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Jan 30, 2013

"Costumey" Dress Style: YEA or NAY?


Is there any more shaming judgement one might make about our choice of clothing?  (I think it's worse than ill-fitting, out-of-date, or cheap-looking.)

Jan 29, 2013

Hone Your Vintage Styling Skills: a Resource Guide!

One of the challenges of putting Cathy in vintage outfits from different eras is accessorizing them correctly and giving her the right period look.

Jan 28, 2013

Vintage Fur Follow-up!

Readers, surely you had an inkling just where my recent, surprisingly polarizing vintage fur blog post was leading...

Jan 27, 2013

Were Sewing Patterns More Complex in Days Gone By?

Readers, I spent hours today working on my 1939 McCall's dress but I'm still not finished.  This day dress -- which is lovely but hardly exceptional for its era-- has proven to be a major time suck, and I haven't put in the side zipper, hemmed it, made the belt, or finished the cuffs yet.

Jan 26, 2013

Things I Don't Get, Vol. 10: Contemporary High Heel Shoes

Jessica Simpson channeling Fredericks of Hollywood, for sale at Lord & Taylor

Readers, are high heel shoes flattering to women or have we just been brainwashed to believe this?  Nobody's forcing women to buy high heels but clearly they do in huge numbers, arguably more today than ever before.  Fashion magazines as well as many fashion bloggers (and quite a few sewing bloggers) seem obsessed with them.

Jan 25, 2013

1939 McCall's Dress UPDATE + "Cain't Say No" (to Debi)

So much to cover today, friends, so let's get to it.

First, remember Debi and her arguably shark-jumping 1940 McCall Project?  Did I mention that I own a swimsuit pattern Debi would like very much to have?  Well, readers, after considerable whining and emotional blackmail -- on my part -- I've decided to give it to her.

Jan 23, 2013

National Pie Day + MPB's THIRD Birthday!

OMG, can it really be National Pie Day again already?  It seems like only yesterday!

Jan 22, 2013

Singer Featherweight -- the big REVEAL!

Friends, who knew that USPS makes parcel deliveries on a national holiday?  I wasn't expecting this on MLK Day (i.e., Monday), but was delighted to receive it.  I'm glad I was home!

Jan 21, 2013

Poly Folly or "know when to fold 'em"

Readers, you know the saying that when you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is to stop digging?

Jan 20, 2013

When Bloggers Meet + $5 Shoes!

Yesterday I had the privilege of meeting up with four very special women who happen also to be popular sewing bloggers, and a more photogenic group of gals you'd be hard-pressed to find.

Jan 19, 2013

1939 McCall's dress -- the muslin

Greetings, friends!  I am happy to report that my flu-like illness (which was probably flu) is finally behind me and I am slowly returning to normal: my normal, which is not very normal at all.

Jan 18, 2013

The Ethics of Vintage Fur

Readers, I want one of these.  I mean, I really want one.

These type of fur stoles were very popular in the 1940's and can really add a touch of luxury -- and authenticity -- to a vintage outfit.

Jan 17, 2013

When Sewing Bloggers Jump the Shark

Friends, you're no doubt familiar with the popular term "to jump the shark" but do you know its provenance?  It's the 1970's sitcom Happy Days, and you can read more about it at your leisure here.

I use the term jump the shark today to describe those particular moments when a favorite blog -- and by extension, favorite sewing blogger -- shifts from relative normalcy to outright wackiness.  It's happening a lot these days.  And I think I know why.

Jan 16, 2013

The Sewing Machine Cake (and other strange novelty desserts)

Friends, I generally don't rip ideas off other people's blog posts, but today I couldn't resist.

I was over at Jilly's this morning to wish her a happy blogiversary, when I saw posted there the most incredible sight: a sewing machine cake!

Jan 15, 2013

In which I answer your questions about blogging

"Me? Yes!" (Spring Byington)

Readers, I thought today I might briefly respond to your comments and questions from yesterday’s post, "So You Want to Write a Sewing Blog..."  (A few of the questions I invented myself.)

In no particular order...

Jan 14, 2013

So You Want to Write a Sewing Blog...

Friends, have you ever thought of writing a sewing blog?   Or maybe you write one already and want to improve it.

From time to time I read that blogs are on their way out; the new platform is _______Well that may be true and it may not be.  I think as long as people are writing on computers, there will be blogs.  It’s simply too good a format not to last.

Here are some of my blogging Do’s and Don't's, based on three years’ blogging experience (close to 1,000 near-daily posts).   If you have something to say about them, please do so below!

Jan 13, 2013

Coming this month to MPB...

Can you identify this mystery item?

1) storage box for old tax returns

2) vintage Samsonsite vanity case

3) 1950's handbag

Guess again!

Jan 12, 2013

Great Day at the Flea Market or "More Clutter"!

What a fun morning I had at the flea market today, readers!

The Louis XIV hairdo I'm sporting is actually an amazing bundle of vintage gathered ivory lace trim I got in a huge bag for $2.  Don't know what I'll trim with it, but I'll find something.

Jan 11, 2013

Fashion on the Far Side of Fifty

Juicy topic today, friends, but first, a little business:

It is with supreme disappointment that I must announce that my latest YouTube puppet video, which I attempted to post here yesterday, was declared in violation of EMI's copyrights or some such thing.

Jan 9, 2013

Introducing MPB's "Rules to Live By"

Friends, for more than a dozen years I was a volunteer peer counselor for an LGBT counseling organization called Identity House, and for a number of years after that worked as a life/health coach, until I realized that it might be time to focus on some neglected parts of my own life.  Shortly after, I bought my first sewing machine and, well, you know the rest.

I don't do any formal counseling these days, but I thought it might be interesting if, since we do occasionally discuss topics unrelated to sewing/fabric/patterns/Cathy, I might introduce something new: MPB's "Rules to Live By."  You may or may not agree with the ones I choose, but most will be familiar to you.  Either way, I hope they'll generate discussion!

Jan 8, 2013

Restored to Vertical + The Death of the Panel Print

Good news, friends: I awoke this morning feeling only slightly damp (no, my pillow hadn't leaked!), I walked the dogs, and I haven't been back in bed all day.  Even better, I am now nearly 100% caffeine free as I completely lost my taste for coffee (or dairy) during my illness.  I'm calmer with less gas.

Jan 7, 2013

Peter's Post-Delirium Post: New Patterns, New Pillow!

Buenas noticias, readers: I am feeling much better.  My fever broke last night and the delirium has passed.  I even managed to do a load of laundry.  Thank you for all your kind words and home remedies.  I have stopped mega-dosing vitamin C and started mega-dosing raw garlic cloves.  People are keeping their distance.

Jan 5, 2013

Sewing Machine Discipline + "You're the Taupe"!

Apologies, readers: I don't usually greet you from my bed but I've been feeling a little under the weather.

Jan 3, 2013

Should you wear the colors you like or the ones that flatter you most?

Readers, I like mustard.  I like to eat it and I (used to) like to wear it.  It also happens to be about the least flattering color this pasty white boy could wear.  (I ended up giving that tee shirt back to the thrift store from whence it came.)

Jan 2, 2013

Welcome, 2013!

Happy 2013, everybody!

The start of a new year is always reason to celebrate.  It means a fresh start, renewed energy, and most important of all, an end to the seemingly endless holiday season.  Enough already!
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