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Nov 30, 2012

The Flannel Shirt Project: To Treadle or Not to Treadle?

Happy Friday, creative people!

Having pre-washed and pre-shrunk my beautiful blue flannel from Mood, I am ready to begin making Michael's shirt.  This morning I'm wondering which machine I should make it on: I have so many options (ten, I think).  My choice in this regard is usually based simply on which machine is out, has sufficient clear space around it (as opposed to piles of whatever), and needs the least amount of prep.

Nov 28, 2012

Shopping vs. Making It Yourself: The Creativity Conundrum

I've been pondering this question for a long time, readers, and I can't remember what prompted it:

Is home sewing intrinsically more creative than shopping for ready-to-wear?

Nov 27, 2012

New fabric + my vintage 40's mannequin arrives!

Honestly, is there anything more exciting than receiving a package in the mail containing an eBay purchase?  Maybe a puppy. 

Nov 26, 2012

For Men Only?

Friends, I am not really a vintage menswear fetishist.  And yet...

Nov 24, 2012

Peter's Pattern Storage Secrets!

Readers, I own roughly three hundred patterns, maybe a few more, most of them vintage. 

I don't know exactly how this happened.  I purchased many of them myself -- mainly on Etsy, eBay, and at the flea market -- but others were gifted to me by desperately decluttering MPB readers.  I appreciate these donations, I really do, but larger numbers of patterns has meant better organization is a must.  Today I'd like to share my system with you.

Nov 22, 2012

LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT -- The Vintage 40's Sewing Mannequin Doll

Friends, a bit of advice: do not shop online at night, especially on sites like Etsy and eBay, where one-of-a-kind collectibles are available for purchase at the strike of a computer key.  After 11 pm, particularly around a holiday, one's resistence WILL BE LOW.

Nov 21, 2012

Help me make this Cyd Charisse gown!

Readers, I am officially a man on a mission!  With the holidays upon us, I have decided it's time to make Cathy a really sumptuous evening dress and, after watching the 1948 Esther Williams film, "On An Island With You," I have become obsessed with this Irene Lentz-Gibbons (more commonly known as Irene) dress worn by Cyd Charisse in a tango she performs with Ricardo Montalban.

Nov 20, 2012

Last Boxers of 2012, Promise!

I decided to make one more pair of boxers, friends -- the last pair of 2012.  I think.

Nov 19, 2012

Mondays in my Undays—er—Undies!

Readers, I'm finished!  I now have a lovely new pair of men's cotton boxers.

Nov 18, 2012

Boxer Ballyhoo - Sunday edition

I'm making progress on the boxers, friends!

As you can see up top, I decided to add contrasting gingham trim to the boxers I'm making, using scraps left over from my very first sewing project (which, coincidentally, happened to be a pair of boxers, though much less fancy than these).

Nov 17, 2012

Let's Make Boxers (Again)!

Friends, it's time once again to make boxers -- the perfect holiday gift for you or the man in your life, by the way!

Nov 15, 2012

A Case of the "Now Whats?"

Friends, has this ever happened to you?  You finish a big project, you're a little spent, and you have no idea what's next.  Not to mention it's Diwali, the Indian "Festival of Lights" -- always a distraction when your sister-in-law is from Mumbai.

Nov 13, 2012

Vintage Forties nightgowns or "Whatever Happened to the Peignoir?"

Readers, when discussing women's intimate apparel, it's important to define terms.  Here's what I've dug up:

Nov 11, 2012

Cathy Models the Harem Girl Outfit!

How lucky I am that after Hurricane Sandy destroyed my Halloween plans (along with a few New York City neighborhoods), my dear cousin Cathy offered to model my costume, so that you, dear readers, would get to see it and I wouldn't have to shave my legs.

Nov 9, 2012


Readers, I'm thrilled to present another round of the sewing blogosphere's favorite game of nifty nomenclature, NAME THAT PATTERN!

Nov 8, 2012

Socks and other things I'm not willing to skimp on

Readers, if you've been following me a while, you know that I'm something of a tightwad.  I hate to spend more than I have to and will only purchase something brand new if I have no other reasonable choice.

But like many tightwads — perhaps, one might argue, by virtue of being a tightwad — I am willing to cough up the dough for certain things that are important to me.

There aren't many of these, of course, but there are a few.

Nov 7, 2012

Things I Don't Get, Vol. 8: Toupees

Martial artist Chuck Norris

Friends, if ever there was a blog post that wrote itself, this is it.  Which is good, because I'm tired.

Nov 5, 2012

In the Home Stretch!

I'm nearly finished with my costume, readers.  Getting the beaded gimp onto the harem pants was not as easy as it looks -- or does it look easy at all?  There are so many layers to deal with: gathered chiffon, power net, gold mesh, embroidered trim -- and of course you have to keep all those beads out of the way.

Nov 4, 2012

Back in the Saddle with Gene Tierney

Readers, I sewed today -- not much, but I sewed.  I have decided that I must finish my harem costume by Tuesday.  I don't know when it will be worn or where, but it must be completed and soon.

Nov 2, 2012

Hurricane: 1, Sewing Mojo: 0

Friends, I cannot lie: I have not sewn all week.

As far as tomorrow's Halloween Costume Ball, the neighborhood where it's to take place is still without power.  Ticket holders have been offered reimbursements.  Even if it were to happen, Halloween is over.  I'm just not feeling it right now.

Nov 1, 2012

Boys Dressing as Girls for Halloween or "Toddler Drag: Cause for Alarm?"

The other day, MPB reader Karen emailed me a personal story she thought I might share here, even suggesting the title, "A Boy's First Skirt."
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