purple, blue and gray. There are hats made entirely out of little flowers. There are veils in all colors.

I wish women still wore hats.

Here's the deal, dear readers - right now, there are 2 sets of 10 hankies each, and 2 vintage nylon slips (pink and blue, approx. bust of 36-38), looking for new homes. There may be more, but as of now, this is just sheer excess. I brought it home because I couldn't give it to the thrift store or chuck it out, although I'm absolutely willing to let it go to you.

One rule: you have to have commented on the blog before, or, barring that, be really really convincing as to why you want my family's clutter to become your clutter.

Tell me what you want to do with violet-sprigged hankies or if you're going to wear the pink slip on the outside or under a fabulous vintage dress.

Or if you're going to make a fabulous vintage dress to wear over it.

Start thinking about what you want. "Bidding" closes Wednesday by noon, so let me know what you want.

And if you're thinking about the hats, I'm not there yet, but you're perfectly free to try to convince me. I can't keep them all; I know that, and I'll never give them the wear they deserve.

So go ahead, have at me. Help me clean the house.