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Sep 30, 2011

Self-sewn Trash

I'm on a roll, readers, oh, am I on a roll!

Yesterday I asked you about the challenge of ditching home-sewn garments, as opposed to throwing away ready-to-wear.  Well, I've discovered that it's not that hard.  There are three key questions one must ask oneself:

Sep 29, 2011

Time to think about underwear + A Ditch in Time...

Readers, it's nearly October, which means it's almost time for the MPB Men's Boxers Sew-Along to begin!  Our start date is this coming Monday, October 3rd.  Where did the time go? 

You don't need a lot of supplies to make boxers, just some fabric, thread, elastic, and a sewing machine.  Hopefully you already have these.  If not, there's still time to get them!

Sep 28, 2011

"Out with the Old, In with the New" + CONTEST!

Readers, I'm not a fan of dogmatic people, and I would hate to come across as one.  My Daily Ditch© method of personal transformation does create miracles, but it's important to allow a few things into your life, too -- otherwise, you'll have nothing left to ditch.  Think about it.

Sep 27, 2011

Leah Models the BurdaStyle Halter Dress!

At long last, readers, my BurdaStyle sew-along halter dress photo shoot!  If it seems to you like I've been working on this dress for, like, forever, imagine what if feels like to me. 

This shoot, my first without my cousin Cathy, is bound to invite comparisons between her and Leah.  Please remember that Leah is not a professional model like Cathy, though I think she acquits herself quite nicely. 

Sep 26, 2011

Happiness is a Clean Sewing Table

This may not look like anything to brag about to you, neat readers, but for me this is as good as it gets.  I can actually see the table under my sewing machines!

Sep 25, 2011

Two sewing machines GONE + Street Fair Madness!

Readers, after a solid week of Daily Ditches, yesterday I was ready to put my willpower to the ultimate test: the fantastic London Terrace Street Fair that takes place every September just down the block from my apartment.  Could I go there and come back with nothing?  The short answer is no.  But while I didn't pass the test with flying colors, I think I earned a solid B+.  First let's back up a bit.

Sep 24, 2011

Saturday Ditch-a-Palooza + Advice, please!

Readers, how many times have you removed the pillowcases from your pillows and been utterly disgusted by what you beheld?

Sep 23, 2011

How to Store a Strapless Dress, et al.

Friends, I have nothing but admiration for Joan Crawford as a movie star, but I couldn't resist this cheap shot.

As you know, the BurdaStyle dress is finished, and Leah will be taking it home with her next week.  Good thing she is, too, because with my recent obsession with The Daily Ditch, it might otherwise end up at my local Goodwill -- or worse.

Sep 22, 2011

Clothing vs. Costume

Friends, this is a costume.  In real life, nobody wears pottery-shard crowns on their head.

This, in contrast, is clothing -- bland, nondescript, contemporary men's clothing, no doubt from Uniqlo, not that there's anything wrong with that.

Sep 21, 2011

A girl, a camera, and a pretty dress

Friends, the BurdaStyle halter dress is finished and the photo shoot completed!

Actually, the dress still needs a few tweaks, but nothing visible from the outside.  Both Leah and I love the look of the dress strapless as well as with halter straps, so I'm going to make the straps button-on so she can remove them whenever she wants to.  Leah came up with that idea; I was thinking velcro.

Sep 20, 2011

The Ditch is Back

Readers, you probably already know that I do not do things by halves.  I hope you'll remember this as posts about throwing stuff out (aka The Daily Ditch) become the new normal here at MPB, at least until I've cleared most of the junk out. 

Sep 19, 2011

Is Sewing an Art?

Readers, today's topic is challenging, but after re-reading yesterday's comments about the resurrection of dead couturier's fashion houses (specifically, whether Balenciaga was closer to a tractor manufacturer than to an artist like Picasso), I started wondering: is sewing an art? 

Sep 18, 2011

Resurrecting Dead Couture Houses

Friends, when Pablo Picasso, the tremendously prolific painter who also made ceramics, sculptures, drawings, prints, and even rugs, died in 1973, that was the end; there would be no more Picassos.  There was no search for someone to take over the studio and paint Picasso-like paintings to sell to a public still hungry for more.

Sep 17, 2011

On Pins & Needles + The Daily Ditch!

Readers, today I want to talk about self love.

Do you ever find that in your daily rushed routine of taking care of others you neglect yourself?  I do!  It often seems like if I'm not walking chihuahuas, I'm feeding chihuahuas, or stroking chihuahuas, or tossing some stuffed something-or-other-that-used-to-have-legs-that-got-chewed-off and playing with chihuahuas.  Actually, only they're playing, I'm just throwing.

How about me?

Sep 16, 2011

Introducing...The Daily Ditch!

Readers, I am so excited to introduce a new feature here on MPB -- The Daily Ditch.  As you know, there are a great many things I need to dispose of and I often lose focus at the very moment I need to decide what stays and what goes.

