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Feb 28, 2010

Cathy's Makeover Challenge WINNER

At last, it's time to announce the winner of Cousin Cathy's Makeover Challenge!

Feb 27, 2010

Peter's 1972 undershirt

I'm back!

Thank you all so much for the support and kindness you showed to my cousin Cathy last week, folks.

She wasn't sure she'd be embraced by my readers and we were both delighted to discover that with each passing day, readership actually increased.  (Unfortunately she's now obsessed with Google Analytics.)

Feb 26, 2010

DAY 4: Peter's NEW LOOK revealed!

Ta da!

Feb 25, 2010

Peter's Makeover: DAY 3 - approaching the finish line

Cousin Cathy here, and at long last I have good news to report.  Peter and I are finally on the same page with regard to his makeover.  

Sure, we had our mini-meltdowns and ugly words, but it only brought us closer.

We're in the home stretch, girls!

First, let's talk color.

Feb 24, 2010

Peter's Makeover: DAY 2 - the naked truth

Cousin Cathy here and I've no time for niceties.  Let's get started.

What a day I had yesterday!  Feeling somewhat defeated after Monday's underwear power struggle, I was determined that Tuesday I would put my foot down.  You don't ask a New York model to create your new look and then quibble over a pair of holey Hanes.  

Feb 23, 2010

Heeeeeere's CATHY! (Peter's Makeover: DAY 1)

Greetings, all!  Cathy Lane here.

Cousin Peter has told me so much about you and I am tickled to death to get to speak to you directly.  

Frankly, isn't it more fun to share some girl talk for a change?  What's that?  There are boys here too? Prove it!

Yesterday I started Peter's makeover.  What a challenge I have before me! Peter may be a quick study when it comes to sewing, but as far as assembling a wardrobe... Well, let's just say my cousin isn't quite the prodigy you might think.  It's no wonder he's never had a look.

Feb 22, 2010

Monday morning check-in and GOALS

You know what Mondays mean at MPB --We're going for the goals!

Before we start, how did you do with the goals you set last week?  Did you accomplish what you'd set out to?

Like I've said before, it's better to set a more realistic goal and actually achieve it than to be overly ambitious and feel disappointed when (if) it doesn't come together.  There's something motivating about finishing what you've planned -- and something discouraging about not.  And this applies to everything, not just sewing.

Feb 21, 2010

Jump(suit) for Joy!

Ta da!

I made this jumpsuit from Butterick 5629, a vintage pattern from the Sixties sent to me by one of my readers, Paulette.  As soon as I saw it, I knew we were meant for each other (the jumpsuit, not Paulette).  I used a stretchy cotton twill I'd bought last fall with the intention of making a trenchcoat, but never got around to making it.

Feb 20, 2010

Suit-us Interruptus or "The Dutiful Son"

I was so excited about getting my jumpsuit finished by today.  It's coming along extremely well and I'll be debuting it here tomorrow (Sunday), so be sure to check in.

But I didn't finish the jumpsuit because I got sidetracked.  I made my mother a fleece jacket.

Feb 19, 2010

Cousin Cathy's Makeover Challenge!

I was stunned by the overwhelming response to yesterday's post about looks, clearly an emotional topic for many.

Feb 18, 2010

Do you have a "look?"

I do not have a look.  Or if I do, I am not aware of it.

I have always wanted a look but it never came naturally to me, which is strange since I was always interested in fashion.  I just lacked the energy to make it happen, I guess.  

Feb 17, 2010

21 Jump Suit - WITH POLL

NOTE: The following blog entry is intended solely for a small minority of my readers: the genuinely weird.

I ask that all others please stop reading now and return tomorrow.

Feb 16, 2010

8 Women

Let me come out now and acknowledge the obvious: my readership is primarily female.

There are a few men out there, sure, their dirty noses pressed up against the window, trying to find an entree into this strange emporium of sewing and satire, drag and dolls that is Male Pattern Boldness.

I am proud that in my own small way, I can try -- with your assistance of course --  to challenge some of the gender stereotypes that oppress us all.  Yet just as I'm congratulating myself for subverting old cliches, an experience like this one quite literally knocks me off balance:

From PR Day in NYC - Feb 15, 2010

Feb 15, 2010

Glamour Girl Paper Dolls CONTEST RESULTS!

First, let me say how delighted I was with the enthusiastic participation of so many -- and on a holiday weekend no less.

Monday is GOALS day

Good morning, sewists and those who love them, and Happy Monday!  

I'm not even going to tell you what time it is here.  (I'm experiencing a little post-Valentines Day insomnia.)

But so be it, let's do what we always do on Mondays at MPB:
Review our goals from last week and outline new ones for the week to come.

Feb 14, 2010

Feb 12, 2010

Vintage Glamour Girl Paper Dolls GIVEAWAY

Do you know what today (Saturday) is?  Surely you remember!  You don't?  Well, no matter; I'll tell you:

Fantastic thrift store finds!

In addition to sewing up a storm during a storm, I also found some great things at the Salvation Army this week that I have to share with you.

First, I found some fun fabric.  How about this piece of faux tiger?  It's less than a yard, but about 64 inches wide.  A stole for Cathy...a vest for me...?

Ideas, people, I need ideas!

From new fabric!

Then there's this large Vera cotton print table cloth.  Yoga pants perhaps?  A summer blazer?

