Resolved.

mccalls 9076

Well, like just about everyone in the western world, I thought about making some resolutions for the new year. You know, stuff like "become professional hula-hoop artist" and "read more improving literature." But for a while now I have realized that most resolutions are nothing more than "do today what tomorrow you will wish you had done yesterday," and that makes resolutions simpler to make (if not easier to keep).

Now, for the holiday break, I had tons of resolutions. I was going to sew! I was going to take pictures of everything I had already sewn, to post here! I was going to send out some holiday cards, and I was going to bake, and I was going to catch up on my email and my reading …

[You can see what's coming here, can't you?]

Yes, the gods laughed, and the entire Dress A Day family spent most of the post-Christmas period sick as the proverbial dogs. When all the neurons in your skull have redirected their efforts to all-out mucus production and your joints feel as if they've been beaten by an assailant with a ball-peen hammer and a meticulous sense of duty, there is not so much with the "catching up". There's quite a lot of the "falling behind," though.

The one good thing about being sick, though, was that, for the first time, my little boy decided to take care of ME. He was the first to fall sick, and having the resilience of youth, he was well again, more or less, in about 36 hours. So he decided to spend his convalescent time ministering to me and to his father, by giving us pharmaceutical-grade hugs, reading quietly by himself while we zonked out on various horizontal surfaces, confining himself to watching only the cartoons that were easily navigated to with the TiVo, and, one glorious morning, by making me a lovely breakfast of toast and orange slices, presented on a tray. Considering that he's only six years old and that he doesn't even make breakfast for *himself*, this was heartbreakingly touching. Although I'm pretty sure he got the idea from this Calvin and Hobbes, which he'd read the night before:

calvin and hobbes

Luckily, he knows not to touch the stove without a phalanx of hovering adults, so I didn't have to dash from my sickbed to call the fire department.

But what has any of this to do with resolutions? Well, this year, besides doing more improving reading, I'm also hoping to sew more from my stash of patterns, which includes this one, above. And to organize them, in one of those fancy binders that has the front and back of each pattern, for easy browsing. That way I can keep the actual patterns sequestered away and filed by number in a nice safe place, instead of piled in drifts around my sewing room. That shouldn't be too hard, right? A couple of weekends of scanning and photocopying? You're right — I shouldn't say that too loudly. The gods are listening, and I could still break an arm …

0 thoughts on “Resolved.

  1. You know, I keep making the same resolution about organizing my vintage patterns! I got started (they’re almost all stored in archival bags — envelope in front of a backing board, contents plus my notes and swatches behine the board, with the number writtenat the top of the board for easy finding; and filed in magazine storage boxes in numerical order) but the original photos I took of them all were just too, well, crappy. My eventual plan is to rescan the fronts and then maybe just make a flickr set of them all (or do it on my PC in picasa) that I can look through so I can refer to them no matter where I am. The binder sounds like a good idea though….like I’ll ever do either!!

    Like

  2. I’m really sorry to hear that you were sick over the holidays. What a bummer. Your son sounds like an angel, though. What a sweetie.I’m not sure if you want to resolve to make that dress for me, but if you do, you know where to find me! I love it. Please, please make it. It’s a great dress and yes, we want to see it when you’re done. Holly

    Like

  3. So sorry to hear about the Dress A Day family’s illness! Enjoyed your description of it, though — made me feel better about my family’s struggles with a similar thing, also over the holidays. And lingering on, and on … we’re trying to reach our homeopath, but she’s closed until Thursday!There might be an easier way to achieve the results you want when archiving your patterns. Years ago, I read this tip in a magazine somewhere; maybe in an old Threads on the “letters” page having been sent in by some brilliant sewist. Anyway, buy some Ziploc or similar plastic bags, the ones that are roughly the size of the big 5’s pattern envelopes. If you have larger pattern packages, like the ones that Folkwear produces, then also buy some 8.5 x 11″ (large) zippered plastic bags. Also buy an equal number of clear plastic sleeves, the 8.5 x 11″ kind that come three-hole punched so that they can be filed in a 3-ring binder. And get some 3-ring binders!Take a pattern, and remove all its contents from its envelope. Place the pattern envelope, by itself, into a 3-hole plastic sleeve. Voil, front and back of pattern showing without the need to scan! Big 5 and other smallish pattern envelopes fit a little loosely into the 8.5 x 11″ plastic sleeve, but one might forgive that. Set the plastic sleeve with its pattern envelope in it aside for now.Then take the pattern contents, (both instructions and tissue) still folded the way they came out of the envelope, and place them into a zippered plastic bag. With Big 5 sizing, some might be a bit snug, but even those will fit with a bit of coaxing. Make sure that the pattern instructions are facing outward so that the make and number of the pattern (eg. Vogue 7997) are what you see when you look at one side (preferably the clear, un-logoed side) of the plastic bag. With luck, you’ll see the line-drawings alongside them. (Burda instructions normally aren’t factory-folded with the number facing outward, so you may have to re-fold them to achieve this.) You’ll have no need to write on, or otherwise label, the zippered plastic bag! Organize your plastic bags into a filing system (i.e. all of them by number, or by company and by number, etc.) and put them away somewhere. They’ll be protected and undisturbed until you need them.Then, take your huge, slippery pile of clear plastic 3-hole sleeves that have their pattern envelopes in them, and start designing your customized 3-ring binder pattern catalogues. Create whatever categories you wish, in other words, and sort your patterns the way you like! You can give your personal catalogues a re-design whenever you want, in terms of how you order their contents!I’ve been using this method for years, and I just love it. It’s easy to add to, whenever growing piles of new patterns get so high that they start going lopsided on this or that table corner. I’ve got seperate binders for Betzina, Vintage, Specialty (Folkwear, etc.), Favourites, Ones I Like, and Won’t Work. Plus one for a friend who I sew for! WIthin these, I sometimes file by dresses, tops, pants, coats, etc. Many a night, when I’m in a catalogue mood, I’ve taken one of my binders into bed for night-time “reading”. I store the pattern contents by number in their zippered plastic bags in drawers in a basement room, and when other items in that room developed a bit of mildew, the patterns in their sealed bags were happily unaffected.Hope this tip is of use!Susan

