Happy New Year!

Dear Constant Reader,

I hope 2020 is treating you well!

I’m often asked if there’s a place you can find all my Friday Tips and until now, the best way was to search on the tag “tips”, which wasn’t so helpful if you were looking for a specific tip. Now you can find all my Friday Tips right here in a helpful chronological list. Just click the tip and you’ll go to the original post.

I’d like to create some tutorials! Please pick your favorite on this little poll.


Next week I’ll announce the winner.

M2These writings and other creative projects are supported by my Patrons. Thank you so much! To become a Patron, go to my Patreon page. Or you can just tip me if you liked this.

Published in: on 6 January 2020 at 2:54 pm  Leave a Comment  
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So Close

Dear Constant Reader,

The Boston Babydolls are in a tight 3-way race for Best Theatre Group on The Boston A-List. Your vote could make all the difference! If a burlesque troupe won, it would go a long way toward continuing to have our art form recognized as legitimate theatre.

We’re in the last few days of voting and we need your help. Just go hare and cast your cote. You’ll need to make an account and then you can vote for us and other nifty businesses in the Boston area. Like B.A.B.E. for Best Dance Classes…

As always, thanks for your support! And to show my appreciation, here’s a picture of The Boston Babydolls playing Twister.

M2

Published in: on 28 July 2014 at 9:26 am  Leave a Comment  
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Signal Boosting

Dear Constant Reader,

The Boston Babydolls have been nominated for Best Theatre Group by The Boston A-List. We’re delighted but we’d be even more so if we won (and you know how Brigitte feels about winning!). Please vote for us!

And while you’re at it, please vote for B.A.B.E for Best Dance Classes.

While I’ve got you in a generous mood, I’d like to mention The Wages of Sin, my favorite band for punk rock sea shanties & Appalachian death polka. I’m not kidding. The Wages are putting out a new album for the first time since, well, I went to the release party during the very first BurlyCon, so let’s just say that it’s been a while. Because they’re all old-fashioned and cool, they want to put their album out on vinyl (as well at the usual CD & download) and they’ve got a Kickstarter campaign to fund it. Check it out!

M2

Published in: on 12 June 2014 at 10:31 am  Leave a Comment  
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Out of the Running

Dear Constant Reader,

I know so many of you wanted me to make the Leading Lady Gown for my little Dress Me contest, but after really looking over the pattern (I didn’t actually have it in my hot little hands when I so blithely included it), it wants a lot of time, care, and potentially much cursing and stuffing it out of sight for a while while I sulk in frustration.

So, I’m taking it out of this contest. Never fear, I will make it at some point in the future, but when I’m good and ready.

So, if you voted for the Leading Lady Gown, please cast your vote again. The options are…

Butterick 4790

Butterick 4919

Butterick 5281

Butterick 5556

Butterick 5557

Butterick 5813

Butterick 5882

Butterick 6582

Craftsy Bombshell Dress
No picture because it’s a class

Sew Chic Tia Dress (also a Craftsy class)

Decade of Style 1933 Evening Gown

And the current standings are:
1933 Evening Gown: 3
Butterick 6582 View A: 1
Butterick 4790: 1
Butterick 4919: 1
Butterick 5556 View A: 1/2*
Butterick 5556 View B: 1/2

M2

Published in: on 7 May 2014 at 11:30 am  Comments (2)  
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So far…

Dear Constant Reader,

I got a lot of responses on the first day of my Dress Me contest.

So far the results are:
Leading Lady Gown: 6
1933 Evening Gown: 3
Butterick 6582 View A: 1
Butterick 4790: 1
Butterick 4919: 1
Butterick 5556 View A: 1/2*
Butterick 5556 View B: 1/2

I put up this poll before my 1930’s patterns actually arrived and, despite its commanding lead, I might pull the Leading Lady Gown out of the competition. Now that I’ve actually looked it over, it’s going to be a challenge and I want to take my time and a lot of care with it. It might not be the best option for this particular project, where I want to be giving you frequent updates.

Have an opinion on which dress I should make for myself next? Leave a comment on the original post.

In other news, tonight is Teaseday! Brigitte Bisoux is currently in the lead for ticket sales (shock!). If you want some say in who the Cookie Queen (or King) is, buy your tickets now!

M2
*If someone gave a second choice, it got a half vote.

Published in: on 6 May 2014 at 9:37 am  Leave a Comment  
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Dress Me Again

Dear Constant Reader,

Last year I ran a little contest where you, my Constant Reader, picked which dress I should make from my vast collection of unused patterns and I would blog about it.

The winner was Folkwear Fifties Fit & Flair. Unfortunately, it was not so successful… Live, learn, and make muslins first.

But I’m willing to try again!

For the next week, I’m going to let you pick what dress I should make next. Just leave a comment below and the dress with the most votes wins! I’ll make that one and keep you updated on my progress from fabric to wearable, hopefully with lots of pictures. Please specify which version of the pattern you like, if there’s more than one variation. Click the picture to go to the full description.

