Male Pattern Boldness is proud to be the world's most popular men's sewing blog!

Mar 2, 2010

"Reader, I married him."

And he should arrive next week via UPS -- the Singer 15-91 I won on eBay Monday afternoon.

I know, I know, I already have eight sewing machines (I don't include the sergers).  But my friend Johanna has ten and she seems like a normal person with a life.  Plus, if I want to become a sewing celebrity, don't I have to invest in my craft?  With shipping, it was just shy of $80 which isn't bad for a 15-91.  Am I tacky to tell you what it cost?  We're practically family, right?

I think if I just have this one machine then I'll be set and I won't need any more...yeah, that's it.

I haven't talked much about sewing machines on Male Pattern Boldness because I don't want to scare you dears away, but suffice it to say that I am as passionate about these old mechanical machines as I am about makeovers, looks, and wrap dresses.

I expect my Singer to arrive early next week. He's (I've decided this one's a boy) in Indianapolis now, no doubt saying his goodbyes, getting into his bubble wrap jump suit, and preparing for the trip ahead.  I cannot wait to meet him.

Meanwhile, back on Planet Normal, guess who has started working on his new look?  (These are the "before" pics, btw.)


I know imitation is the highest form of flattery, but I think I have created a monster.  I hope all of you aren't doing this too.  I fear you may be.  Hey, the contest's over.

So I went fabric shopping yesterday...

I found this old cotton/poly duvet cover at the Salvation Army and it's going to make a fantastic shirt and maybe even a little A-line for my Cuz.  It's like two whole queen-size sheets -- or one comfy dog bed, apparently.

I love this print and it's in my new look palette, too!

Then, at one of my favorite fabric dives on 35th St., I found about three yards of this terrycloth in the cheapie bin:

I think I'm going to make a vintage-style mens short-sleeve shirt out of it, and use this 1972 pattern to make a pair of matching Bermuda shorts out of that old Vera table cloth I found a few weeks ago at the Salvation Army:

Cool, right?  I may even make my mother that robe I once intended to.  I didn't tell you this but my mother actually gave me one of her old robes to use as a model.  Thanks, Mom!

I also got this cotton knit -- white and fluorescent green stripes -- that just screams Eighties.

And this cotton seersucker, which will be a shirt for Michael most probably:

All that new fabric for just $8.  

So really, when you think about it, it's almost like that sewing machine is paying for itself.

A lot of people have asked me questions about sewing knits, and as I become more adept with them I intend to write more about it.  In the meantime, I'm going to tackle this terrycloth and hopefully have something more to show you tomorrow than a pile of fabric.

OK, time to wind some bobbins.  

Have a great day, everybody!


  1. I have this machine! I bought mine in a beautiful coffin case on Craigslist for a steal. (But then spent a bit getting her a tune-up). It sews like a DREAM. And who doesn't love a bakelite sewing pedal??

    And if you're at all a fan of buttonholes--buy the buttonholer attachment. It may be the most fun I've ever had with a sewing accessary.

  2. You are so good at hunting down fabrics and seeing the potential in them.
    Where on earth are you going to put all your machines? The blue terry cloth is going to make a great top, I'm really looking forward to seeing it made up.

  3. Yes he is a cutie, wish I had one (& I do mean the Singer, although your boyfriend is cute too!).
    I'm with Sue, can't wait to see the blue terry towling shirt made up. My vote for the duvet is a dress for Kathy.
    Just wanted to say I love your blog, it's become a favourite :)

  4. Peter - no, I don't think it's crass to tell us how much it cost - it's actually quite useful to know what people pay for preloved machines, it helps me gauge what I should be spending...

    Loving the blog!


  5. I think I'm embarrassed to tell you what I paid for my 1222E. Suffice it to say that it was a lot more than $80. But the 1222 was having problems, we loved it and wanted something similar, and getting a 1222E was a tiny bit of an upgrade. And yes, it was preloved.

    Wow. I'm still awed by your ability to find inexpensive fabric. Occasionally, I find something great at a steal, but nothing like you find!

    Oh yes, pictures of the quilt top-- here.

  6. Congrats on your new machine. He looks gorgeous (or should I say handsome?)! Where do you place all your machines? Do you showcase them in your living room? Do you wake up with all your treasured machines around you in your bedroom? Or do they have their own, special, room, that nobody but you may clean? ;-)

  7. Mmmm. It might be good to start including the cost-per-use of the machine in each garment's cost-per-wearing. You know, if you pay $60 for the fabric for a coat you wear every day for 2 years, that's only 10c/wearing. But in this case if you only use the $80 machine twice since you've had it, and you make a $8 shirt that you wear twice as well, that's $44/wearing..


  8. All these fabrics make me just drool. I'm not usually one for terry-cloth but I like where you're going to take it!
    You inspired me to open up my grandma's old sewing machine that my mom's been using as a plant stand (it is a treadle singer that folds into its own table). A bit musty, and there are some bugs, but if I could get it sewing my dad might be convinced to give it to me, eh?

  9. The new machine is hot, Michael is cute, but nothing beats Willie. Supreme adorabale-ness.

  10. I love those old Singer workhorse machines . . . they keep on sewing forever with just a little maintenance (that you can do yourself). I've got two Featherweights, and can't quite bring myself to get rid of either of them. Yet.

