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Jan 24, 2012

Pattern Stash Confessions, Part 2 + Pass the Pie!



Readers, I was stunned -- stunned -- to discover how many MPB readers are simply nuts about pie!

And speaking of pie, many of you are probably wondering what kind of pie I like.  I'll be brief(ish):  While I enjoy a savory shepherd's pie from time to time (I am fortunate to live near the extraordinary Myers of Keswick grocery store, which offers a vast selection of fresh, savory English pies daily), pie to me remains primarily a sweet dessert.

A homemade pie made with fresh ingredients is almost always a pleasure to eat.  I loathe artificial sugar substitutes and prefer my pie served alone rather than laden with whipped cream, swimming in melted ice cream or dripping with molten cheddar cheese.  A lemon meringue pie, not too sweet, is a marvelous thing, especially if the meringue is mile high and slightly toasted on top.

I love cherry pie, especially with sour cherries, but I find this kind of pie is often made with inferior canned cherries and has a soggy crust.  Whole Foods makes a decent cherry pie, not to-die-for but not bad for store bought.  Nothing beats a delicious slice of fresh apple pie, but I've found that apple pies often have thick, leaden crusts, and the apple filling is not sufficiently baked (I don't want applesauce, but I like my apple pie juicy), or there is too much cinnamon.  Less is more.  Same goes with sugar -- not too sweet, please.  While I do like pecan pie, it's usually too sweet, or too full of Karo syrup and not enough pecans.

Finally, in autumn, nothing is more delicious to me than pumpkin or squash pie.  I prefer mine light, not too sweet, and slightly chilled.

My goodness, what a pie snob I've become!  Come to think of it, I prefer cake.  Let's move on.  You have till midnight EST tonight to throw your hat in the ring for the Vintage Vogue pattern I'm giving away, and you don't have to mention pie at all.   

Today, I finally documented my men's pattern stash!  Readers, I own roughly one hundred men's patterns (every time I count I come up with a slightly different number).  Scary.





Here's a bit of pattern shopping advice: never buy a "lot" on eBay.  You will always end up with many more patterns than you want and/or need.  (There's a reason why they call it a lot.  Maybe they should call it too much.)  I made this mistake just once and ended up with a boxful of roughly thirty patterns, half of which were the wrong size and should be given away -- but to whom?





Men's patterns are, of course, much less varied than women's patterns and frankly, less fun.  I've used a pretty wide variety considering how similar my finished projects ended up looking.  I don't think anyone needs more than one pajama pattern, for example, provided it includes a nightshirt.  There are slight differences in men's patterns: princess seams on a shirt, unusual pocket placement, epaulets, bell bottoms instead of straight leg, Western style shirt yokes, etc., but it's still mostly pants and shirts.





I've created a Picasa file of my men's patterns as I did for my women's patterns, and have included shots of my completed projects immediately after the pattern used.  In some cases, you'll see more than one project if I used a particular pattern multiple times.  I won't say this is everything I've sewn for me and Michael, but almost.  It's a biggish file so you might want to save it for after dinner, perhaps accompanied by pie!

As always, you can view these pics full size by clicking on any one, which will take you directly to Picasa, where you can scroll through at your own pace or watch it as a slide show.



I love having an archive I can access easily, and I'll be adding to it as I continue to sew. 

I'll bet many of you have at least a few of these patterns, am I right?  As you can see, I have all the Seventies patterns anyone could possibly want, in a wide variety of sizes just in case I puff up in the next few decades.  I think as far as men's patterns are concerned, I am done. 

Question: Why would anyone bother to sew a man's tie?  Good gracious, the thrift stores can hardly give them away.  Am I missing something?

Have a great day everybody!

29 comments:

  1. I got to the picture of the Jumpsuit pattern, and thought "oh, no he didn't." Next picture--the yellow jumpsuit. Too much fun! Your creations are wonderfully executed, and you certainly have a talent.

