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Jun 30, 2011

Let's Take a Trip!

Friends, we're traveling today, so pack you bags.  We're climbing into our trusty time machine -- safety belts, please! -- and traveling back exactly sixty years, to 1951.

Jun 29, 2011

Favorite Books on Fashion History

Readers, one of my goals this summer is to increase my knowledge of fashion history -- particularly of the last century.

Jun 28, 2011

The Celebrity Pitch

Readers, many volumes have been written about advertising and its role as lubricant in our (rapidly rusting) consumer culture.  But after reading the many excellent comments to yesterday's post about models, I wanted to talk more about it. 

Jun 27, 2011

Models Then and Models Now

Friends, I'm back and ready to take on the world.  Of modeling.

Jun 21, 2011

The $4.6 Million Dress

Friends, by now you've all probably heard about the Debbie Reynolds Hollywood costume and memorabilia auction that happened last weekend.  The big news: Marilyn Monroe's infamous "subway dress" went for $4.6 million.

For that price it should have sleeves.

Jun 20, 2011

"Are my seams straight?"

Readers, we're not going to talk about ladies stockings today, though I haven't ruled out this riveting topic for the future, perhaps during "Fetish Week."

No, today, I want to discuss the tricks and tools we sewists use to keep our seams straight and seam allowances accurate.  MPB reader "E" recently emailed me to ask how I manage to sew so evenly, and whether it was simply a question of practice.

Jun 19, 2011

Peter models the funky-cuffed summer shirt!

Readers, the shirt is finished and yesterday, with Michael's able assistance, I got to play fashion model!

Jun 18, 2011

Sewing with Old Sheets

Readers, as you probably know, I'm a big fan of repurposing old bedsheets.

I was going to say vintage bedsheets, but really, the age of the sheet doesn't matter, it's the cost that counts.  You see, the best thing about sewing with sheets is that they can usually be found in thrift stores for just a few dollars (if that) and they're generally huge.

Jun 17, 2011

Friday Filler

Not a whole lot to report on this end, I'm afraid.  I cut my shirt fabric yesterday and started stitching.  I'm using my tried-and-true vintage shirt pattern, Butterick 4712, but this time incorporating a sloping shoulder adjustment.  I hope that turns out well.

Jun 16, 2011

Back to sewing!

Friends, thank you so much for your amusing and candid responses to yesterday's post about things you'll skimp on and things you won't.  I know more about you than I probably should (and vice versa), but what are blogs for if not unburdening ourselves to strangers and who doesn't like to talk about shopping?  It's a like a cross-country bus trip, but with better conversation and cleaner bathrooms.

Jun 15, 2011

This I WILL NOT skimp on!

Readers, I know I'm not the best person to write today's blog post.

Jun 14, 2011

New Shoes and Old Movies

Friends, the cliffhanger is over -- my second-hand Allen Edmonds shoes arrived yesterday afternoon and I love them.

Jun 13, 2011


Readers, for men, there are three kinds of shoes: black, brown, and sneakers.  That's it.  Please don't argue or ask What about desert boots?  Just trust me.  Men don't care about shoes.

Jun 9, 2011

I'll Be Back...

I'm taking a few days off blogging while my mother recuperates from hip surgery, readers.  (The operation went fine.)

Enjoy the rest of the week!

Jun 8, 2011

Peter Speaks! The Kenmore 158.141 video

Friends, I'd like to introduce your formally to my new Kenmore zigzagger, with a short video I made.

Jun 7, 2011

Books about Fabric -- Your Recommendations Please!

Readers, when I say I have a lot of sewing books, I mean I have a lot of sewing books -- many dozens.  I bought some of them new, purchased even more used online, stumbled upon others at the flea market...I even found a couple in the trash!

Jun 6, 2011


No blog today, folks, but the incomparable Sarita has agreed to provide some entertainment, complete with tassels.

Jun 5, 2011

Strapless Gowns - yea or nay?

Friends, I need your help.  What do you think of the strapless look?

Strapless gowns became popular in the Postwar Forties, ruled in the bosom-worshiping Fifties, held on through the early Sixties, and have made a major comeback recently with the popularity of the breast implant and vintage red carpet looks.

Jun 4, 2011

Best Purchase, Worst Purchase?

Friends, apropos of recipes for a happy life, I think it's essential for us to be able appreciate our successes and forgive our mistakes.  We're always doing the best we can with the information we have at the time, and yet how many people continue to punish themselves for errors of judgment made in the past even though it makes them unhappy?  I know I do!

Jun 3, 2011

Making a Ginger Rogers Dress

What can you say about Ginger Rogers that hasn't already been said on a million other sewing/vintage style blogs?  I'll try to come up with something. I've actually written about her a few times, early on, here and here.

Jun 2, 2011

Recipe for a Happy Life

Friends, let's not talk about sewing today.

I've been thinking a lot about the Alexander McQueen exhibit I saw on Tuesday, and why certain professions seem to create so much apparent unhappiness -- or attract those with a strong propensity for it.

Jun 1, 2011

Alexander McQueen show at the Met

Friends, I have neither the skill nor the familiarity with the subject to write a valid critique of Savage Beauty, the Alexander McQueen show at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, which I was fortunate enough to see yesterday.
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