Friends, I lead with this photo for two reasons: 1) it makes me look popular, and 2) it makes me look tall. An entirely spontaneous yet brilliant composition!
What can I say, folks -- MPB Day was a rousing success. We had an excellent turnout (more than twenty-five people!) and the weather couldn't have been better, which, given the summer we've had, is a minor miracle.
Naturally you're not going to like everybody, but I especially bonded with Jane, Patricia, Noile, Gillian, Maritza, Kimberly, Laura, Amanda, Gardin, Travis, William, Rachel, Cindy, Johanna, Tambira, Sally, Suzanne, Gina, Roberta, Claudine, Grace, Jackie, Jaeng, Jennifer, Joanne and Oliver...have I forgotten anybody?
Every large group has its troublemakers and this group was no exception. Especially irksome were these two perky blondes, Noile and Gardin, who had the audacity to show up bright-eyed at 9:30 am and by 5 pm were still as peppy as June Allyson in a Depends commercial. The nerve of some people.
|These two made me feel like Burgermeister Meisterburger.|
I was basically a cross between the Pied Piper of Hamelin and Maria Von Trapp, and if I'd had my guitar, would certainly have led the group in a rousing rendition of Do Re Mi and My Favorite Things.
And speaking of The Sound of Music (Read no further, Travis!), MPB Day participant Travis had moved to New York City from El Paso, Texas only two days earlier -- after a highly successful run as Rolf at the UTEP Dinner Theater. I think I speak for everyone when I say I would gladly have danced with him in a moonlit pavilion, swastika or no swastika. Just say the word.
|Travis tells Liesl what she can do with her Edelweiss.|
|Sixties Going On Seventies?|
While Travis didn't fly to New York specifically to attend MPB Day (or so he says), William had flown in from Florida, Joanne came all the way from Ithaca, and Jane and Gardin had bussed up from Baltimore that very morning. Wow!
With the exception of Rachel, Claudine, Suzanne, and Amanda, there were, thankfully, very few other bloggers. Who needs the competition?
UPDATE: How did I forget Noile?
Of course, as you'd expect in a crowd of sewers, everybody looked great. There were, however, a few exceptional ensembles. Claudine wore this smocked dress she made (inspired by a Bottega Veneta creation) and it is a work of art.
Cindy wore a smashing orange sundress she'd hemmed with horsehair braid. She told me something about the print and Elvis and I can't for the life of me remember what. Had he worn the same dress?
UPDATE: Elvis had worn a shirt made out of the same Alfred Shaheen print. (Thank you, Sammi!)
Gillian (on the left below) was sporting her own beautifully tailored pinstripe pants. Very chic!
And I must mention Rachel's sailboat print top if only because -- typical blogger -- she kept forcing me to inspect her handiwork whenever I was nearby. Kidding aside, I love that blouse!
Here's the basic run-down of the day:
A small group of us (including the aforementioned perky blondes) met at the flea market in the morning and combed both indoor and outdoor lots for fantastic finds. This is where I did all my shopping for the day.
As you know, I have a bit of a ladies glove fetish, and I picked up four fabulous pair, in pink, beige, metallic silver and gold! I also found a pair of cuff links that look like they'd been stolen by a male hustler right off Liberace's night table. I must make a French cuffed shirt specifically for these cuff links. The whole lot -- $10!
Hat maker Sally, or as I call her, Thoroughly Modern Milliner, found milliner's wire and a gorgeous Mr. John original straw hat -- which
|Gardin and Sally|
At the flea market, we were also joined by Amanda, Kimberly, and many, many members of Kimberly's family!
Readers, I had literally visualized the image below the day before, no joke. I call it "Peter and the Wolf." Spooky, right?
At 11 am we all met outside the FIT museum, where we caught the very wonderful Sporting Life exhibit. The whole group hung out in the gallery for an entire hour, claiming every available seating surface and kibbitzing loudly. I'm sure the guards were like, Who are these people and when are they leaving?
While I warned everyone not to lean in too closely to the mannequins so as not to set off the alarms, do you think they listened? Thankfully, no one called the cops.
We had lunch around the corner at the yummy Brown Cup cafe, and when the twenty-five or so of us entered on what is normally a sleepy Saturday morning, we nearly gave the staff a heart attack. Needless to say, the other customers quickly cleared out and we took over yet again. It's all a bit of a blur but I think I had half a roast beef sandwich and something with provolone and salami (Michael, who joined us for lunch, and I split two sandwiches) -- delicious!
|Patricia, Jennifer Travis, Cindy, Jane, William, Rachel, Suzanne, Joanne, Gina, and Jackie|
|Can I stop smiling now and eat my sandwich, please! (Kimberly and Maritza)|
After lunch we worked our way up to 38th Street, home to Pacific Trim, Sil Thread, and the overwhelmingly immense (and stretchy) Spandex House.
|Grace, Tambira and Patricia at Sil Thread|
|Travis and the Von Trapp Family Sewers at Spandex House|
We then walked up to 39th Street and hit H&M (my old fabric dive) and Chic Fabric, before heading to the more upscale -- and jam-packed -- Mood on 37th Street.
|Do, mi, mi/ Mi so so/ Re fa fa/ La ti ti!|
We next stopped at Around the World Magazines (on 40th St. off 5th Ave.), which carries a huge selection of international pattern and fashion magazines (and books), before advancing to Kinokuniya, where the most beautiful Japanese pattern books can be purchased.
Exhausted and nearly bankrupt, we grabbed some cool refreshments from the Kinokuniya cafe and then successfully captured and held the southwest corner of Bryant Park for the next hour and a half. There might be a few people camped out there still.
Miraculously, there were no traffic accidents, fatal allergy attacks, or police escorts out of fabric stores. Any shoplifting that took place was performed deftly. Having overheard a number of conversations, I'd say the consensus is that, in person, I am older, crankier, and more controlling than I appear on the blog, but more masculine. A trade-off.
In closing, friends, it was a wonderful day, and a real privilege to get to meet so many of you in person. Where should we celebrate MPB Day next year? Maybe London!
Of course I am eager to hear how you spent your MPB Day. Picnics, barbecues, fireworks?
You can see more pics from yesterday's festivities here.
Happy Sunday, everybody!