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  2. Speaking of men's fashion not changing too much or too rapidly, the seventies were certainly "out there" relative to other decades. When else could men wear those little jumpsuits?

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    1. Back then there was something new in the catalogs every month! Now there's nothing...I can't understand what happened!!

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  3. I can't believe it, I actually have a few that you DON'T have! While they were streaming by I actually had to stop the slideshow. Hey! is that Mitt Romney in that white Simplicity jumpsuit! And OMG you have that great Willi Smith pimp coat pattern. Thanks so much for sharing your stash, not to mention your wit, insights, enthusiasm and talent with all of us MPB fans. My day really isn't complete without checking into your blog.

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  4. Wow, you really have made a lot of great shirts!

    Since you mention Myers of Keswick and pecan pie in the same post... I use Lyle's Golden Syrup (available at MoK) rather than Karo, and I add extra pecans and a pinch of salt to my pie because I don't like it too cloyingly sweet, either.

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  5. Why would anyone make a man's tie? Because the stores where we are carry only ties that we don't like the look or feel of. Because I can. Because there aren't a lot of fiddly bits in tie making, and I can do it in the middle of the night while other people sleep, because I have a highly developed sense of whimsy, because it is almost instant gratification....

    Why would anyone make (or wear) a jumpsuit? There's a pattern for every whim, and tie making is a relatively benign mania.

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  6. What's the deal with the proportions on some of the pictures from the 70's? If there was a man with the proportions on Simplicity 5656, he would be a freak of nature!

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    1. In those crazy prints, he WOULD be freak of nature!

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  7. Oh pie. I didn't have time yesterday to comment. I'm totally in agreement with you on the joys of a proper lemon meringue and tart cherry. But my all time favorite is a perfectly sweet and tart rhubarb pie. I grew up in rural Michigan and my mother and grandmother made perfect rhubarb pies using home-grown rhubarb. I used to have my own little patch of rhubarb at my old house and I am proud to say that the pie-making gene did get passed down to me. But alas I now spend all my time working, sewing and theatering (it IS a word! I swear!) and have little time for pie making.

    I have a box of old patterns from the 60s & 70s that was handed down to me from my mother. I know that some of these fabulous men's fashions are in there because I remember my father sporting jumpsuits and leisure suits that my mother made for him (yes, in double knit no less.)

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  8. Only had 2 out of all those patterns. 8255 and 2118. Made the western shirt for my -then-husband, and he gave it to my daughter. Those 70's pants...whew! But then I haven't had a man to sew for for many years and got rid of all those patterns a LONG time ago.
    Your ability to sew men's clothing knocks my socks off. And I would NEVER make a tie!

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  9. Where do you get sour cherries? My aunt used to have a sour cherry tree, and perhaps the tree is still there, but since she's been dead for 10 years or so, I assume I don't have access to it.

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  10. I have three younger brothers, and growing up my mom sewed mens ties at least once a year, usually so my brothers (and my father, much to his chagrin) could have matching ties for a holiday. These ties were usually made with the same fabric or a coordinating fabric to the dresses Mom made for me and my two younger sisters (and herself, of course). She sewed neck ties and bow ties pretty indiscriminately when we were little, and sewing them let her choose the fabric and adapt the size for my brothers' ages. In more recent years, I think she may have even whipped up a set for one of my sibling's weddings, but I try to stay as far away from Mom-in-wedding-mode as possible, heh.

    I happened to marry a guy who is pretty anti-tie (though he will wear an untied bowtie, given the right occasion), so I adapted the tradition: for every gown I've made for myself, I've made him a little pocket square out of a bit of scrap fabric from my gown. It dresses up his plain black suit nicely without being quite the insanity level of two parents and six kids all wearing the same holiday satin fabric, lol.

