Nov 9, 2011
Friends, I grew up in the kind of family where you never shared good news with anyone until it was a 100% sure thing. Otherwise you were inviting the evil eye or something. Very "old country."
But, having now seen it in print, I can formally announce my article in the December 2011/January 2012 issue of Vogue Patterns. I'm so excited -- and honored!
I forget exactly when I wrote this article about my vintage sewing machine collection, entitled "How Many Is Too Many?" (a rhetorical question, readers), but lo and behold, there it is -- me and my proud family of straight stitchers and zigzaggers for the whole world to see. Maybe now my mother will stop asking me, What are you going to do with all those sewing machines? Actually, probably not.
Anyway, yesterday I had the privilege of getting my own private tour of the McCall Pattern Company -- where McCall's, Butterick, and Vogue patterns are created, and where Vogue Patterns magazine is written. I spent nearly four hours with Editor-in-Chief Kathy Marrone, aka The Nicest Person in the World (TNPINW) and staff, and I would have happily slept over -- or just moved in. I may show up tomorrow and see what they do with me.
Here's Kathy, on the left,
I cannot tell you how fantastic it was to meet so many of the people who design patterns, sew up samples (in both muslin and fashion fabric), direct photo shoots, etc., and to watch the process unfold, but I will try. I am hoping to convince Kathy (TNPINW) and staff to redesign the office to accommodate an interior boat cruise (think, It's a Small World at Disneyland) and open it up to the public. It's that neat.
I was so overwhelmed by it all and, frankly, felt a bit awkward asking people I'd never met before who were busy at work if I could take their picture, but I did capture some of it.
In the room below, samples of fabrics and notions currently available throughout the country are stored. This immense library is used to help decide fabric recommendations for whatever pattern is being designed.
Here's the photo studio, with photographer Brian Kraus at the ready. Look at all those shoes!
Below, James Bosco, Vogue Patterns Fashion Editor, shows me his collection of vintage fur collars. I think one of these may end up in a future Cathy photo shoot! James, a master quilter, found his vintage Singer Featherweight for $5. Don't you hate that?
The day was filled with highlights -- and don't ever let anyone tell you there's no such thing as a free lunch, because I had one. (I was so tempted to ask for Kathy's uneaten onion rings, readers, but I resisted.) But if I had to choose just one highlight to share in depth, it would be the company archives.
Here, bound copies of every Butterick, Vogue, and Mccall's pattern book are stored. I could have spent a week in this room, friends, and I think I made a bad impression when I tried to smuggle a few tomes out under my blazer, but nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?
Here's Butterick's Spring & Summer catalog from 1876. It's all about bustles, kids!
You can see more photos from my dream day at McCall's Vogue Butterick (or is it Vogue Butterick McCall's?) here.
But now onto the GIVEAWAY!
I have one copy of the December/January issue of Vogue Patterns magazine with my article in it (as well as one penned by infamous seamstress Elaine May) to give away to one lucky MPB reader!
Readers all over the world are eligible -- in fact, for a nominal fee (airfare) I will deliver it to you myself!
All you have to do is leave a comment below. If you like, you can also add an article suggestion for my next Vogue Patterns contribution (They haven't heard the last of me!). What would you like me to write about next? Featherweights? Vintage men's shirt patterns? Accessorizing photo shoots entirely from the Salvation Army? I want to pick your brain!
Anyway, you have till midnight, EST, Thursday, November 10, to enter, and I'll announce the winner on Friday morning (the 11th).
Of course, you can also order your own issue directly here.
Good luck and -- as always -- thanks for reading MPB!