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Jul 31, 2012

Peter Speaks: The Singer Buttonholer VIDEO!

Readers, who doesn't enjoy watching a buttonholer video?  I know I do!

Jul 30, 2012

Coming to MPB this August...!

Readers, whatever happened to Teen Time magazine?  I found a copy at the flea market and what a great read it is -- provocative and oh, so real.   I especially enjoyed Connie Stevens' cautionary tale "Liquor, Sex, and You" which totally opened my eyes to the teen parking-and-necking phenomenon.  Better late than never.

Jul 28, 2012

Cheap Fashion and the Canvas Sneaker

Readers, thank you for all the thought-provoking comments you left on my recent post about the book Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion.

I came face to face with the cheap fashion dilemma last Sunday, when I decided to treat myself to a new pair of canvas sneakers before my vacation.  I didn't want anything fancy, just a pair of canvas slip-ons -- Vans or something similar.  So I walked up along 34th Street, where there are tons of athletic shoe stores, as well as north of 34th on 8th Avenue.  The selection is tremendous -- practically every style from (nearly) every era is available, it seems.

Jul 27, 2012

"I'm back!" + Vacation Ambivalence

Friends, I'm back from my break -- also known as a vacation -- actually just four days on Fire Island, where we sublet a place from a student of Michael's. 

As many longtime readers know, I'm not into vacations.  Traveling with two chihuahuas is not relaxing.  And while Freddy loves the beach, Willy doesn't -- he's constantly smelling other dogs in the air, and he's afraid of every dog other than Freddy, which is a drag for him and for us.

Jul 20, 2012

Have you read "Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion"?

Readers, who was it who said, if something can't go on forever, it won't?

Jul 19, 2012

Mens Linen Blazer: The Farewell Tour

Readers, this is it: my final linen blazer post.   So much to say.  Where to begin?

I did indeed wear my linen blazer out to dinner last night.  We had a major thunderstorm yesterday that cooled things off considerably, and by evening there was a refreshing breeze that continues this morning.

Jul 18, 2012

Peter models the blue linen blazer!

Readers, today is a very special day, and not just because it's National Caviar Day (look it up).  Today I present my linen blazer photo shoot, completed early this morning just before the thermometer hit ninety.

Jul 17, 2012

Buttons, Buttonholers, and Beyond!

Hello, Gorgeous!  

Friends, in your opinion, what kind of buttons look best on a blue linen blazer?

Jul 16, 2012

Old Projects, NEW Projects!

A new week begins and with it, new sewing projects!  I can't devote my entire life to finishing a linen blazer; there is so much more that needs doing here at MPB, Inc.  Oh, before I forget: what a delight to play Name That Pattern with so many of you this weekend.   I haven't chosen a winner yet, so if you still want to play, please do!

Jul 15, 2012

"Name That Pattern" -- CELEBRITY FINALS!

Readers, life is funny -- some might even say hilarious.  This is usually only in retrospect, of course, when the tears have long since dried and the therapy bills been paid.  But seriously, you need a sense of humor to navigate this life and you, clever readers, have one.

Jul 14, 2012

Thought for the Day + "Name that Pattern"!

I'm all out of Moth-Ded...can I just use generic DDT?

Friends, something new here at MPB -- our Thought for the Day (that was it, above; photo courtesy of Sarai's blog).  A little levity when your double-vented linen blazer lining is giving you headaches.  Mine is, is yours?

Jul 13, 2012

Sewing Fatigue -- Symptoms and Cures!

I suppose it was inevitable.  I've been working on this linen blazer for more than a week and I'm starting to get tired.  Not sleepy, mind you, but worn out and whiny.  There are too many techniques I'm doing for the first time and I feel like I'm sewing blind.  I hope everything comes out right but who knows?

Jul 12, 2012

Ivy Style - Yea or Nay?

Do you ever feel like you're watching an unfortunate fashion trend happen and you're utterly powerless to stop it?   (If you've ever seen a car run over a squirrel, you know what I'm talking about.)  Readers, that's how I feel about the so-called Ivy Look.

Jul 11, 2012

Linen Blazer -- So Close!

Friends, sewing a linen blazer isn't hard.

The problem, however, is that you're usually not sewing.  You're cutting pockets, or sizing shoulder pads, or creating sleeve heads, or measuring undercollars, or evaluating fit...  You get the idea.   The to-do list for a blazer is a long one and sewing is a rather small -- albeit critical -- part of the process.

Jul 10, 2012

MPB Day 2012 is on its way!

Readers, I have such exciting news to share:  MPB Day is nearly here!


Saturday, August 11, from 11 am -- 5:30 pm

Jul 9, 2012

VOGUE winner + Things I Don't Get, Vol. 3: French Back Boxers

Let's begin with today's big announcement: our Vogue Patterns magazine winner!

Jul 7, 2012


Friends, real fast -- this year's MPB Day is scheduled for Saturday, August 11.  Don't forget to put it on your calendars; I'll be sharing all the details very soon!

And now today's theme: it's been hot here in the USA.  So hot, in fact, that it sometimes feels like we're living on a desert isle...perhaps even an uncharted desert isle.

Jul 6, 2012

Linen Blazer Progress Report or "Am I Blue?"

Readers, I'm happy to report that the blazer project is coming along fairly well so far.  I am not blue -- well, not that way.

I'm trying not to rush and not to get too bogged in striving for perfection.  As long as this jacket comes out halfway decent, I'll be satisfied.  The next one will be better and I'll know more.

Jul 5, 2012


Friends, it's summer, it's sweltering, and I'm about to cut three yards of navy linen I hopefully won't drip sweat on.  It's also time for another Vogue Patterns magazine giveaway!

Jul 4, 2012

The Glory Days of Mens Patterns or "Those Sexy 70s Butterick Studs"

I often receive emails from male readers asking me about patterns.  There's usually a photo attached -- something right out of The Sartorialist -- of a beautifully attired man in Tribeca or London or Milan, and the question is always, Where can I find a contemporary pattern to make that jacket (or pants, or coat)?  And the answer is always the same: You can't.

Jul 3, 2012

The Linen Blazer Muslin or "Lapels are Ringing..."

Lapels are ringing -- get it? 

Much to cover today, readers!  I've muslined my navy linen blazer.  Just to review, I'm using Simplicity 8368, a vintage men's blazer pattern from 1969.  I usually wear a 36" chest, this is a 34", which provides for a snug -- hopefully not too snug -- fit.

Jul 1, 2012

Sewing on a Sultry Sunday

Can I offer you a glass of ice-cold sangria?

Michael made this yummy drink (with Chardonnay, fruit, and mint) last night and it was very refreshing, though I conked out shortly after drinking it.
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