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May 16, 2011

A Day of Rest

Loyal readers, today is all about R&R here at MPB.  Having just finished a two-week Jeans Sew-Along, I badly need a vacation, or at least an afternoon wrapped in compression bandages -- maybe two.

I still photograph well, of course, but one does lose one's dewy freshness (among other things).

As always, along with R&R comes a notable investment in R&D, as we strive to keep the pipeline stuffed with new products and projects.  The competition is fierce and I am committed to staying one step ahead of the pack.  I may have to hire more staff.

Needless to say, my mind is teeming with ideas, both fresh and moldy.  Any little thing can spark a new project.  A quick peek at the headlines...

A new book...

A trip to the salon...

And suddenly I've bought a new pattern, which should arrive any day now.

The problem with a dress like this, friends, is that there's really only one event you can wear it to, and you have to plan it.  Given Cathy's love life these days, I don't think there's any rush.

But there are other new patterns in my life.  I won this on eBay recently -- you can't have too many vintage slip patterns; who wants to line everything?

I picked up some wonderful books at the flea market on Saturday and I wanted to share one of them with you today.    

New York Fashion, by Caroline Rennolds Milbank, is what's commonly known as a coffee table book, but you don't need a coffee table to enjoy it.  Upper body strength is essential to lift it, however.

This gorgeous volume, published in 1989 by Abrams, is my new favorite vintage fashion book, and focuses primarily on Twentieth Century fashion from the turn of the century through the 1980s.  This is the period when New York became a fashion capital, and New York Fashion covers all the major designers and the glorious clothes (and fashion trends) they produced, decade by decade.  It's a great read and full of gorgeous photographs, both black & white and color.

More pics of New York Fashion here

Moving right along...

Thank you for your kind response to yesterday's fashion shoot.  I think Michael and I are going to dress alike more often -- all couples should, really!

Whatever became of this charming tradition?

Friends, we're out of time.   I hope that whether you're at home, at work, or even on the road, you're planning your next projects along with me.

What's next for you and does it include a white tulle veil or matching Pendleton plaids (for your next trip to Disneyland)?

Go for it, I say.

Happy Monday, everybody!


  1. Next for me is a copy of a handbag I saw on Anthropologie. $228 is outlandish for something I could make in just a few hours.
    My husband's birthday is coming up so I'm going to make him a bathrobe.

  2. As a jeans sew along straggler, my first pair is done except for the waistband. They're turning out really well and thank G*d for my featherweight.

  3. Ooh, that family in plaid is SCARY! My current project is altering 4 pair of RTW slacks that have been hanging unloved in my closet. Working on the oldest pair first, nothing ventured, nothing gained. If this isn't successful, I haven't lost anything since I haven't worn them for years!

  4. We were advised (in all seriousness) that we should dress the whole family alike when we went to DisneyWorld this past fall. We were told it would help keep the child from getting lost. Which might work - but wouldn't make the child run and hide in shame instead? :)

  5. For that last pic, they better all be in Scotland!

  6. I started my jeans late, and my DH is putting in the rivets as I speak. I think the fit is fine (Jalie 2908), and I hope to put up some photos in the next couple of days.
    Thank you Peter for leading me through making my first jeans!( The first of many I'm sure)

  7. It is a shame that more couples don't do the dress alike thing these days. My mom used to do it to my sister and I when we were young, and we're not even twins. He he he!

    Gosh Peter! A wedding dress? I wish I could remake mine. Mine wasn't even white! Though if I could do it all over again - I'd elope, in Vegas - maybe even Reno - and have a ball of a time. No parents allowed!


  8. Ugh, pendleton wool in FLORIDA? Are they nuts?

  9. I'm DONE, I'm done with my jeans! Posted my pics on Flickr and everything! I wanted to thank you, Peter, for doing this sew-along. I was completely intimidated by jeans and only the fact that I'd signed up for this forced me to actually work through the challenge. A whole new vista of sewing has opened up, now that I know I can in fact handle something this difficult. So THANK YOU!

    You and Michael look adorable!

