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Dec 31, 2011

Behold the Refinished Featherweight Table!

Friends, I simply couldn't wait till 2012 to show you my refinished Singer Featherweight table, which I fished out of the trash only one week ago.  Ready?

Dec 30, 2011

Peter's Best and Worst of 2011!

Friends, I'm not a big fan of year-end wrap-ups.  I mean, are our memories so short that we need to be reminded of what just happened?  I had something else to say about this, but I forgot it...

Let's talk about sewing!

Dec 29, 2011

Peter Strips!

Readers, I hope you're not disappointed but I will not be disrobing today.  I will, however, be finishing my featherweight table, otherwise known as Miracle on 24th St.

Dec 28, 2011

Featherweight Table Makeover -- and so much more!

Isn't this an amazing transformation, readers?  Wow!

Unfortunately, this Featherweight table is not the one Santa left for me in the street last weekend, but rather belongs to MPB reader Wayne of Florida, who restored it himself.  This pic shows the table before he applied polyurethane, but it looks fantastic to me as is (the blue tape is simply to keep the black enamel paint applied to the sides off the top).

Dec 27, 2011

A Sewing Machine as a Gift -- Yea or Nay?

Readers, I was both excited and troubled by a feature I saw in the most recent (January 2012) issue of Consumer Reports magazine.  Their annual "25 Great Gifts" list included -- are you sitting down? -- a sewing machine!

Dec 25, 2011

Miracle on 24th Street!

Friends, do you believe in Christmas miracles?  You don't?  Well, read on -- you soon may!

Dec 23, 2011

Is Fashion In a Rut?

Readers, do you think fashion is in a rut?  I ask, having just read a very thought-provoking article by Kurt Anderson in the January 2012 issue of Vanity Fair, entitled "You Say You Want a Devolution."

It's a longish article, but the basic thrust of Anderson's argument is that the evolution of (Western) style -- fashion, architecture, interior design, even music -- has been slowing, so much so that very little change has taken place in the last twenty years.  Examples: jeans, tee shirts, and sneakers reigned in the early 90's (and arguably before) and they're still king; Madonna then, Lady Gaga channeling Madonna now.

Dec 22, 2011

Joy to the World, the Pants are Done!

Friends, I certainly hope viewing this pic isn't putting anyone's job in jeopardy.  But I just finished my cherry leopard stretch denim pants and I am ready to rap, or whatever one does, shirtless, in leopard pants.  Actually, I'm listening to my lovely Concert, Theater & Parlor Songs of John Philip Sousa CD.  Weird, right?

Dec 21, 2011

Leopard Pants Progress!

Readers, the pants are coming along.  For you jumpsuit fans -- what can I say?  Maybe next time.  I really don't wear jumpsuits, to be honest.  I don't jump much.

Dec 20, 2011

MPB Second Annual "Leopard for the Holidays!"

Friends, do you remember the leopard print pants I made at precisely this time last year?  Oh, if I had a dollar for every time some stranger emailed me asking if I would make them a pair of these pants, I'd have enough to buy a large coffee from Starbucks with muffin!

Dec 18, 2011

Whither the Chorus Girl? + ASSIGNMENT

Friends, to say that the chorus girl was a popular stock character in old Hollywood movies (by which I mean the pre-Sixties studio days) is to state the obvious.  But have you ever wondered whatever happened to her?  Look around: she's nowhere to be found.

Dec 17, 2011

Broken Sewing Promises or "Don't Remind Me"

Friends, particularly at this time of year, when nobody wants to be judged naughty instead of nice, one wants to keep one's promises.  But sometimes, no matter how well-intentioned, one's plans hit a snag.

Dec 15, 2011

Giveaway Winner + Last BIG purchase of 2011, promise!

Good morning, Ann Margret fans and others!   Huh?  Keep reading.

Dec 13, 2011

Mae West Style + GIVEAWAY!

She wasn't thin, she wasn't young (not at the height of her fame anyway), and she wasn't particularly beautiful, yet there's no denying that Mae West was a true sex symbol in her day.

What do you make of Brooklyn-born Mae West -- actress, playwright, singer, comedian, sexual trailblazer?

Dec 12, 2011

Who You Callin' Ugly?

Friends, it is but a tired cliché that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, yet isn't it the truth?  I open with this photo of Barbra Streisand because when she burst onto the scene in the early Sixties many people considered her to be ugly, and yet today her style is considered iconic.

Dec 11, 2011

Suit Pants Day 6 - Done! + Laura Mae Obsession

Friends, first the good news: the pants are done.  I hemmed them yesterday, pressed them a bit, got 80% of the dog hair off, and actually wore them out of the house. 

Dec 9, 2011

Suit Pants Day 5 - I blame Claudine!

Readers, I am this close to having my suit pants completed -- in fact, I totally expected to finish them yesterday.  I had my new charcoal gray commercial waistbanding from Steinlauf & Stoller (a steal at just $1.80 per yard) and a new can-do attitude.

Dec 8, 2011

Peter's Thursday WIG-A-PALOOZA!

Readers, I believe when we've reached the point that we're sewing men's pants flies closed, it's time to take a break.  Of course, this means that I'm imposing my break on you.  So no pants today.

Instead, I want to talk about something altogether different -- wigs!  I've written about wigs before (most extensively here), and it's no secret that I'm a big fan.  To me, there's very little difference between a wig and, say, fur.  It's a luxurious, hairy accessory.

Dec 7, 2011

Suit Pants Day 4 - Whoops!

Friends, I've done it, you've done it.  OK, at least I've done it.

I refer, of course, to the old sewing the pants fly shut when you topstitch along the front.  To be honest, I've never done this before, so why I did it this time is anybody's guess.  I had the legs all sewn up and the back center seam basted (on these dress pants, the back center seam will be the last one sewn, along with the right and left sides of the waistband) and I was ready to try them on.  I reached to unzip my zipper and -- gadzooks: I'd sewn the fly shut!

Dec 6, 2011

Suit Pants Day 3 - Pockets and Flies

Still plodding along on the pants, friends.  A lot should come together today, including, hopefully, the backs and fronts.  Yesterday I managed to complete my back welt pocket and insert my front fly zipper.

Dec 5, 2011

Suit Pants Day 2 or "The Botched Crotch"

Cabrera/Meyers, Classic Tailoring Techniques, p. 178

So I've hit already my first snag, readers, and I've hardly even started.

Dec 4, 2011

Making the Suit Pants - Day 1

And we're off! (our rockers, mainly)

It appears I am indeed making a suit; ETA December 30.  Thanks for all your encouragement yesterday.

Dec 3, 2011

Am I ready? or Revisiting the Men's Suit Project

Readers, as 2011 draws to a close, I find myself wanting to choose one last big project to finish off the year with a bang.  I have four weeks.

Dec 1, 2011

Pajamas to the Office -- Yea or Nay?

Readers, while I was sitting on my ceramic Pintastic yesterday, I stumbled upon a colorful fashion spread in this week's New York magazine, entitled "Street Pajamas."  Apparently, female versions of classic men's pajamas are the new look du jour for gals.  They're not just for sleeping anymore!
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