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Aug 31, 2011

"Aunt Hilda" unmasked!

Readers, the cat's out of the bag, and I'll have more to say about cats in a minute.  The true identity of my Aunt Hilda, I mean, my "Aunt Hilda" has been revealed!

Aug 30, 2011

Favorite Online Sewing Resources!

Readers, we all love sewing blogs.  In fact, if it weren't for sewing blogs like this one, I wouldn't be the Troy Donahue of men's sewing (with a 43.95% sexy index).  But today I want to focus on something else: the online sewing communities and organizations that serve us home sewers best.

Aug 29, 2011

Why I Won't Be Blogging Today

Readers with blogs, do you ever wake up in the morning and find the well has run dry -- you simply have nothing to blog about?

Aug 28, 2011

Home again -- and the big storm that wasn't

Friends, I'm back, and arguably better than ever.  So much to tell!

Our vacation, to historic Woodstock in the Catskill mountains, was great fun -- lots of hiking, cooking, and relaxing.  And so much beautiful fungus!

Aug 18, 2011

Good News, Bad News + POLL!

Readers, so much to cover today, some of it good, some of it not-so-good.  Why dawdle?  Here goes:

Aug 17, 2011

On Male Beauty

Readers, do you subscribe to the belief that a man can be too good-looking?

Aug 16, 2011

Requiem for the Ladies Hat

Readers, I know women still wear hats.

You see them on the runway... 

Aug 15, 2011

The TOP SECRET Dress Project

Welcome readers!  I know many of you are still recovering from MPB Day festivities, but we must move forward nonetheless.  A buffered aspirin is good for most headaches but rashes that persist for more than a few days should be checked out by a doctor.

Friends, there is so little I can say about my next sewing project that it almost isn't worth writing about.  But I'm going to try.

Aug 14, 2011

MPB DAY -- We're a hit!

Friends, I lead with this photo for two reasons: 1) it makes me look popular, and 2) it makes me look tall.  An entirely spontaneous yet brilliant composition!

What can I say, folks --  MPB Day was a rousing success.  We had an excellent turnout (more than twenty-five people!) and the weather couldn't have been better, which, given the summer we've had, is a minor miracle.

Aug 12, 2011

MPB DAY -- the dress rehearsal

Readers, I can hardly believe it: MPB Day is tomorrow!  Like Christmas and the 4th of July, MPB Day is a time when we celebrate, not just a blog, no, but a set of shared values that include pressing as you sew, avoiding cheap interfacing, and always being on the lookout for treasures in the trash.

Aug 11, 2011

The Big Purchase

Readers, I generally avoid writing about money-related topics.   It can be considered tacky and -- particularly in a crappy economy -- insensitive, plus it's boring.

Of course, I share my fabric purchases with you, but you know most of what I sew with is either fished out of the dumpster, bought at a rock-bottom fabric dive, or stripped off my bed -- or someone's.  Even Cathy's jewelry is from the flea market -- and we're talking slightly moldy Sarah Coventry, not vintage Miriam Haskell.

Aug 10, 2011

Mad Men and the early Sixties

Friends, I started watching Mad Men yesterday.  With three episodes of Season 1 under by belt, I am sorry to say that I think I've had enough.

It's a lot easier to criticize others' creative output than to be creative yourself and it's obvious that Mad Men is a collective labor of love.  The achievements of Mad Men stylist Janie Bryant in recreating the look of the period deserve praise.  But the writers' take on Sixties attitudes and relationships is one big politically-incorrect cliché.

Aug 9, 2011

"The September Issue" + fashion movie faves!

Between last week's tulle-athon and this week's stock market crisis, I've been needing to chill, and there's nothing that relaxes me more than popping a video in my DVD-drive and watching a good fashion flick.

Aug 8, 2011


Readers, maybe it's the cool morning breezes that hint September is on its way -- no, we haven't had any of those yet, sadly.

Rather,  I think it's knowing that once August is here, it's nearly MPB Day, then Labor Day, and then it's back to school!  Already the stores are brimming with school supplies and fall clothes -- not that I shop in clothing stores, mind you.

Aug 7, 2011

Mid-Sixties Style or "Glamour's Last Gasp"

Fun find at the flea market this morning, friends!  Three mid-Sixties pattern magazines, all dating from 1964-65.

This was a fascinating time in fashion.  Styles were about to change in a big way, but on the surface we were still in the late Fifties "Populuxe" era of shantung cocktail ensembles and white gloves.  It was glamour's last hurrah, but who knew it at the time?  Let's take a look!

Aug 6, 2011

The "Mermaid" gown - oui ou non?

Greeting, friends!  We're in rest mode here at MPB this weekend -- and cleaning mode.  As you might imagine, after a visit from Cathy, the place is an absolute mess, with the living room looking like backstage at "La Cage Aux Folles."

But just because we're resting doesn't mean we're not planning.  Look what I just picked up on Etsy!

Aug 5, 2011

Cathy models the strapless 50's cocktail dress!

Friends, at long last, the cocktail dress photo shoot.

I know there was some drama involved in this project and undeniable differences of opinion with many of you, beloved readers, but I like to think that, in the end, it only brought us closer. 

Aug 4, 2011

"Fashion Camp" for kids -- yea or nay?

Friends, I read this article in today's New York Times (you may have to click through an ad to get there, my apologies) and wanted to share it with you.  It's about fashion camp -- a summer program for tweens and teens who want to become fashion designers.

During the one-week program, the young participants "dream up their own fashion brands, tour museums, learn to blog, attend lectures by stylists and editors, and barnstorm shops like Barneys and Saks in trips known as 'market visits.'"

Aug 3, 2011

Crinolines on Parade!

Goodness, my demi-plié isn't what it used to be....

Oh, you're here!

Friends, I am happy to announce that my crinolines are nearly finished.  Yes, you read that right: crinolines -- plural.  As I was gathering my 10 yards of nylon net yesterday and realizing I could wrap my entire living room with it, twice, I came to the conclusion that it would make more sense to make two crinolines, which could be worn one on top of the other, or separately.  Eureka!

Aug 2, 2011

Time to make the crinoline!

Good morning, readers, and welcome to MPB, home of the crinoline!

I am happy to report that I have pushed past my sewing block and the crinoline is underway.  Here's what I've done so far:

Aug 1, 2011

Pushing Past the Sewing Block

Readers, do you ever come up against a sewing block (block, as in obstacle)?

Are there things you're simply afraid to try: insert a lapped zipper, pad stitch a lapel, underline a bodice?  Would part of you like to be able to tackle these challenges but you just can't get over your irrational fear?
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