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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.

Friends, the houndstooth saga approaches its end and I am weary.  Of houndstooth.

I have made four houndstooth garments for the Pattern Review One Pattern Wardrobe contest that ends this Sunday -- one top, one pair of shorts, one jacket and matching long pants.  I can't reveal the final results until this weekend, but here's a preview.

On Wednesday I made the black and white pants.

Yesterday I tackled the jacket (it didn't put up a struggle).

Of course it still needs sleeves, hemming, etc...

But you get the picture.

Readers, I'm not sure who could pull off a pattern like this in real life.  Only someone with a big personality.  Sadly my cousin Cathy has a small personality.  But some very big accessories.

After sewing this fabric for a few hours, I started to see this...

Then this...

And then this...

And then I woke up screaming.

Believe me that the combination of the red and black and white and black houndstooth in an outfit is striking to put it mildly.  Trippy is more like it.

I've been emailing Cathy, who flies in from the coast tonight, and we've been trading ideas on styling these funky frocks.  I envision knee socks with the shorts; Cathy wants ribbed tights -- it's  November. I'm not even sure where one finds ribbed tights.  Macy's?

Friends, that's it.  It has been a busy week and the weekend looks busy as well.  I'll be seeing Cathy of course, which is always fun, though she does have a habit of leaving her things around everywhere and not closing the bathroom door. 

But she does know how to sparkle when she has to.

In closing, your final thoughts are always welcome.  I do read all your comments and if I can't always reply publicly, I do try to send out a few words telepathically.

Have a great day, everybody!


  1. Ha! The black and white outfit totally reminds me of Beetlejuice! :D

  2. I'm so excited for my senses to be assaulted by this wardrobe! Batten down the hatches sewists it's a houndstooth perfect storm!

  3. Wow. That is a lot of houndstooth! Can't wait to see the final dizzying fashion shoot.

    And ribbed tights should be easily found these days; Macy's should definitely have them. Don't forget there is a lot going on with the shorts, so maybe a basic black tight would be better than ribbed? Just a thought :)

  4. brilliant!
    We all suffer for our art. You are proving yourself to be a sewing warrior.

  5. Herb Tarlick of WKRP would've loved that outfit. If you didn't watch that old TV show, well, sorry, can't explain it to you.

    You know, you'd don't HAVE to wear matching pieces together. They can all be part of the same core wardrobe, just worn at separate times.

  6. Damn, next time I will take your warnings seriously. I should have downed a dramamine before reading further.

    Feeling woozy....must. go. lie. down.

  7. How high waist are those pants?? Yowza!

  8. Mondo Guerra played with a lot of houndstooth, mixed patterns and colour, his designs were fabulous IMHO! Sadly, due to My Lifetime's flash player, I can't link to any references and I don't dare take screen shots due to copyright issues but here's the link:

    I wish I could find that huge houndstooth print but the shops in our area are very limited and not very daring, sadly.

  9. I love houndstooth, I really do, but this is painful to my astigmatism :-).
    There is strictly nothing in patternreview contests about not showing the results till the last minute. You're confusing with 'must be done by the deadline', which is sort of the opposite.

  10. You can find all kinds of tights (ribbed or otherwise) for discounted prices at Century 21. It's in the foundation garment area, 2nd floor. Incidentally, the high-end bras and Hanky Pankys are also discounted at a very reasonable price.

  11. I don't think I'll be sleeping tonight:|

  12. I'm thinking "WWMD?" (what would Mondo do?) Add some bright colors to break up the houndstooth and be fabulous!!!

  13. Whew. That is quite a lot of houndstooth. Can't wait to see how Cathy styles it all!

  14. Peter, do you watch Project Runway or The Fashion Show? You've never mentioned it...

  15. As St. Tim of Gunn would say, "That's a whole lotta look!"

  16. Some people like houndstooth more than I do. I can understand how you would start to hallucinate after seeing so much of it.

    It will be cool to see the styling -- I'm looking forwards to it. Thanks for sharing it with us.


  17. I'm sure your mom's haunts--Ross, Marshall's, TJ Maxx--have ribbed tights too. Do you have one of those in Manhattan or are they in the outer boroughs?

  18. Wow, Peter!! You've done a superb job! I'm really looking forward to seeing Cathy's photoshoot.

    Houndstooth is a bit dizzying after a while...

    Good luck in the contest. Please let us know where to vote for you. :)

  19. Catherine, I think you mean Forever21, not Century 21, unless those tights have to cover a whole lot of real estate! ;)

  20. Maybe channel Mary Quant with Cathy's houndstooth look -- white gogo boots, a trailing neck scarf, a pageboy hairdo? Can't wait to see that outfit after Lights, Action, CAMERA!

  21. Peter, I was thinking about male baldness yesterday. I am sick to death of all our (Australian) TV personalities going in for a remake on the hair follicles. There is only about 1 on TV here that hasn't succumbed to the remake. Bald men can be sexy. As hell. So don't put warnings up above your bald hair because you have a good egg. And I love the houndstooth. Perhaps worn at separates. Not all together. Please. And red rib tights.

  22. My nine year old "niece" has a houndstooth coat and she seemed to pull it off when her fantastic uncle took her to "Disney on Ice" last weekend. Of course she has excellent Dad who is very good at styling her.

  23. My dear Grandma L had a similar pantsuit - horn-rimmed glasses and a cig with 2" ash would round out the ensemble!


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