    Like

  4. Your son sounds like a keeper. I also have a 6 year old son, so I know they can be endearingly sweet at times!Good luck with the resolutions!

    Like

  5. So sorry that you have been sick, but glad your getting better. I learned a long time ago not to make new year’s resolutions, but I do try and set new goals for my business. Personally I would like to sew a lot more this year for myself and take the time to make it right. No more slap dash sewing.

    Like

  6. I use gallon size zip lock bags to store patterns simply because I don’t want to bother folding them up all teeny tiny again after I’ve unfolded them. I don’t cut my patterns, I trace them, so the big zip lock has the original pattern, the instructions, the pattern envelope, and all the traced pieces all in one place. I put the pattern envelope on the clear (non-logo) side of the zip lock bag so I can see what’s inside. A little “smash and zip” action to force out extra air makes the zip lock bags fairly flat.However, I’d still like to have a binder to flip through, with copies of the pattern envelope, the line drawings and that summary of pattern pieces that appear at the beginning of the instructions. Resolution #83 for 2007, I suppose.CMC

    Like

  7. Sorry to hear you guys were sick, though the re-telling of it was very funny! My resolutions run from the sublime (make and wear more dresses- yes, this is because of you!) to the ridiculous (lose weight to look better in said vintage dresses) Mostly, I find it best not to stress out about any of them though

    Like

  8. I always get in an organizational frenzy at the new year and this year it caused me to put in an offer on a house! this was mostly because of all of the sewing paraphernalia but also because i recognized the futility of trying to fit ten pounds of whatever into a five pound bag, be it clear, ziplock, etc! Hope you are all feeling better! Chris

    Like

  9. I hope you feel all recovered soon. My family all got a bad cold starting right before Christmas too, one after another ending (I hope) with my poor husband who has it now.

    Like

  10. Reminds me of a time when my son was about 4 and I was sick on the couch, asleep. He appeared smeared with chocolate and with a plate containing a carrot and several Girl Scout thin chocolet mint cookies “Here Mommy, these are yum!”

    Like

  11. I use the Nancy’s Notions Pattern Paper. Search for item PP3 on the Nancy’s Notions web site; it’s difficult to link directly to a specific item on that site: https://www.nancysnotions.com/ About $7 for 77 yards, 21 inches wide. I’ve been using it for years. This is exactly the same paper rolled out over the examination table at your doctor’s office. I also use NN’s Sewer’s Fixit tape (item SFT3) which is another medical product – paper first aid tape, which you can IRON without it melting (unlike Scotch-type tapes). NN’s prices on these products are about as good as you will find anywhere. Medical supply stores tend to want sell only cases of paper or tape.I fold up my traced patterns and put them in the zip lock bags, but I can and do press them with an iron without any problems if I want to remove fold lines or wrinkles; it’s much sturdier than tissue paper. The paper is cheap enough that I can trace off as many altered versions of a pattern as I might need or want without worrying about the cost.If you do tissue fitting, this is probably not your best choice; it’s not as flexible as some other products, but it’s also not as expensive. However, there’s no Sewing Police Rule that says you can only use one type of tracing paper.CMC

