Good news, readers! My denim jeans are underway and so far, so good. There's not much to see at this point, but one never tires of looking at topstitching -- or is it showing it that one never tires of?
Readers, the first time I sewed myself jeans, I was over-the-moon excited. Can you see the look of pride on my face? (This was early September, 2009, and I had only been sewing for a few months). I wore those pants to death.
Friends, we're busy, busy, busy here at MPB Industries!
First, I was delighted -- and moved, really -- by your enthusiasm about Cathy's grossesse. We're in a quandary, however, about maternity patterns. Do we go with the Lucy look (up top and immediately below), or more of a Jackie pregnancy? So many choices -- I want to make them all!
Readers, I received the most wonderful gift in the mail yesterday! It's a vintage 1920's Singer Model 20 toy sewing machine. It's in great condition and sews a beautiful chain stitch. Thank you, reader Mary!
Readers, if I told you I was shopping for maternity patterns, would you think I was nuts?
Well it's true -- the shopping part, I mean. A pretty, young(ish) model we all know and love is....how shall I put this -- in the family way. Please don't ask for the gory details, just trust me that's it's happening. Meanwhile, we're frantically pricing round trip bus tickets to Niagara Falls. And thinking clothes.
Friends, it will come as no surprise to you that I receive a lot of sewing machine-related questions from MPBreaders. Sometimes I can help and sometimes I can't. And speaking of emails, I just received this from Virginia, the woman I bought my Pfaff 30 from a little over a year ago:
Friends, sometimes while I'm working on an MPB post, I end up changing my original point of view as I'm writing. Today is a good example of that.
Last week I picked up a copy of Natalie Chanin's popular Alabama Stitch Book at the library. I was curious. Gretchen had waxed eloquent about Chanin's Alabama fashion line a while back, and a good sewing machine-collecting friend of mine (no names, please) told me she plans to attend an Alabama Stitch workshop this summer.
This has been a somewhat heavy week topic-wise here at MPB, I recognize.
Rather than plan, I just take my inspiration from whatever I happen to be doing or thinking at the moment and then, in roughly an hour or so, turn it into a blog post. If my thoughts are sometimes scrambled or unclear, I look to you, my readers -- many of whom have thought about these issues in far greater depth than I -- to contribute your wisdom in a comment, for which I am always grateful (and always read even if I don't often respond). Anyway, I hope those who prefer lighter fare will bear with me for one more day.
Poor Yvonne DeCarlo. Born Margaret Middleton in Vancouver, British Columbia, her dark hair and smoldering good looks got her pegged as an "exotic" type in Hollywood and she spent most of her early career playing Persian princesses and scantily clad slave girls till she was saved from obscurity in the Sixties by The Munsters, not to mention being cast in Stephen Sondheim's Follies, where she introduced the classic show biz survivor's anthem, I'm Still Here.
Readers, I want to discuss a topic that we probably won't resolve today.
It's the subject of women (primarily, though not exclusively) being pressured to present themselves as "sexy." I'm not referring to bias-cut satin evening gowns on the red carpet or the cliched So-and-So Celebrity Reveals All come-on headline on the cover of Glamour. I'm talking about the relentless marketing of styles and attitudes derived from porn and prostitution. An adjective one often hears to describe this contemporary fashion/cultural phenomenon is "trashy," and to paraphrase former United States Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart (in reference to pornography), we know it when we see it.
On Saturday night, I saw the above listing on Craigslist for an "Antique Portable Singer Sewing Machine," only blocks from my apartment, and I immediately emailed the seller to express my interest. You think I'm crazy, right? Keep reading.
Readers, do you ever shop on Amazon? I do, often. One of the things that brings me back, time and again, beside the fact that they sell pretty much everything, is their $25 free shipping policy. I fall for that EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.
Readers, forgive the somewhat misleading title of this post. I didn't really visit the NYC Sewing Machine Museum. In fact, there is no NYC Sewing Machine Museum -- yet.
But I did go out to Queens yesterday to visit my friend Johanna, avid sewing machine collector and knitter. (Since I rarely leave my neighborhood, this was like a trip overseas for most people; I even got to eat Greek food.) If sewing machines and knitting sound like a mismatch, you're right, but what can you collect if you knit? Needles?
So my brother and sister-in-law came over for dinner last week and I get into something of a -- I won't call it an argument, more like a debate -- with my sister-in-law, when she says that in her opinion, I'm a foodie.
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!