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May 31, 2010

"What a dump!" Monday + Goals!

Yesterday I was digging in a box of art supplies searching for some wrapping paper, and look what I uncovered!  I didn't even remember I owned this Bette Davis paper doll.  It must have been a gift.

May 30, 2010

Another downer: "Deluxe: How Luxury Lost its Luster"

After reading "The End of Fashion" last week, I serendipitously stumbled upon "Deluxe: How Luxury Lost it's Luster," at the Salvation Army (hello, irony) on Friday and jumped right in.

May 29, 2010

My Favorite Gown

I'm a big old movie buff. 

In early April we talked about glamour, the good the bad, was it still around and did we even care.  For me, if there's one garment that epitomizes what glamour is all about, it's the evening gown.

May 28, 2010

Reflections on My First Year of Sewing


Subtitle: "A Cautionary Tale"

One year ago this week I purchased my first sewing machine, on eBay.   I'd bought it with the intention of altering a pair of jeans I'd found at Goodwill; having them shortened locally would have cost more than I'd paid for them.  Little did I know what that purchase would set in motion.

May 27, 2010

Harem Scarem: Could these pants work for me?

Wise readers, I need your input: What do you think about loose, flowing, dropped-crotch pants for men?

May 26, 2010

BREAKING NEWS: Cathy caught in knockoff scandal!


Oh, the shame of it.

Imagine my distress when a commenter yesterday noted that a nearly identical dress to TED, which Cathy looked so lovely in, had been posted yesterday on Pattern Review!

May 25, 2010

Cathy models The Elaine Dress + POLL

At long last The Elaine Dress (TED) photo shoot.

May 24, 2010

Ciao, Monday! Vogue GIVEAWAY winner + GOALS

Happy Monday, everybody!

What fun I had yesterday with my cousin Cathy.  You'll have to wait till tomorrow to see TED ("The Elaine Dress") in all its glory in our photo shoot, but I think you're going to like it.

I'm very excited to announce that the winner of the Vogue pattern "Pay it Forward" giveaway is....

May 23, 2010

This brand is your brand

So I am reading a fantastic book, "The End of Fashion" by Teri Agins, published in 1999.  It tells the story how fashion changed from something dictated by Paris designers to a corporate-run industry making primarily copycat sportswear, heavily marketed via highly identifiable brands.  It's a fast read, chatty and engrossing.

May 22, 2010

Hemming and hawking + vintage Vogue pattern GIVEAWAY!

We're in resting mode today at MPB Industries.  A skeleton crew is keeping the machinery running but we aren't answering phones, so please don't call.

Cathy is also lying low so that she'll look her best for tomorrow's photo shoot.  Luckily Lindsay Lohan is out of the country or didn't you know. She's such a bad influence on Cathy but I did enjoy her in "Freaky Friday."

May 21, 2010

Polyester on Parade

I admit it:  I used to own a pair of polyester Levi's (and my walls were purple).  I bought them at the thrift store.  I never wore them out of the house; OK, maybe once.  They were incredibly uncomfortable but they did flatter.  I think I sold them on eBay -- for real money too.

Many people find polyester hot.  On many levels.  The secret is in the petroleum.

May 20, 2010

A Day of Healing

Friends, before we begin I'd like to ask if anyone has any feelings left over from yesterday.

May 19, 2010

Something Smells (Sel)Fishy or "The Elaine Dress"

Friends, have you ever experienced a state of such moral confusion that you found yourself reaching for the bible and you're an atheist?  Have you ever felt like you'd gone to bed and woken up in Bizarro World?

May 18, 2010

"Polyester brocade, YOU are the weakest link..."


Readers, I tried, really I did.  But this polyester brocade fabric was the worst possible choice for my 1953 dress project.  Well, maybe not the worst -- polyfleece might have been the worst.

May 17, 2010

Monday Catch Up + GOALS!

Readers, I feel like we're at the point in our relationship when I can show you what I look like first thing in the morning, mouth full of breakfast to boot.  You've seen the parrot video so we're practically married.