    Like

  12. Oracle, I’m glad you found the tip useful. Yes, I am the originator of that tip, and I have scattered it far and wide over the years. I even scattered it here, once upon a post. These days, thanks to Gallon-Sized Ziploc baggies and their ilk (with real zippers!), I usually recommend the gallon-sized bags, which accomodate the way most patterns expand when they hit the air and you’ve used them once (or just opened them up and looked at the pieces).My own original filing system has been that all the patterns are filed numerically, regardless of the manufacturer, so that they can be found reasonably easily – instead of trying to remember where the Vogue 5000 series is, all you have to do is locate the 5000 box or drawer. My binders are broken down into Suit, Jacket, Top, Dress, Lingerie/Coat and Costume binders, pretty much the way pattern books are broken down, but if there are other categories that work better for you, then that’s a Good Thing. This way, it doesn’t matter if I’m looking for a Vogue, a New Look, or a Style dress; I just flip open to the Dress section of the binder, and toddle off to the pattern boxes and pick out my pattern by its number.The funniest tip I ever read was from some “professional” sewist who recommended putting everything you needed for a sewing project – pattern, findings, trim, fabric, etc. – into a Ziplock baggie. Amid the chortles of glee, I said, “I didn’t know that Ziploc made Hefty bags!” The joke is on me now, of course, because they sort of do – there are Very Large Ziploc-type bags now available. At the time, however, I think “quart” was the largest size available, and there was no way I was going to fit a pattern I drafted, never mind the ten or fifteen yards of fabric, plus trim, for one of my projects into a quart bag. The Very Large Ziplocs (which aren’t exactly cheap, but which are cheaper than storage tubs), are a current weapon in my battle against Mothra. They are stopgap only, because it’s Very Bad to store fabrics in plastic – gas builds up and causes discolouration, among other things, but Mothra eating my fabric is even worse, so I’m going with the Lesser of Two Evils at the moment, and at least I can see my fabrics, and occasionally open the bags up to let them breathe.I’m glad Clan Dress A Day is feeling better; I spent the holiday trying to breathe, also, and it was tiring, frustrating, and not what I planned. This year, I want to be both more organized, and get more sewing done; and there’s definitely a link between these two goals!

    Like

  13. I think ‘A’ just scored a one up on blue ‘B’ by making a deliciously wicked remark about the unfortunate protrusion on blue ‘B’s right hip while red ‘B’ although pretending not to notice, is relaying the encounter over her ear pod cellular device. Finding others wearing the same fabuluos design as one previously thought of as her singular discovery tends to bring out the worst in some.

    Like

  14. Wow, la belladonna, so that was *your* tip!I must not have seen the time you posted it here yourself, so for those who had to see it twice, my apologies.la belladonna, I’m very interested in *outgassing* for a number of reasons. So I want to know, if you know: when storing fabrics in plastic (which I don’t, but that’s irrelevant), what causes the gas build-up that you mention? Does it come from the fabrics (or what they’re treated with), or from the plastic (which smells pretty bad on its own, oh yes, in my opinion!) Or both?Susan

    Like

  15. Geez. I’m not interested in ‘outgassing’ myself, needless to say — not if I don’t have to! Although one can argue that for the sake of one’s health … no. I trust that my intended meaning was clear. (There’s something to be said for not writing in too much of a hurry, as long as one has the time …)

    Like

  16. Oracle, since I suspect not everyone reads the archived posts, I don’t suppose too many people mind seeing that kind of information again – and it gave me a thrilling feeling of vindication, so as far as I’m concerned, it was worth it for that alone! [When you saw my originally post back in the Jurassic, it might have been under another nom de seam, too.] I will do a nice proper chemical check later, but I’m going to go with four reasons, to start:1. The normal process of decay of the plastic bags themselves produce gas, which the bags seal in (don’t know if this technically counts as “outgassing,” per se);2. The normal process of decay of the fabric can also produce gas, which the bags seal in;3. Exposure to a light source can cause condensation to build up and evaporate in plastic bags; and4. Most fabrics are treated with various chemical processes to “finish” them – including formaldehyde! – which gives another substance (or substances) to decay and produce gas in your convenient sealed system.Dear ladies (and sirs), that last is reason alone to try to remember to WASH – not dryclean – your (washable) fabrics when you get them home, instead of waiting until just before you sew them to preshrink them. If you keep your fabrics stored in a confined space, such as your workroom (apartment, bedroom, living room, whatever) and some of you, like me, have A LOT of fabric, you can be made very, very ill from exposure over a prolonged period to these different factory fabric finishes! So for the sake of your health, please add a New Year Resolution to WASH your wonderful new/old fabric as soon as you get it home! (And the next resolution might be to wash any part of your stash that is still waiting in its factory-fresh condition on your shelves.)**Don’t be over-thorough and starch your washed fabrics! It will attract all of God’s little creatures that like to eat starch, and there are a lot of them (including mold and mildew)!***If you bleach any of the fabrics, run them through extra rinse cycles, using water only, because the bleach will also cause the fabric to break down.Okay, five reasons.5. Drycleaning fluid, etc. etc. buildup of gas, etc. – you know the drill by now.Whenever possible, store like fabrics with like fabrics – wools with wools, linens with linens, etc., because these different fabrics will also have different chemical reactions with each other; when silk is stored touching anything other than silk, it deteriorates more quickly. And yes, that means the silk lining in your wool jacket will deteriorate more quickly than if it lined a silk jacket instead.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s