Friends, on this final day of 2012, many of you are no doubt dressing for glamorous New Year's Eve parties. Are any of you planning to wear something with a big taffeta flounce? (A little taffeta flounce?)
Friends, if there's one thing I learned living through the Eighties, it's that oversized clothing does not flatter undersized people. The Eighties was a bad decade for me style-wise and perhaps for you too.
Seriously, I do think hats are great. Not only do they keep your head warm in winter and cool in summer, they can give an ordinary face a little something extra and they can certainly pull together an outfit. I have never made a hat myself (a few makeshift turbans notwithstanding) but I've come close. Remember when I planned to make myself a bucket hat? For various reasons, that never happened.
We made it through the holidays, readers! Most of them, anyway.
I have so many exciting things to share with you, so let's get started. I couldn't be happier after days of overeating than to slip into my new Rago waist cincher. I was going to include an Amazon link, but I noticed that the price went up from approximately $25 to $38 in the week since I ordered it. Isn't that wack? I've noticed price shifts on Amazon before, but this is ridiculous.
Readers near and far, the holidays are finally here!
There are two ways to celebrate Christmas (and all those other end-of-year winter holidays): straight, or with a twist of irony. Of course, many people would rather have just the twist, but irony doesn't work that way.
Friends, so many of us will be traveling this holiday season, a great many by air.
I'm sure most American MPB readers -- a sophisticated, nomadic bunch -- are familiar with Sky Mall. How many of us have flipped through the colorful Sky Mall catalog while taxiing on the runway, calming our nerves during a bit of turbulence over the Rockies, or distracting ourselves from the child vomiting across the aisle?
So three years ago I made this Western-style shirt. I used a vintage Seventies McCall's pattern and fabric I found locally for $2/yd. which turned out to be Pendleton wool. I was so proud of the result. I mean, I'd only been sewing for four months.
As promised, readers, here are some photos from last night's star-studded, super-fun Pattern Review NYC anniversary bash at Elliott Berman. I met so many interesting people, the food was delicious, and I even won fabric!
Hallelujah, friends, my color block shirt is finished! Well, almost. I still have to hem the bottom and add buttons and buttonholes, but it will only have three of each, plus the cuffs of course. And a bit of pressing. But I couldn't wait to share it with you.
Readers, I've spent a lot of time the last few days thinking about color blocked shirts. I've done extensive online research, even exploring the Saks Fifth Avenue menswear website, where there were a number of color blocked shirts available. And they were all on sale. (This look is not taking the world by storm.)
Friends, when it comes to clothes I actually wear on a regular basis, I'm pretty conventional.
Sure, I'll tiptoe around the edges of avant-garde -- leopard pants here, flower power shirt cuffs there -- but usually with trepidation and not a little regret. I know what I'm comfortable in and it's generally the tired and true (whoops -- that should read tried and true, LOL!).
Having pre-washed and pre-shrunk my beautiful blue flannel from Mood, I am ready to begin making Michael's shirt. This morning I'm wondering which machine I should make it on: I have so many options (ten, I think). My choice in this regard is usually based simply on which machine is out, has sufficient clear space around it (as opposed to piles of whatever), and needs the least amount of prep.
Readers, I own roughly three hundred patterns, maybe a few more, most of them vintage.
I don't know exactly how this happened. I purchased many of them myself -- mainly on Etsy, eBay, and at the flea market -- but others were gifted to me by desperately decluttering MPB readers. I appreciate these donations, I really do, but larger numbers of patterns has meant better organization is a must. Today I'd like to share my system with you.
Friends, a bit of advice: do not shop online at night, especially on sites like Etsy and eBay, where one-of-a-kind collectibles are available for purchase at the strike of a computer key. After 11 pm, particularly around a holiday, one's resistence WILL BE LOW.
Readers, I am officially a man on a mission! With the holidays upon us, I have decided it's time to make Cathy a really sumptuous evening dress and, after watching the 1948 Esther Williams film, "On An Island With You," I have become obsessed with this Irene Lentz-Gibbons (more commonly known as Irene) dress worn by Cyd Charisse in a tango she performs with Ricardo Montalban.
As you can see up top, I decided to add contrasting gingham trim to the boxers I'm making, using scraps left over from my very first sewing project (which, coincidentally, happened to be a pair of boxers, though much less fancy than these).
Friends, has this ever happened to you? You finish a big project, you're a little spent, and you have no idea what's next. Not to mention it's Diwali, the Indian "Festival of Lights" -- always a distraction when your sister-in-law is from Mumbai.
How lucky I am that after Hurricane Sandy destroyed my Halloween plans (along with a few New York City neighborhoods), my dear cousin Cathy offered to model my costume, so that you, dear readers, would get to see it and I wouldn't have to shave my legs.
Readers, if you've been following me a while, you know that I'm something of a tightwad. I hate to spend more than I have to and will only purchase something brand new if I have no other reasonable choice.
But like many tightwads — perhaps, one might argue, by virtue of being a tightwad — I am willing to cough up the dough for certain things that are important to me.
There aren't many of these, of course, but there are a few.
I'm nearly finished with my costume, readers. Getting the beaded gimp onto the harem pants was not as easy as it looks -- or does it look easy at all? There are so many layers to deal with: gathered chiffon, power net, gold mesh, embroidered trim -- and of course you have to keep all those beads out of the way.
As far as tomorrow's Halloween Costume Ball, the neighborhood where it's to take place is still without power. Ticket holders have been offered reimbursements. Even if it were to happen, Halloween is over. I'm just not feeling it right now.
As I announced late yesterday, my Halloween Costume Ball has been rescheduled for this coming Saturday, November 3rd. Therefore I've decided to extend our Halloween Sew-Along. This means three extra days of Halloween costume-making fun: beads, chiffon, and glitter eye shadow -- and that's just the dogs!
Readers, we survived Hurricane Sandy. We are incredibly fortunate that our apartment complex has its own power generator: we're practically the only ones with electricity in lower Manhattan! Our iPads are fully charged and, after some strong morning espresso, so are we.
Friends, bad weather is on the way and I'm not sure what to expect.
Michael and I were out walking the dogs earlier today and most stores and restaurants were closed with their windows taped over. Right now (approximately 1:30 pm), the winds are getting gusty and it's raining. I think the worst is scheduled for tonight.
I'm a native New Yorker and sewing fanatic! I started sewing in 2009 and today make all my own clothes using vintage sewing machines and vintage patterns, in addition to sewing for private clients. Welcome to the warm and whimsical world of Male Pattern Boldness, where the conversation is sewing, style, fashion, fabric, and more!