    My next project? Maybe a denim skirt....I have my machines set up for denim, we are looking at warmer weather right now, and I have a pattern that I think might accommodate your button fly tutorial. I'm curious to try that....

  10. I laughed out loud at the matching family! Good luck with the wedding dress. Maybe you could hire yourself out?

  11. As for the matching plaid family - I suspect that they are in Anaheim not Florida and yes, we did (the whole fam-damlie) dress alike in plaid! Our plaid didn't come from Oregon (where Pendleton is made) but rather Scotland, but none the less was it embarrassing as a child being dressed alike? YOU BET!

    But it wasn't as embarrassing as our neighbors who had matching snow skiing outfits and matching snow skis. Or the the neighbors that had their children likeness painted on the side of their van! At least we could change our clothes, but how would you like to see your face on the side of a van all over town!

  12. That book looks amazing! Fabulous photos! And I love the wedding dress!! Nothing like making the gown of all gowns!

  13. You don't have to make the bridal gown, you could go for view B instead. Cathy in 80's glam - doesn't that inspire you?
    -- stashdragon

  14. OMG, too funny, Peter! That Vogue wedding pattern was going to be my wedding dress 20 years ago, until I chickened out (of the sewing, not the wedding lol). I don't have a Pippa Middleton bod, so it was just as well I chose a different style dress ;-) But Cathy could wear it, so I eagerly await the slideshow!

  15. Honey, you have no idea what you're wishing for... In France it's a fairly common occurrence to see matching couples walking hand-in-hand down the street (almost always straight, often middle-aged..) and it's not pretty. Don't you have lesbian friends with the same hairdresser to scare you out of this idea?
    The only thing I really want to see y'all match in is a wedding dress :-).

  16. All I have to do to finish my jeans is put on the waist band and belt loops and hem them. I used the Kwik Sew pattern and I'm sort of between M and S so there was some finagling with the pattern and I still think they're going to be a bit big. Keep telling myself I'll get all the bugs out on the second pair (if there is another pair). Oddly, I have done most of the sewing on my sturdy, old reliable Singer and the new, fancy Viking (yeah, touchscreen and all) doesn't really like the heavy thread. Glad I have more than one machine to choose from. I will be posting a Flikr photo as soon as I get finished!

  17. That Butterick pj pattern? I have it in kids' sizes. The cover photo is even in the same fabric. And Peter, you don't want compression bandages. They hurt. Take it from someone who has to wear them on a semi regular basis and nix 'em.

  18. Bridal patterns? Sounds like fun. But tbh the dress was a blatant knockoff from the first "father of the bride" films.
    Yes I couldnt believe it either.

  19. *Drool* on the books! The bridal couture one has been on my wish list for months. :)

    For dressing alike - I've come up with a formal gown design for myself. Whenever the day comes that I have an excuse to sew it up, I plan to make my husband a tie and pocket corner out of the same fabric. Not too matchy matchy, but a nice nod to dressing alike.

  20. Well here's to opposites attracting. I don't care to dress alike while my hubby thinks it's kinda cute :P

    But, then again, he did play in a band at Disneyland in the 70's. Gack! (Apologies to all those that loved Disneyland during the 70's.)

  21. Here in Korea, it's common for couples to dress alike, especially engaged and newlywed couples, but really any dating couple. It's very charming and funny; some of the outfits are nuts. If you google Korea Couple Tee you'll get an eyeful.

  22. Ha. The couples patterns are hilarious. Better than unisex patterns though I guess, right?

  23. My husband would NEVER wear a matching outfit with me... Well, maybe if I cried A LOT, and maybe it would have to be hand in hand with some PPD, and some really naughty children, and then maybe he'd be guilted into it. BUT, I have actually worn twin outfits with my MIL, on accident, we were shopping, and talking about having to wear matching outfits with our mother's when we were growing up, and totally oblivious to the fact that we were matching, and not just coordinating, like full on same outfit.

  24. I have way too many projects going at the same time. My jeans are stagnated still without the zipper or waistband.
    I always wanted to wear my hair like the bride of Frankenstein...streak and all.

  25. Oh my GOD you had gorgeous hair!!

  26. That photo of you was gorgeous Peter, not that you are any different now!


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