  11. I totally share your love of "experienced" machines. I have two 15-91's and I promise, you're going to love him! The needle goes in opposite of what I was used to though so you might want to look out for that. But, can you believe this, I got mine free! A friend said she just didn't need it and didn't have room so she gave it to me WITH all the attachments!!! My latest obsession is a Featherweight, I want one, BAD!

    And yes, you do feel like family. :)

  12. I think Michael is my favourite guest on malepatternboldness. Something about the hair and his expressions. I'm sure you get it he is your beau.


  13. Love that Vera tablecloth! But you really need to turn that terry into a shorts leisure suit. It has come into your life for a reason.

  14. Peter,
    I also have 8 machines (down from 12). Well, okay, there are 2 broken ones in the garage as well. Along with my trusty Pfaff, I have 2 old 201-2's, 4 (cough-too many) 221's, a 401A and a serger. And all this after I have fixed up some and sold them. Enjoy your new 15-91!

  15. Wait - you live in New York. Where do you keep 8 machines? I'd love to know - since I'm struggling to find space for all my stuff. (Toronto.)

  16. The 15-91 is a great machine! I have one that I use to do all of my sewing. I had an industrial for a while, but I realized that I like the 15-91 better, so I got rid of the industrial. You'll love it.

  17. Peter, is that lime green in your new color palette? Don't let yourself go back to willy-nilly. Good luck on Michaels' makeover! San Antonio Sue

  18. Sue, I swear, this outfit's going to be for Michael. Thanks for keeping me honest: I know Cathy would appreciate it!

    So much interest in where I keep my machines. Anywhere I can find room, basically. The ones I use most often, like my Viking and my Spartan, are always out on my sewing table. A few of the others are nearby on a low shallow shelving unit. My Necchi Lydia is collecting dust in the corner of my bedroom, poor thing. But it kind of serves her right for having a cracked camshaft. She's the sexiest of my machines and I can't bring myself to part with her.

    I may send a few to store over at Lozzen's garage, come to think of it.

  19. Fabulous! I just bought a Singer 99K. You can check out the slideshow of it AND all its attachments at my blog...

    I am sooooo excited!

  20. Rather Be Sewing - Lynne WMarch 2, 2010 at 2:05 PM

    That terry shirt with the fantastic Vera turquoise/avaocado print is making my heart pound! I love the outfit you have planned.

    Sounds like you have plenty of the pink print (with bubble peace signs, no less) to make a few things: shirt, A-line and more. (Perhaps an embellished dog leash for Willy? You two would be smashing on the Avenue at the Easter Parade.)

    Enjoy your new machine and your new projects...I know I am.

  21. LOVE the Bermuda shorts fabric. My goal for the week is to muslin two garments for a charity gala Jim and I are attending at the end of April. I'm planning on Butterick 4919 for me in the long version in a dupioni silk, and a matching Vogue 8048 vest and bow tie for him to go with his tux. My first menswear attempt!

  22. When I was a child, my grandmother had a gorgeous black and gold treadle Singer, built into it's own cabinet. It had an ornate wrought iron pedal and a wheel on the right hand side so it could also be operated by hand. She taught me to pedal at an even rhythm when I was about five. I'd stand beside her ,leaning in and peddaling with one foot while she sewed. Then I learnt to sew straight lines at six or seven all by myself. At the time my mother had a motorised Singer, but Granny's was more fun.I always thought that I'd end up with that machine. Later when I moved out of home my mother gave it away, along with my grandmother's vintage 40's black crepe dress with diamante buttons that I loved (and which I remember fitting me perfectly).
    My grandmother gave me a love of sewing.
    Those old Singer's are works of art.
    Thank you for sharing yours with us.

  23. "Reader, I married him." I love it! Haven't read that in awhile. I'm afraid a little coffee can spewing out of my nose when I read that. I just love your clever blog. Reading about the adventures you or Cathy have been up to brightens my day. I love all of your new fabrics, by the way. I can't wait to see what you make from them.

  24. Oh how wonderful - I have not used a 15-91, but if it is anything like the 201-2's you will wonder how you did without it. I can sew everything from fine lace to denim on my 201-2. It never has a fit - and I can sew without holding the threads as it starts up (like I have to do on my Kenmore - he is often naughty, sucking up the thread into the bobbin area - my 201-2 would never dream of doing such a rude thing.)

  25. Peter: You're not crazy, you're a collector! And prices are always useful. I do wonder where you keep all the 'chines - you do live in a Manhattan apartment, right? :-) I LOVE the pink fabric with the flowers. What a great buy. You really do find the most lovely fabrics so inexpensively. I'm working on that.

  26. We have either the same or a very, very similar machine in my house. It was my grandmother's and I actually had never bothered to look at it until this past weekend. It's in a case and in *perfect* condition - it seriously looks brand new despite being at least 50 years old. I should try sewing on it, although I am baffled by threading it and winding the bobbin, so I need to see if I can find a manual somewhere...

  27. I have to tell you that I love the terry cloth top in your next post, but I didn't want to enter the giveaway so I'm posting it here! :-)

    It's a beautiful teal and the color looks great on you!

  28. Totally drooling over that pink print. It's just so pink and cute and adorable!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts with Thumbnails