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  11. I have a confession to make--amidst much swearing at the damn thing while trying to turn it, I have made a tie. It was during my textiles class, and it was something I hadn't yet made, it takes a surprising amount of yardage, and at the time, my brother was into absolutely unique ties. How more unique can you get than a tie made from hand-dyed fabric? I've also promised him that if he can find me some Georgia Tech silk, I'll make him a bowtie. (Please note I said silk. Collegiate fabrics only come in quilters' cotton, flannel, and fleece!)

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  12. I sewed men's ties for Christmas this year. My FIL sent me 9+ yards of a wool blend tartan he believes to be his family tartan last July. (I found conflicting information on the ever-reliable internet!) I didn't know what to do with it, until the holidays approached. I had an AH-HA moment, and, in short order, 3 men's ties were sewn: one each for my FIL, my BIL, and my DH. Also, a 60" square, fringed, throw for my BIL's permanent GF.

    However, without the motivation of 9+ yards of plaid fabric, I doubt I would ever have sewn a men's tie!

    And we love pie in this house, too!

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  13. Well if you want your boyfriend's bowtie to match your gown you have to make it. I confess to more than one of these. It was in the same period that I made myself a dress to match the dining room curtains and tablecloth. Fortunately, after therapy I was able to quit the habit and now you can usually tell me from the furniture.
    Yesterday was too hot to turn on the computer. I didn't want the pattern but I'm sorry I missed the anniversary. Congratulations and may you blog joyfully on through 2012.

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    1. Oh no!! A dress to match your decor! You're kidding! LOL!!

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    2. Barbara Streisand did that - it's in her book about her fabulous estate where she discusses her love of fashion. There's a photo of her sitting on the couch that she matched - very amusing!

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  14. Hi Peter,
    Is this crazy, or what: There is a pattern on ebay that has a current bid of can*you*believe $405.00 (U.S. not yen), "Vintage 60's Molyneux Vogue Paris Original Pattern," and there are days left to go. I remember you saying you would never pay $25 for a vintage pattern! And, yes, "a lot" of patterns has come to mean "a LOT" of patterns for me (Ebay-wise). Love your blog!!! -- Patty in San Jose

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  15. That yellow jumpsuit is amazing. It's like DEVO and Arthur Slugworth got together and had a baby.

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  16. Ties also require a special interfacing too for the inside good luck finding that outside the garment district although I suppose it could be repurposed from a thrift shop tie.

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  17. Dude that bell bottom pattern is RAD! And my size btw....

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  19. And of course I had a horrible typo in my original comment. Fixed here:

    De-lurking (briefly) to say that I would (should) make ties. I frequently wear a tie to the office, and even as a long-waisted woman, the ties I find are too long.

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  20. Feeling kindred after your pie review (not too sweet, slightly toasted, tart, chilled).

    Those patterns tell of a time when any man could easily express himself in color, pattern, or style. Now doing that is the (rare) exception, not the rule.

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  21. Speaking of baking(and of fashionable men)is Michael ever going to resurrect the Pleasing My Palate blog? I do hope you both have been well fed in the meantime-

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  22. You have inspired me to go over to EBay to get a "lot" of men's patterns

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  23. I have to make a confession...I have a Vogue men's caftan pattern from the 70's...and when it was new I actually made one and wore it...in green linen-like fabric. How's that for tacky? As for pie, make mine apple with real homemade pastry or a nice Key lime. The simpler the better. Actually, men's patterns were better when there was more variety and less predictability. So much for simpler times.

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  24. as to why anyone would sew a men's tie, I have made two so far both for my husband. The first one was from leftover silk dupion; I made an outfit to wear to my sister's wedding then used the leftovers to make my husband a matching tie. I don't think anyone noticed though. The other time was when I made him a tie to wear for Pesach out of "matzah" fabric. Cute and it got lots of comments in shule.

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  25. I really love the flower pants from the 8255 pattern. I mean I love the picture, it's colors... I'm not sure I would sew it for my man or he will accept to wear it either. I never sew for him because I don't own males pattern, never got the idea to check on e-bay. I'll go and have a look!

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