The candidates are :

Butterick 4790

Butterick 4919

Butterick 5281

Butterick 5556

Butterick 5557

Butterick 5813

Butterick 5882

Butterick 6582

Craftsy Bombshell Dress
No picture because it’s a class

Sew Chic Tia Dress (also a Craftsy class)

Decades of Style 1933 Evening Gown

Decades of Style 1930s Leading Lady Gown

So, you have until next Monday to leave a comment with your vote!

M2

Published in: on 5 May 2014 at 10:06 am  Comments (13)  
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Thank you!

Dear Constant Reader,

I am so proud to announce that The Boston Babydolls were named one of Boston’s Top 5 Theatre Groups by the A-List! The A.R.T., Huntington, SpeakEasy, Winthrop Playmakers, and us!

Thank you so much for your support and for showing that Greater Boston recognizes modern burlesque as a legitimate form of theatre.

M2>

Published in: on 5 August 2013 at 11:44 am  Leave a Comment  
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Twice is Nice

Dear Constant Reader,

I’ve been gently reminding you that the Boston Babydolls were nominated as “Best Theatre Group” on The Boston A-List. We’ve been holding our own at 5th place.

Today I just discovered that B.A.B.E. was nominated for “Best Dance Classes“! Nobody told me! We’re in 10th place.

So, pretty please, will you vote for us?

M2

Published in: on 13 June 2013 at 12:27 pm  Leave a Comment  
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More Sewing

Dear Constant Reader,

Please vote for The Boston Babydolls as “Best Theatre Group” on The Boston A-List. We’re currently in 5th place!


More stitching yesterday. I sewed the other 3 darts and then seamed the front bodice together. What do you think?

That white line has nothing to do with it, by the way. That’s just some chalk left over from when I was figuring out placement.

Next step was putting in the pockets. Pockets! Oh joy! That wasn’t me being sarcastic. I love pockets. And they’re easy when they’re on a seam. Once that was done, I had the whole front of the skirt sewn together. Then I sewed the skirt front to the bodice front.

This should give you a rough idea of what the finished product will look like.

I also sewed the skirt back pieces together. I would have done more, but at this point it was time to pick up Scratch and Betty from the airport.

Next up, the back skirt panels need to be pressed and then sewn to the two pieces of the back bodice. The rest of my week is pretty busy what with rehearsal tonight, chair dance class and the DrinkOne benefit tomorrow, and weddings over the weekend. I’m not sure when I’ll pick this up again.

M2

Published in: on 5 June 2013 at 11:09 am  Leave a Comment  
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First Steps

Dear Constant Reader,

Please vote for The Boston Babydolls as “Best Theatre Group” on The Boston A-List. You only have to vote once!


I have begun the Fit & Flair dress with my least favorite part: cutting. It wasn’t too terrible. The cotton fabric is quite crisp, even after washing, so it stayed put. Fabric that slithers makes me crazy.

I had to be a little clever in my lay-out. The material is supposed to be folded across the width, as opposed to the usual way along the length, because the majority of the pieces are too wide for a half width. However, the floral pattern is directional, so I couldn’t just fold the fabric. If I did, half the skirt would have upside down flowers. This also meant I couldn’t place the pieces as shown on the pattern layout or I would also have upside down flowers.

So, I marked all the pieces that were getting cut this way (all the skirt panels except the front, the pockets, and facings) and then cut that swath of fabric off. Then I laid it on top of the remaining fabric. Then I started to cut and began to curse. I had made a total rookie mistake. Both pieces of fabric were right side up. That meant instead of mirror images, I was going to have 2 left sides. Fortunately, I caught it very early. And I had bought a little extra fabric. Of course the bit I cut was a curve, so I lost quite a bit of fabric.

Having flipped the fabric, so both sections were wrong side in, I finished cutting that part and was starting to worry about those slashes interfering. I cut the center skirt panel (on the fold) and just had the bodice pieces to worry about.

The bodice and dolman sleeves are cut in one, which means there has to be a center front seam. I find them very distracting, especially when they break a pattern, so I was resolved to match the pattern. This was an exacting process but kind of fun. It’s the kind of problem solving I enjoy. With all luck, the center front seam will hardly be noticeable. *fingers crossed*. The back was no big deal to cut and I’m left with a goodly amount of fabric (if I work around two slashes). Maybe it will become a charming purse.

And this was the result!

So exciting, I know. I keep the fabric pieces paired with the pattern pieces until I start to sew on them. It lessens confusion.

The next step is to get sewing! And we started with possibly my second least favorite things — darts. Both the front and the back of the bodice are darted for a good fit. I don’t mind sewing darts; it’s marking them that gives me grief.

Eventually I prevailed and did this:

Then my bobbin ran out of thread and I took that as a sign that I should hang it up for the night.

M2

Published in: on 4 June 2013 at 3:14 pm  Leave a Comment  
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