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Jul 31, 2011

Think Pink!

Readers, Dame Fortune smiled on us again today!

How often does one stumble upon like-new, vintage, opera-length, pink nylon gloves in a healthy Size 7?   Well, I did, this morning at the flea market. 

Jul 30, 2011

It's a Sign! or "Superstitious Sewing"

Readers, are you superstitious?  I'm not, I mean, not particularly.  But sometimes uncanny, synchronistic occurances do take place and who am I to say they aren't a sign from the great beyond and I don't mean the Bronx.

Jul 29, 2011

I'd rather be sewing!

Friends, I have to be honest.  As much as I enjoy the occasional break from my normal routine, I'm not a vacation person.  It's not that I don't appreciate a change of scenery, I do.  But generally, after a day or two of fun in the sun, I am ready to get back to my strapless cocktail dress project or whatever I'm working on at the moment.

Jul 25, 2011

What brings you joy?

Friends, there are times when so much awfulness seems to be occurring in the world, on so many fronts, that it can leave one feeling very discouraged -- or is it just me?

At periods like these, it can be helpful to remember that no matter what may be happening "out there," we always retain the power to create positive change in our immediate communities, in our families, and in ourselves.

We can start by making joy a priority in our own lives. 

Jul 23, 2011

1952 Strapless Cocktail Dress: Sneak Preview!

Readers, I lied: we will be discussing McCall's 9152, the strapless cocktail dress, today.  My apologies and thanks for all the topic ideas yesterday.  Will you accept a raincheck?

Jul 22, 2011

Heat waves and strapless dresses

Friends, the only good thing about a heat wave is....I can't think of anything.  (It feels good when it's over?)   I actually enjoy the heat, most of the time.  But I'm ready for a break, which won't come till next week, when it's predicted to be in the Arctic upper eighties. 

Jul 21, 2011

Boning Demystified

The 1952 strapless cocktail dress project continues!

Jul 20, 2011

Sewing the 1952 Strapless Cocktail Dress

Readers, one can only maintain a sewing blog and not sew for so long.

OK, that's not a pretty sentence (would a second comma help?) but I think you know what I'm talking about.  At a certain point one must make an executive decision and get back to work.  Plus I was getting tired of writing about old magazines and library books.

Jul 19, 2011

Tales for a Torrid Tuesday

Readers, it's hot in New York this week.  Very, very hot.  Here's what's going on:

I'm happy to report that my mother's hip surgery was successful and she's up and about once more.  She can walk (slowly) pain-free after only six weeks --a big improvement.

Jul 18, 2011

Fashion 2011 or "Land of the Lost"

Friends, in our continued series exploring popular magazines of the past and the images they present of American fashion and lifestyles (particularly the roles of women), today we stumble upon 2011.  Do you remember that troubling time?

Jul 17, 2011

Cathy Sings! (Jerry Herman, no less)

Such exciting news, friends.  Cathy -- fashion model and my beloved identical cousin -- is adding professional singer to her list of accomplishments!

Jul 16, 2011

The Return of Rain

Readers, I'm a nice person and I'm always up for doing a friend a favor.  But like everyone, I have my limits.

Who do I hear from yesterday but Rain.  Surely you remember Rain, the man who restored my Singer 15-91 to like-new condition and correctly diagnosed the problem with my Featherweight hook assembly, helping me to get it working this winter?

Jul 15, 2011

Sewing Ambition

Friends, are you ambitious?  With regard to sewing, I mean.

I think all of us want to keep learning more, and it's hard not learn if you take on lots of new projects.  The more you sew, the more you know, right?

I often ask myself what it is I most want to learn.  To be honest, I find the whole sewing thing a bit overwhelming: there's so much to know and it's not always clear to me how best to learn it.  Some people enroll in fashion school or take classes, others buy books, follow video tutorials, etc.  There's a lot out there.

Jul 14, 2011

Peter's sparkly new fabric!

Good morning, sophisticates and hayseeds!

Desperate to jumpstart my sewing mojo, and feeling a bit giddy and irresponsible yesterday, I hightailed it to the Garment District, determined to return home with something I'd be excited about sewing with.  Voilà!   

Jul 13, 2011

Are you sophisticated?

Reading blog comments in response to recent posts about summer comfort and contemporary style, I noticed that most of you are relieved to be able to wear what feels comfortable to you.

Jul 12, 2011

4 Great Things About Fashion Today!

Is Thom Browne a genius or what?  This fall, I am adding fringe to my lampshade.

Friends, sometimes I think we dwell too much on fashions of the past here at MPB, and in ways both subtle and not-so-subtle, write off the present.  It's easy to criticize what's wrong with fashion today: the excessive trendiness, the sameness of so much of it, the constant focus on cost-cutting (sew it cheaply!), the endless re-hashing of vintage styles.

Jul 11, 2011

Summer Sewing - more or less?

Friends, come summer, something comes over me.  Perhaps it's heatstroke.  My normal high energy begins to lag, and I find myself conflicted over how much I really want to be sewing.

Jul 8, 2011

MPB DAY -- Save the Date!

Friends, it's time we met, don't you think?

On Saturday, August 13th @ 11 am, we're going to do just that -- it's MPB Day!

Jul 7, 2011

Fashion and Self-Expression

Readers, do you know the couples counseling truism that goes (and I'm paraphrasing), that choosing to say nothing at all (i.e. remaining silent, shutting down) is still a form of communication?

I've been thinking a lot lately about the meaning of how we dress each day, and if our clothing choices are always expressing something whether or not we're trying to communicate anything consciously.

Jul 6, 2011

Hurray for Hollywood!

Friends, we're off on another journey today!

I'm the biggest old movie fan ever -- as if you didn't already know -- and one of my treasures is a small collection of vintage movie magazines in fantastic condition which I bought many years ago, for something like $1 each, on the street from some guy who must have found them in a dumpster and just wanted to move them fast.  (Longest MPB sentence ever.)

Jul 5, 2011

30 Sewing DOs & DON'Ts!

75 Sex Tips!  

55 Things You Can Learn About Him in 10 Minutes!!   

582 Ways to Get Rid of Belly Fat!!!

Readers, who doesn't love a list?  I know I do.  And they're just as much fun to write as they are to read.  Well, almost.

Jul 4, 2011

Land of the Free(bie)

Friends, the only thing I like better than getting something for next to nothing ($20 sewing machines, anyone?), is getting something for FREE!

Jul 3, 2011

The Dreaded Sewing Chore

Friends, have you ever needed to get something done, that you just put off and put off until you really couldn't put it off any longer -- and then you still put it off?

If so, let me tell you about my ironing board cover. 

Jul 1, 2011

"You've come a long way, baby" or Revisiting the Seventies Woman!

We're traveling again today, kids.  Yesterday we revisited 1951.  Now we're jumping forward (or backward, depending on your perspective) to 1972, via the pages of the September 1972 issue of Ladies' Home Journal.
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