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Aug 31, 2013

Saying Good-bye to Michael's Mom

Sad news: On Saturday, August 24th, Michael's mother, Dorcas Hanko, died.

Dorcas had been living with lung cancer for more than a year.  A diagnosis (Stage 4) that would have devastated most was, for Dorcas, a challenge to be met head on.  She fought valiantly and never gave up hope.  During her final year she got to do the things she loved best: travel, cook, garden, spend time with her family, and even see Michael perform his show twice.  Till this summer, she had more energy than most healthy people.

Aug 28, 2013

Back to the Kimono

There are two kinds of sewing projects, readers: the ones you think will be hard but end up easy, and the ones you think will be easy but end up hard.  My kimono is the latter kind.

Aug 27, 2013

NAME THAT PATTERN: End of Summer Edition!

Friends, it's late August and the days are already getting cooler -- and shorter.  Before you know it we'll be turning back the clocks and wearing long underwear.

Aug 26, 2013

1920's Pattern Score -- SWIMWEAR EDITION!

When it comes to the history of women's swimsuits in the Twentieth century, the trend has been toward short...

Aug 21, 2013

Dreaming about 1920's men's shirts

Readers, what is it about 1920's men's shirts that makes them so alluring?

Aug 20, 2013

More Robe Progress + Rethinking My Pajama Fabric

I made some progress on the robe today, though not a great deal.  The construction is a bit more complex than it looks: half the sleeve and half the side torso hangs open, so I have to give some thought to how I finish the exposed edges as well the seam allowances.  I originally thought I'd want to use the chartreuse sateen on the cuffs and hem as well as around the front, but I kind of like how it looks now. 

Aug 19, 2013

Getting Started on the Twenties Robe + Monday Garbage Find!

Friends, I thought I'd start today with my latest garbage find, from this afternoon.  It's a paper-mâché....actually I'm not quite sure what you'd call it -- topiary?  (Didn't Lesley Ann Warren have a few of these in her backyard in Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Cinderella"?   Does anybody know what I'm talking about?)

Aug 18, 2013

Knits, Pants Fitting, and Food Poisoning

Digging through my fabric stash, I could find only one knit that was appropriate for making a muslin of Simplicity 9993, my vintage men's knit top pattern.

Aug 15, 2013

What's On My Sewing Table

What's on my sewing table?  On the treadle table I see piles of bills, videos, books, a serger, shears, headphones...can you make out anything else?

Aug 14, 2013

Men's (Fitted) Fall Fashion Post!

Friends, taking advantage of a break between rainstorms yesterday, I managed -- with Michael's help of course -- to photograph my coffee-colored shirt and navy twill pants.  Oh, and my silk tie D-ring belt too!

Thanks to the miracle of technology, you can see our photo shoot live today over at the Mood Sewing Network, simply by clicking here.

Aug 13, 2013

My First Men's Accessory: Silk Tie Becomes D-Ring Belt

Friends, remember this vintage Cerruti silk twill tie I bought at the Salvation Army last week to make a belt with?  Well I made it!

Aug 12, 2013

MPB DAY -- The Musical!

As a much-mocked two-time Oscar winner once gushed, "I can't deny the fact that you like me -- right now, YOU LIKE ME!"

There's so much to tell about MPB 2013, friends.  We laughed, we cried, we schvitzed; we shopped till we dropped, then picked ourselves up and shopped some more.

Aug 9, 2013

MPB DAY Primp-n-Prep!

Friends, I think I'm ready for MPB Day.  Are you?

Aug 8, 2013

Back Darts and the Risks of Overfitting

Readers, would you say this man's shirt is too tight or just right?  How much room do you think he has to lift his arms without ripping out some seams? 

Aug 7, 2013

Box Pleats, Buttons, and Belts, Oh My!

I decided I wanted two identical box-pleat pockets on the front of my shirt, something a little different (for me).

Aug 6, 2013

Butterick 4575 Shirt Update!

Friends, would you say the color of my shirt fabric is café au lait, cappucino, latte, macchiato, or chocolate mocha?

Or tan.

Aug 5, 2013

Changing My Mind or "Ix-nay on the ants-pay"

Readers, do you ever wonder if you wouldn't be better off drafting your own patterns?

Aug 4, 2013

Trip Highlights + Prepping for the Week Ahead

It is good to be back, readers!

I spent the last three days driving around the suburban subdivisions of Macungie, Pennsylvania -- perhaps you've been there -- where Michael's parents are staying temporarily until they move permanently to another Pennsylvania suburb.
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