May 16, 2010

You Look "Meh"-velous

OK, so remember my "meh" Kwik Sew pants from last week? (The ones with the mysterious pocket gathers?)

Well guess what?  I now have a "meh" jacket to go with it!

May 15, 2010

Eighties hate-ies: Revisiting Fashion's Despised Decade

Folks over thirty-five, I have news for you:  THIS is what young people think of when they think of Eighties fashion.

May 14, 2010

Oh, Wouldn't it be Ugerly

I'm back.

Thank you for all your kind words about yesterday's video.  Sadly my vaudeville career came to an abrupt end last summer after a tragic case of mistaken identity resulting in a tone-deaf chicken and a parrot with very little white meat.  A setback.

May 13, 2010

Message from Michael

Hi, Fans of Male Pattern Boldness!

This is Peter's partner, Michael, writing to you today.  Peter had to travel unexpectedly to the Bronx yesterday to help out his mother and has no access to a computer up there.  He asked me to let you know that he will be back to blogging tomorrow.

In the meantime, I thought this video might satisfy your Peter cravings.  It'll give you some insight into what my DDP (dear domestic partner) gets up to when he's not behind his Necchi.  Enjoy!

May 12, 2010

Peter's Pants Project - PART 2, with POLL!

Ta da -- new pants, Kwik Sew 2123.  Mission accomplished.


May 11, 2010

Peter's Promising Pants Project w/ Pics


So I decided to dig into that cadet blue cotton twill that's been weighing on me since the day I bought it and make some pants.  Believe it or not, I originally thought I would use it to make this:

May 10, 2010

Monday "Nag-O-Rama" and GOALS!

Happy Monday and Post-Mother's-Day Recovery Week everybody!

May 9, 2010

Wouldn't you have done the same?

First, Happy Mother's Day to all you mothers out there.

Dear readers, wise readers, it had been my original intention today to write about this striped cotton knit tank top I stitched up Friday afternoon.  I'd bought the fabric locally the day I picked up Cathy's black gloves, nothing special.  And as you can see the final result is...nothing special.

May 8, 2010

Fashion and the Flat-chested Femme

Struck by a number of comments both here and on Pattern Review relating to my cousin Cathy's lack of belle poitrine -- which, admittedly, is more Margaret O'Brien than Jayne Mansfield, I decided to take a closer look at fashion's ongoing relationship to the female bosom -- specifically during the 1940s and 50s.

May 7, 2010

Cathy models the 1948 rose dress!

A warm spring day and a lovely model in a rose-print dress -- what a magical combination!

May 6, 2010

Sewing, Sex, and the Internet

CORRECTION: The above title should read, "Sewing and the Internet." 

I often wonder what it would have been like to learn to sew before the Internet.  How much harder it would have been!

May 5, 2010

Cathy and the black belt - PART 2


What can I say, peeps?  You're the best.  Yesterday I let you decide how I should proceed with the 1948 McCall's dress and the results speak for themselves.  The fabric belt is a big improvement.  I thank you. 

May 4, 2010

FAMILY FEUD: Cathy and the black belt w/ POLL

No, my cousin Cathy hasn't run off with the Karate Kid, if that's what you're thinking.

It's the dress, peeps, the rose dress, McCall's 7299 from 1948.

May 3, 2010

Monday Morning Nag-athon + GOALS

Happy Monday, everybody!

I don't know about the weather where you are, but we had a HOT weekend (mid-eighties) and are heading into an equally hot week.  Makes you think beachwear!

May 2, 2010

Why do YOU sew?

Sometimes I get so caught up in the drama of whatever sewing project I'm involved in that I forget why I'm sewing in the first place.

May 1, 2010

Peter Revisits Shirt #1 (NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN PHOTOS!)

I realized on Thursday that I had just completed my fourteenth men's button-down shirt.  And despite a few flaws I (somewhat compulsively) pointed out to you, I was satisfied with the result.
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