Feb 11, 2010

My new 1945 underpants!

From Simplicity 1960 - box shorts from 1945

Since I was basically snowed in yesterday with two hyperactive chihuahuas,  I threw myself into my Forties boxers project whole hog.  They sewed up without a hitch -- ok, with a hitch, well, two, but nothing insurmountable.

You'll recall my pattern:

Feb 10, 2010


Let me start off by saying that when it comes to underwear, I'm pretty ecumenical.  I mean, I'll wear whatever...Jockeys, Hanes, Calvins, Gap, thrift store hand-me-downs.  My only two requirements are that it be 1) cheap; and 2) comfortable.

Feb 9, 2010

No sheet, I finished the shirt!

From Simplicity 8255


Look, Ma, I'm a pillowcase!

So close, so close....

Still needs a little work around the bedskirt -- I mean the buttonholes.

More updates later today.

We now return to "Petticoat Junction."

Feb 8, 2010

Holy Stephanie of Monaco, I'm digging these princess seams!

My sheet shirt is a still a work in progress, but it's coming along (click pics to enlarge).

Tune in tomorrow for the dramatic conclusion! 

Monday, Monday (with sewing goals)

Good morning, beloved readers! 

I always like to take time early on Monday to outline my sewing goals for the week.  (Do you ever do this?)  It helps me organize my projects and plan ahead.

I begin by reviewing the previous week's goals to see how I did and where I got stuck, if at all.  So without further delay:

Feb 7, 2010

Style Wars: Ginger vs. Marlene

After digging around the vintage sewing blogs lately, I've noticed a surprising appreciation for the style of Ginger Rogers.

Casey's article last month about Thirties film fashion is an excellent example.

While Ginger is best remembered as Fred Astaire's dancing partner, she was a tremendously popular dramatic and light comedic actress in the late Thirties and early Forties, winning an Academy Award in 1940 for "Kitty Foyle." 

Feb 6, 2010

"Aye aye, Caftan!" - WITH POLL

Remember this fabric I bought on Monday with the intention of making Michael a shirt?

From Butterick 3625 - mens caftan

Well, after washing and ironing it, I realized it was too lightweight and transparent for a regular shirt, but would make a very nice caftan top.

Feb 5, 2010

How I learned to sew

Recently, many people have asked me how I learned to sew.  In brief, I taught myself.  But I had help, too.

Feb 4, 2010

Undress this man

I have seen the future of fashion photography (click link) and I like it.

The clothes are nice too.

NOTE: Website may take a few moments to load, then follow the arrows.  (Nothing dirty here, btw.)

I believe that's Tony Ward, of ex-Madonna-boyfriend fame.

Fabric find of the week!

I just found these used vintage 70s sheets yesterday in the newspaper recycling bin in my apartment building.  These will make great summer shirts.  After they're washed, of course.

All my early shirt projects were made with trashed vintage sheets, including the contest-winning flowered sheet in my blog header (that sheet was a prize find at the Salvation Army).

Feb 3, 2010

Cathy's latest high-fashion photoshoot!

Finally, with temperatures (barely) above freezing yesterday, I convinced my identical cousin Cathy Lane to model my metallic copper dress, Vogue 7739.

Cathy's such a trouper -- never once complaining as her nose dripped in the cold air.

All sorts of surprises await!

If you'd like to see this slideshow full size -- and who wouldn't? -- just click on any image and watch it at Picasa.

You can also read my pattern review for Vogue 7739 here.

Or follow Cathy's earlier adventures here.

Thanks go out to the staff at the Salvation Army for discretely looking the other way as I squeezed into a pair of vintage 9 1/2 Yves Saint Laurent pumps!


Feb 2, 2010

Why Johnny Can't Sew

I've read a few articles lately about guys who sew.  Or rather, guys who DON'T sew.  Gertie explored this topic on her blog last October, and it generated a huge number of comments.  Someone even mentioned me by name, as an example of a guy who sews and sews well.

Feb 1, 2010

If Lanvin calls it fashion...


This would not look good on me.  I'm not tall, skinny, and Scandinavian.

What's that...?  Oh, yeah.  Or young.

It looks like he got his arms stuck while trying to take off his sweater and just decided to go with it.

Monday impulse purchase: MORE fabric

I know, I know, I just wrote below that I hate having a stash. But I had an hour to kill this morning so I hopped over to the ne-plus-ultra of fabric store dives, H&M, this one on 35th between 7th & 8th (there's another on 39th St).  Here's what I bought:

As usual, $2 a yard -- my limit these days, but you'd be surprised at what's out there at that price.

This one's a cotton knit for my Mom's robe.  I love that Good & Plenty palate.  Hope Mom doesn't mind that the stripes go horizontal!   Actually, I may play with that a bit and create some diamond shapes with the pattern, if I can.  (I saw an Adrian suit at the latest FIT show that gave me the idea.)

FEB 4 UPDATE : Mom doesn't like it (grrr.....).

The other fabric I bought is a very lightweight cotton plaid I'll use to make a shirt for Michael.  He really deserves it after playing photographer for all those Cathy shoots (not to mention living in the eye of a constant sewing storm).

You'll be seeing more of these down the line for sure.  Maybe even this week so stay tuned!

Sewing goals for the week

As I did last Monday, I'd like start the week by outlining my sewing goals.  I accomplished a few of last week's goals but never got to others.
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