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Nov 30, 2010

One down, four to go!

Good morning, neatniks, slobs, and vicarious downsizers.

So I did it -- I sold a sewing machine yesterday!  I am loathe to tell you which one for fear it might be your favorite and I don't want to cause a ruckus.  OK, it was my Singer Genie.  I know many of you love the Genie and I loved mine too.  But I never used it.  I have three other Singers, albeit without the irresistible flower-power details. 

Nov 29, 2010

Mastering the Sewing Mess

Friends, I am on a bit of a decluttering roll -- some might say obsession -- here at MPB headquarters.  I am committed to downsizing however I can.  I have Too. Much. Stuff.

Can I interest you in a slightly used chihuahua?  Two?

Nov 28, 2010

Decluttering: Part 2

Readers, I must provide some backstory to yesterday's post.  I used to have a lot of clutter -- no, not clutter exactly.  Stuff.  And I've gotten rid of tons of it, primarily on eBay and Craigslist, but also through donations to thrift stores and just throwing stuff out.

Here's an eensy weensy taste; thank goodness I took pictures!

Nov 27, 2010

One small step in the struggle against entropy!

Friends, one of the leitmotifs of my life is the continuing battle against chaos.  It's challenging, living in a Manhattan apartment, no matter how spacious relatively speaking, to find room for two chihuahuas, twelve sewing machines (fourteen if you count the sergers), two adult men and a glamorous cousin who likes to crash at a moment's notice and rarely picks up after herself.

Nov 26, 2010

Straight Skirt for Mom: a Holiday Drama

Mothers.  What can you say?

Nov 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving from MPB!

Ever make one of these?  (Be honest.)

Nov 24, 2010

Peter speaks! The first-ever MPB TOPSTITCHING VIDEO!

Friends, it was time.  I have received so many comments and questions about topstitching, specifically with regard to my Kwik Sew men's jeans and Western jacket, that I decided it was time to do something about it.  The result is this movie.

Nov 23, 2010

Trend Watching: the Future of Home Sewing

Readers, when you sew all day and write a sewing blog, it's easy to lose perspective. 

Before I learned how to sew, I didn't know anybody who even owned a sewing machine.  Today, I shun anyone who can't use the word presser foot in a sentence, and if they don't know what a feed dog is, I'm not interested.  I think it's totally normal to sew bras, girdles, and crinolines, moreover, and snicker at the men who don't.  I just assume everyone sews.

Nov 22, 2010

THIS I will not sew!

Friends, I must be honest.  There are certain things I will not sew for myself and for very good reasons.  I bet you're the same.

Nov 21, 2010

Kwik Sew Men's Jeans - Done!

Friends, I hope you agree that with these Kwik Sew men's jeans I have successfully achieved the "snug and shapely mono-bun" that MBP readers favor by a wide margin according to Friday's "denimed derriere" poll. 

Nov 20, 2010

Kwik Sew Men's Jeans: Nearly done!


Friends, I am happy to report that my Kwik Sew 2123 Men's Jeans are coming together nicely.  I'll be revealing them tomorrow but in the meantime I thought I'd talk about how I'm making them.

Nov 19, 2010

Men's Jeans and the Denimed Derriere + POLL!

Adult readers and supervised teens, let's face it: there's not a whole lot of controversy about the fit of the front of men's jeans.  It's two pockets and a fly.  Sometimes the waistband covers the bellybutton, usually it's an inch or two below.  Unless you're a hustler (or a rustler), it's all pretty standard stuff.

The fit in the rear, however...

Nov 18, 2010

Kwik Sew Men's Jeans + Contest Winner!

Friends, we have a winner of the Audrey-Hepburnesque 1962 vintage Vogue pattern.  She is...

Nov 17, 2010

Designer Fashion for Kids - yea or nay?

Dear readers, you know I do not have any children.  In fact, I avoid children whenever possible and when it isn't possible, interact minimally and hope the elevator door opens ASAP.

Nov 16, 2010

Vintage Vogue Pattern GIVEAWAY -- Audrey Hepburn style!

Friends, the joy of living is in the giving.   I haven't given away any patterns lately and, frankly, having spent yesterday at a funeral (the husband of an old and dear friend), I could use the joy.

Nov 15, 2010

Yé-yé Girl Style

The Yé-yé girls were a breed of popular singers in the Sixties, primarily in France, but later in other parts of Europe, Canada, and even Japan.   They all shared a few common traits: they were young, they were pretty, they had long straight hair, and they couldn't sing very well. 

Nov 14, 2010

Cathy models the One Pattern Wardrobe!

Friends, the stars were aligned yesterday.  The weather was perfect, Cathy awoke with less eye puffiness than usual, and knee socks were in abundance at my local Duane-Reade drugstore!  (Worn over tights, they cleverly combine chic and warmth.)

Nov 13, 2010

Whenever you're ready, Cathy...

Look who's now reading the sports page. (click on pic to supersize)

See you on the morrow!

Nov 12, 2010

Attack of the Killer Houndstooth

WARNING: this post includes images of extreme pattern boldness that may cause nausea, blurred vision, or vertigo.  MPB assumes no responsibility for any injuries incurred by readers.  If symptoms persist consult your doctor.

Nov 11, 2010


Readers, do you ever find yourself having to wear a uniform, for school, for work, or even for play?  How do you feel about it?

Nov 10, 2010

Post-Wedding Wrap-up!

Friends, the wedding is over!

I now have a beautiful sister-in-law, Prachee (who's totally bi-cultural, btw), an open invitation to Mumbai (Bombay) from Prachee's mother, and lingering symptoms from what I thought was caffeine and sugar withdrawal but turns out to have been a rather tenacious stomach flu.

Nov 6, 2010

A little break

Friends, in honor of my brother's wedding, I have decided to take a few days off.

Nov 5, 2010

Better taste and NO caffeine!

Friends, I'd like to introduce you to New Male Pattern Boldness -- caffeine free, low in sugar, and remarkably gentle in your wash cycle.  Sadly it remains as calorie dense as ever and dangerously high in sodium, but our staff scientists are working on it.

Nov 4, 2010


Good morning, goths, punks and other disaffected subcultures who may or may not hang out in shopping malls and scare the rest of us.  Yesterday's comments reminded me that I have a much more diverse readership than I'd ever imagined.  How you found me I'll never know but welcome just the same.  Especially you poor unloved Emos.

Nov 3, 2010

"Good Goth!" The rise of the fashion subculture

Readers, as little as I know about fashion, I know even less about fashion subcultures.  But I would like to learn and I need your help.

I've always been intrigued by groups of people who like to dress in unusual ways and hang out together.  I know a lot of groups have found their inspiration in rock bands.  Since the last band I listened to was The Partridge Family, I'm way out of the loop.

Nov 2, 2010

How to buy a vintage sewing machine

Imagine my surprise when I received an email yesterday from an enthusiastic new reader in Louisiana telling me I had helped convince her to buy a vintage Singer straight stitch sewing machine!  I know I've been spreading the vintage sewing machine meme, but I never thought anybody was actually paying attention.

I thought this might be a good time to offer clear guidelines on buying a vintage sewing machine: the how, what, when, and where.  (I've covered the why here.)   I know many of you will have points to add, and I invite you to do so in the comments below. 

Nov 1, 2010

Peter Revisits His First Sewing Project

Good morning, everybody, and Happy Day of the Dead to those (living) who celebrate it.  I don't know about the weather where you live, but here in New York it's getting cold.  Almost too cold for a velveteen jacket.
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