Friends, the excitement begins tomorrow, and if you're like me, you're already quivering in anticipation of our Men's Shirt Sew-Along. Might I suggest a long walk and/or a cold shower?
Today I'd like to share some additional flea market finds to keep your mind on other things. First, do you know Bill Cunningham, the long-time NY Times photographer who rides through the city on a bicycle documenting fashion trends for his On the Street feature in the the Sunday Styles section?
Well yesterday I found a wonderful vintage copy of a book he published in the Seventies call Facades. It's made up entirely of photographs documenting more than two hundred years of women's fashion modeled by celebrity photographer and (current) nonagenarian Editta Sherman, also known as the Duchess of Carnegie Hall. For a period of many years, Bill collected antique and vintage clothing and accessories he found cheaply in second hand stores and the like (those were the days) and then Editta would model them for him in front of a building of similar vintage as the outfits. It's a wonderful book, not least of of all because Editta is neither young, svelte, nor conventionally beautiful; just charismatic, playful, and gorgeous to look at.
Of course, I immediately thought of a more conventional beauty (Didn't you?) who can also be found strolling the streets in the fashions of yesteryear, albeit new interpretations of same.
Sub sole nihil novi est, right? More pics from Facades here, and you know where to find Cathy (over in the MPB archives, on the right).
Readers, unable to resist the pull back to the Love American Style days, I also bought a few more of those $1 patterns:
A more serious purchase, in anticipation of tomorrow, was yellow tracing paper, a 50 yd. roll of which I picked up at the local art supply store for about $10. I've used drafting paper to draft a few slopers, but I have never traced a pattern before -- do you believe it?
Well I've learned how. While it takes a bit of time and focus, it is not hard. Nearly all the vintage patterns I've used are one size only, so I might trace the pattern either to preserve it or to make adjustments to it. But if you're starting with a multi-sized pattern (like nearly all contemporary patterns), tracing allows you to copy the pattern in one size while preserving all the others, should you ever want to make it in a different size.
This would have been very handy with my vintage Vogue toggle coat pattern, for example, which is quite rare. It never occurred to me: I cut the Small and Small it shall ever remain. I will be tracing my Negroni pattern.
So as you can see, I am already learning new things and the Sew-Along hasn't even started yet.
Which reminds me: one minor caveat before we begin.
I was checking out our Flickr group yesterday and I detected the distinct aroma of locker room. Friends, perhaps for the first time in Sew-Along history, a large number of our participants are men and the male-identified. Therefore I must request that we all observe a few basic rules:
a) Ladies, please do not walk around in a state of undress; b) Gentleman, the same goes for you; c) No smoking and please refrain from wearing heavy perfume; bath splash is acceptable; d) If you must exchange intimacies unrelated to men's shirts please take your comments to your own blogs and/or Flickr pages; e) Always leave the toilet seat in the down position. Signed, the Management.
Please get lots of fresh air and exercise today if possible and of course a good night's sleep is a must: We're going to need all our energy and mental focus in the days ahead. You might even want to sleep alone for the next few weeks if you catch my drift.
See you all on the morrow, patterns and scissors in hand!
I'm a native New Yorker and self-taught sewing fanatic! I've been sewing obsessively since 2009 and today make all my own clothes using mostly vintage patterns and vintage sewing machines. Welcome to the warm and whimsical world of Male Pattern Boldness, where the conversation is sewing, style, fashion, fabric, and more!