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Apr 30, 2011

MPB Jeans Sew-Along -- Down Under's Own DON!

Friends, I never know what to make of Australians.  They look like you and me -- well, OK, they're sexier -- and I can usually understand what they're saying, but they seem to exist in a parallel universe.  It has something to do with being on the wrong side of the planet I think.  They're....different.

Apr 29, 2011

Loved the gown, Kate!

We like to stay up to the minute here at MPB, so I must opine on the dress: it's beautiful.  But then again, I'm a sucker for a lace overlay!

Which provides the perfect segue into the book I just received the other day, Susan Khalje's classic, Bridal Couture.

Apr 28, 2011


Friends, with just four days to go before the start of the MPB Jeans Sew-Along, I wanted to answer some basic questions about jeans and jeans supplies.

Actually, I wanted someone to answer my questions and so I decided to go straight to that jeans-sewing wunderkind, Taylor Hackbarth of Taylor Tailor...or is it Tailor Taylor -- I can never remember.

Apr 27, 2011

Peter's movie debut!

Friends, we all have skeletons in the closet.  Today I'd like to share one of mine.

Apr 26, 2011

Are you a planner or a "bounce-arounder"?

Friends, do you like to plan things out way ahead of time or do you prefer to be more spontaneous, to bounce around and go with the flow, as it were?

Apr 25, 2011

Rainy Days & Mondays

Friends, remember Rain, that mysterious sometimes-MPB reader who appeared seemingly out of nowhere last winter offering to restore my beloved Singer 15-91 sewing machine?

Apr 22, 2011

Sound of Music Style - yea or nay?

Friends, yesterday MPB reader Eli commented on the similarity between dress pattern Butterick 8975 and something Julie Andrews might have worn in The Sound of Music.

Which got me thinking: why do so many of the costumes from this beloved 1965 film (Costumes by Dorothy Jeakins) look like they were torn out of a mid-Sixties Simplicity pattern book, as opposed to accurately representing the styles of late-Thirties Austria, or the decidedly unglamorous Von Trapp singers themselves? 

Apr 21, 2011

Decisions, decisions...

File under, Must Sew and Soon.

Good morning, friends!  First, let me assure you that the view from the wrong side of 49 is much the same as the right side, just blurrier and shorter.  But the less said about that the better.  We have decisions to make.

Apr 20, 2011

Cocktail (Dress) Addiction

I can stop any time I want to; I just don't want to. 

Apr 19, 2011

Tuesday Stream of Consciousness

Good morning, friends!  I'm back and feeling rested, thanks no doubt to the subliminal messages I received from Joey Heatherton's Serta mattress commercial yesterday.  I may be sleeping on a Serta myself for all I know; I should look.

Today is all about reflection and re-centering.  I hope you'll indulge me and perhaps join me.

Apr 18, 2011


Sleeping in today, folks.  You?

Apr 17, 2011

Cathy on the town in her taffeta dress!

Beloved readers and Cathy fans, what can I tell you about last night's revelries you haven't already read on "Page Six"?

What a party, what a dress, what a girl!

Apr 16, 2011

No, no, NOOOOO!

Another screw up on the cocktail dress!

Apr 15, 2011

Water WILL stain taffeta, and other truths I learned sewing a Fifties-style cocktail dress

Friends, the dogs are pooped and so am I.  But there's no rest for the weary.  With just 36 hours to go before Cathy debuts her new cocktail dress at what we all hope will be a glamorous New York party and not just a bunch of actors drinking heavily, I need to finish this project.

Apr 14, 2011

Awesome New Men's Patterns!

Readers, I can't talk about lace and taffeta for one more day without puking wedding invitations.  Instead, I want to talk about guy stuff. 

Apr 13, 2011

Chugging along...

Good morning, friends.  No niceties today; there's work to be done.

Apr 12, 2011

Baby's First Redingote!

So yesterday I made mincemeat of nearly five yards of black lace.  As you may recall, I'm working on a cocktail dress that will be a cross between this:

Apr 11, 2011

The Heyday of the Housecoat

Friends, a personal question: What do you wear in the privacy of your own home and does it look anything like an evening gown?  Once upon a time -- in the living memory of some of you, I know -- women and men dressed up...just to hang around the house!

Apr 10, 2011

Sewing, Growing, and Flowing: The 8 Benefits of Making It Yourself

Readers, I always welcome the opportunity to take a break from actual talk about sewing.  I find myself in a contemplative mood today and thought I'd reflect a bit on what sewing has given me, and perhaps you too.

Here, then, are my 8 Benefits of Making It Yourself:

Apr 9, 2011

The sheer overlay cocktail dress

Does anything scream Fifties glamour more than a sheer lace overlay cocktail dress?  (Yes, Liberace comes close.)

Apr 8, 2011

Jewelry for Men -- yea or nay?

Some men look better in jewelry than others. Don't you agree?

I want to preface this post by saying we are not discussing whether men should be allowed to wear jewelry.  Of course they should!  I want to get your opinions on how it looks, and share mine as well.  So let's get started.

Apr 7, 2011

Lust and the "Designer" pattern

Readers, I am a man of strong passions.  Not typical passions, perhaps, but strong passions.  And sometimes fleeting passions:  remember the identical cream-colored Samsonite train cases and (still) stinky vintage American Tourister luggage set?

Apr 6, 2011

Scary girdles and other new acquisitions


Apr 5, 2011

Thinking about JEANS... plus contest winner!

Can it be?   Are we really only four weeks from the beginning of the MPB Jeans Sew-Along on Monday, May 2?  Somebody check and make sure I'm counting correctly!

Apr 4, 2011

Cathy models the Deborah Kerr Dress!

Friends, those of you who have ever had to begin again after a setback know that it's rarely easy.  Now that Cathy has paid her debt to society she's back in New York City and trying to create a life for herself.

What does the future hold for our youngish model?  At the very least a growing wardrobe of cocktail ensembles -- a big plus for a Gotham glamour girl.

Apr 3, 2011

MPB First-Ever Valerie Bertinelli Pattern GIVEAWAY!

Readers, do you remember the Seventies?  I do -- vividly -- and I just know Valerie Bertinelli wore a dress like the one pictured above on One Day at a Time.  Or am I thinking of Valerie Harper?

Apr 2, 2011


Friends, believe it or not, my cousin Cathy and I are very different.  Or we used to be.  Even when we were kids, Cathy couldn't have cared less what other people thought about her.  I, on the other hand, was always highly sensitive to what others thought of me -- or what I thought they thought -- and I let this influence choices I made for many, many (many) years.

Apr 1, 2011

The Friday Fashion Follies

Readers, as you can see, the little matching bolero jacket for Simplicity 4227 is shaping up nicely.  It still needs sleeves and a good pressing, but the facings are in and you can get a sense of where this is going.  I wasn't able to get much done yesterday.
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