What better way to keep myself on track than to feature one special item to be discarded each day -- a moving tribute to yesterday's treasure/today's crap.  For many of you, this will be a pleasant stroll down memory lane, for others, a nightmare of repressed memories.  Regardless, I hope it proves healing and cathartic.  Of course, this will not replace my regular daily blog entries, but rather be an additional treat.  Doesn't that sound like fun?

Sep 15, 2011

Fabric Shopping With Alicia!

Readers, as you know, there's nothing I enjoy more than fabric shopping with fans.  I get to feel like a celebrity, boss people around, enjoy the thrill of the hunt without spending a dime, and, occasionally, get treated to lunch, as I did yesterday (preceded by the familiar drama-at-the-cash-register that goes No, let me.  No me!  No, I insist!, etc.  Finally, I succumbed, all the while wishing I'd gotten that brownie.).

Sep 14, 2011

Peter's New Singer + Burda Dress Progress

Behold, the beautiful Singer 201!

I finally trained it down to Rain's place yesterday and, wouldn't you know I forgot to bring my camera again -- rats!  The best way to describe Rain's loft is to picture Santa's workshop if he only made sewing machines and employed just one short Korean elf.  There are vintage Singer sewing machines and sewing machine tables in every nook and cranny (Rain is strictly a Singer man), many of which are in the process of being restored.  Featherweight cases (with Featherweights in them) line the stairs to his sleeping loft.  It's all very industrial-chic.

Sep 13, 2011

Tuesday Tidbits

Friends, if this image looks just like one I posted yesterday, it's because I never got started on my skirt alteration project -- I was paralyzed with anxiety after reading your comments, with predictions of time required ranging anywhere from 20 minutes to 3-4 days.  Whom to believe?  No, I think I'll just put this one on the back burner for a while.  Anyway, I won't see Stephanie for a week.  

Sep 12, 2011

Doing Alterations for Others - Yea or Nay?

Like many home sewers, I'm not into altering other people's clothes.  Heck, I don't even like to alter my own!  (Though, ironically, that's the original reason I bought a sewing machine in 2009 -- to shorten some thrift store jeans -- and look what happened.)

Sep 11, 2011

How I Saved a Dress, and My A**

Readers, remember this loathsome garment from last week that looked like an Eighth Grade Home Ec sewing project left out in the rain and ridden over by the cast of Ben Hur?  (OK, this is one of those classic Before photos where the light couldn't be less flattering, but still...)  On Thursday, I asked you to send me your good sewing karma, and you did.  Behold!

Sep 9, 2011

MPB Men's Boxers Sew-Along!

Hold on to your hats, friends, and don't catch a chill -- it's time for another sew-along!

Sep 8, 2011

Pattern Mixing: Confidence vs. Competence

Friends, today I want to talk about mixing patterns.   

This is something I should be able to discuss with ease (this is MPB, after all) and yet it's complicated.  Most of us were schooled in What goes with what as children, when we were told by (anxious) parents-or-guardians that our paisley shirt and striped pants simply didn't go together (They were only trying to protect us, poor things -- as you do your children) and we took it to heart, never again daring to pair a print with anything other than a dark solid -- if at all. 

Sep 7, 2011

Winners & Losers!

Friends, first things first -- the winner of the vintage Forties pattern giveaway...

Sep 6, 2011

Eyebrows-a-palooza or "We're Plucked!"

Friends, I would love to write the definitive eyebrow blog post today.  I fear this won't be it, but rather a somewhat scattered stream of consciousness on this highly alterable facial feature.  It's such a rich topic.  Almost everybody has eyebrows.

Sep 5, 2011

Peter's Labor Day Labors

Friends near and far, today is Labor Day in the USA, a legal holiday we enjoy thanks to the struggles of union workers, and probably on the chopping block.  But let's not get political.

Labor Day or no, I have a lot of labor staring me in the face. 

Sep 4, 2011

Vintage Forties Pattern Giveaway!

How long has it been since we've had a pattern giveaway, readers?  I say, too long!

As you know, I am always one to share the wealth (well, almost always), so I picked one lovely pattern from my recent vintage pattern treasure trove to share with you.

Sep 3, 2011

MPB EXCLUSIVE! -- First-ever MAD LIBS blog post!

Any American who grew up in the Seventies or later remembers Mad Libs.  Mad Libs was a kind of word game -- notepad-style books full of short stories, poems, or popular song lyrics, with key words left out, which you and a partner would fill in.

You'd ask your partner for, say, a noun, adjective, or adverb, and your partner -- ideally a randy eleven-year-old -- would come up with the silliest words he/she could think of, not knowing how they'd sound within the context of the story.  When you were finished you'd read the story aloud to your partner and if done correctly, both collapse in hysterical laughter and pee your pants.

Sep 2, 2011

Vintage Pattern Treasure Trove!

Readers, a confession:  While I'm not the type of person who would ever wish anybody ill, neither am I thrilled to hear that better things are happening to other people than to me.  It's a character flaw, I know it.

Sep 1, 2011

Is it time for a facelift?

Friends, I have to ask your honest opinion.  Do you think Male Pattern Boldness could use some cosmetic improvements -- a few virtual nips and tucks as it were?  I hope you weren't thinking I was asking about myself....I embrace my crepey eyelids!
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