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Sep 17, 2012

Last Swimsuit Post of 2012 + Gertie Gossip!

Happy Monday, readers!

Beside stumbling on fifteen yards of heavily beaded trim at the flea market this weekend, I also got to attend Gretchen's Pets Alive benefit party on Saturday night, and what a treat it was!  Our hostess was glamour personified in a midnight blue strapless cocktail dress of embroidered cotton organdy with taffeta underlay (did I get that right?) -- her own creation -- with handsome husband Jeff coolly conservative in head-to-toe Men's Wearhouse.  Such a smart couple!

An old pic of me, Gertie, and Jeff.  Why didn't I bring my camera?

I ran into so many people I know -- or got to know -- including MPB readers Sonja, Kimberly, Sandra, Donna, Sharon Butler (Gretchen's draping teacher), Cindy, Darcina (sp?), Kollabora founder Nora Abousteit, Janice, and so many others.  I wore my blue linen blazer, pink linen shirt, and toile pants, which were more immediately recognized than I was.  There was wonderful food and drink and even gift bags.  Such fun and did you know Gretchen wrote a book?   It's totally gorgeous and more about that down the road.

In other news, I did a little digging in my not-enormous fabric stash and found a few things I might use in my Scheherazade-as-depicted-in vintage Forties Universal Studios B pictures starring Yvonne De Carlo Halloween project.  (I hope by now you've heard about our Halloween Sew-Along.)  I'm leaning toward a muted palette of mossy greens, golds, and pinks.  Pretty, no?  Just looking at it makes me hear Rimsky-Korsakov as interpreted by the 101 Strings Orchestra.

Finally, MPB reader Leigh very thoughtfully recommended a remarkable book about bathing suits to me.  It's called Making Waves: Swimsuits and the Undressing of America by Lena Lencek and Gideon Bosker (Chronicle Books, 1989) and it is fantastic.  (You can find cheap used copies here.) 

Making Waves covers the history of recreation and leisure in America, the shifting roles of women in the 19th and 20th Centuries, Hollywood and the film industry, body image, modesty, textile technology, and so much more.  It's chock full of glossy black and white and color photography and I can't recommend it highly enough.  If the names Catalina, Jantzen, and Cole of California start your blood racing, this book is for you!

You can see more photos from Making Waves here.  (I can't believe no one has reviewed this on Amazon yet but such is the case for many wonderful pre-Internet era books, alas.)

Readers, that's all for today.  This week, I'm hoping to visit the Fashion Institute of Technology's brand new show, Ivy Style and hopefully make a trip to the Garment District to look at gold metallic net and crystal sheer organza -- and lamé, must have lamé!  Expect full reports.

Have a great day, everybody!  Any 101 Strings fans out there?


  1. It was good to meet you at the book launch party as well!

    1. Oh, Janice, forgive me, I will add you to the post! :)

  2. The swim caps bring back fond memories of visiting my grandparents at the retirement community in Florida. Swim caps were mandatory at the pool, and the ladies had ones loaded with rubber flowers and colorful rubber loops. Awful!

  3. Oh my gosh, it was so fun to meet you and Michael (AND THOSE PANTS!!)! I'm completely loving the swimsuit images-- I'll have to check out that book!

  4. Thanks for making me buy that book! ;) I couldn't resist the $.07 price, even though shipping was $3.99.

  5. I am laughing as I watch you fall down the vintage swimsuit rabbithole! I am right there with you Peter! I took a picture of some of mine so you can understand the depth of my obsession.
    Sew on!

  6. Hi Peter, If you would like to go to You Tube and look up Muvandfarve she has fantastic videos on all types of sewing machines and the start of a great blog site.(does a great one on how to use a treadle) Just starting to get through your Y/T sites and blog they are great fun.You also have a great love of sewing and the machines as I do. Also have bought some Singer stuff from the states which they also do new wooden bases for Singers. I was thinking of your 15 (what a brute of a machine) Looks like a tank, has the weight of a tank and sounds like one, must be a tank then. Can give you their web site if you are interested. Be in touch some time. Kind regards Duncan U.K. York

    1. Love all the You Tube videos on crafts and sewing. Thanks for sharing this one. I spend most of my time on You Tube rather than blogs when it comes to sewing. Except of course Peter's amazing blog.

  7. Head to toe Men's Wearhouse?! Peter I am deeply offended!

    Great to see you guys!



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