Male Pattern Boldness is proud to be the world's most popular men's sewing blog!

Apr 29, 2013

Decisions, Decisions...

Readers, part of being human is having to make decisions.  It doesn't have to be a stress, right?

Here are some recent decisions I've made, along with a few I may ask your opinion on.

1) Sunglasses (please keep reading!)

Trivial?  In the scheme of things, yes.  But you know what they say: a butterfly flapping its wings in New York can cause a hurricane in Australia, or something like that.  After trying and rejecting the Warby Parkers and the Bonlooks, I have opted for these aviator type frames from an American company, Randolph Engineering, located in Massachusetts.  A little pricier than the Warby Parkers, but beautifully made and a pleasure to wear.  The end.

Perhaps you are admiring my vintage original "Starlight Express" sweatshirt, found in a pile of crap at the flea market the weekend before last and just $3.  It needed laundering but cleaned up beautifully.  What is "Starlight Express?  Let's just say it's famous for being perhaps the worst Broadway musical ever.  Certainly the worst one starring Andrea McCardle on rollerskates (back in the day).  Apparently it was a hit in Germany (see video below).

Decision: MADE

2) Next projects.

Over the weeked I received my "New Look" pattern, Advance 6050.  Is this what I should make next?

I'm 90% sure I'll be putting this on hold and sewing my gray cotton-mohair suit first.  Having just made white linen pants (and the sheet suit muslin not long before it) I think it would be wise to build on my momentum while the experience -- and my double welt pocket technique -- is still fresh in my mind.


3) Iron.

This morning I washed my suit fabric, after testing a piece of fabric in the sink and under the iron.  No problems: it retained its beautiful sheen.

I've since pressed the whole piece using the gently used Rowenta iron reader "Babe" sent me.  Like the song says, "I Got -- fssssssssst -- Steam Heat!"


The steam the Rowenta generates is very strong but I wasn't able to eliminate occasional spitting (first from the iron, subsequently from me).  I think it's definitely worth another try, however, as it's not without its virtues.

Decision: YET TO BE MADE.

In closing, readers, is there an important decision pending that you would like my help -- or the help of our wise MPB readership -- in making?  (If you'd like, I can also ask my Magic 8 ball.)

If you have any thoughts about New Look dresses,  Rowenta irons, or "Starlight Express" please leave them below.  

Have a great day, everybody!

(Starlight Express -- it's no "South Pacific")


  1. Starlight Express was one of those shows that was so bad it was almost good.

    1. "Almost" being the operative word here. ;)

    2. Sort of like the Rocky Horror Picture Show?

  2. I took my kids to see Starlight Express years ago in London - I think they were about 6 & 8 at the time. They loved it - rollerskating trains, they still know all the words. So bad it was marvellous!

  3. I'd never heard of Starlight Express, so if you hadn't included the background info, I probably would have assumed you'd posted a video clip of a Lady Gaga show.

  4. I saw Starlight express in the west end when I was about 13 - way back in the 80's? I loved it, but then I was obsessed with all things skating related - the costumes were interesting too!

  5. The Rowenta irons make great steam, but they are known to leak and spit. I've had one and hated it with great passion. I'll never buy one again.

  6. I saw Starlight Express about three years ago for the first time. It was so terrible. The essential problem with it is the characters have no depth and it's really hard to give a flying freight train about whether Rusty gets the dining cart or whatever. However, it did give us one fabulous piece of music:
    The first line of the blues, is sung a second time,
    Oh yeah the first line of the blues, is always sung a second time,
    SO when you get get to the third line,
    you've had time to think of a rhyme.
    As one who has sung improv blues many times, it is SO TRUE!!!

  7. Should I cover my hall table top in 5p pieces (glued then resined) or just leave it painted?

    (You didn't just mean sewing decisions right?)

    1. I assume 5p pieces means covering with 5 pence coins, right? That sounds fabulous!

    2. Yup, 5pence coins, they're small and silver and shiny. I think I will, as I talk about it I realise how much I want to!

  8. It's still going strong in Germany. I see TV commercials for it every day. Weird.

  9. Love your new pattern!! I actually saw Starlight Express in Germany in German...too funny!

  10. I have the same Rowenta steam iron. I love it and use it to beat wool into submission. Keep the base unit on the floor, instead of the table like your picture. Some of the steam inside will condense to drops as it travels the tube. If on the floor, the water doesn't make it to the top/plate, just steam. At least, that works for me. :)

  11. It's still running (or rolling) in Germany. Has been for decades? I went there with my school, three times in all. (This must have been late 80s, early 90s?) First time experience was good but not brilliant.
    By the third time, I kinda started liking it, because basically it is pretty crappy. So crappy, you can't stop yourself from loving it a bit.
    Also most of the musical actors who perform in Bochum (this is where the special rollerskating venue was built) were either American or British. They sang and acted in German. And this is where it all became really good in a crappy kinda way.
    There is this one moment in the show, where Rusty (? main character) serenades to the moon "starlight express, I need you now!". It should be sung (in German) "starlight express, ich brauche dich jetzt!" ... but because the actor just couldn't get the German right, ended up singing in the most emotional state "starlight express, ik brauke dick (!!) jetzt". Just lovely! Still makes me laugh!

  12. YES!
    a big YES for the new sunglasses!
    They look wonderful on you!
    (you can't miss with a classic!)
    Yes...for the new dress for Cathy!

  13. Love the sunglasses! Definitely the most flattering of all the options that have been presented. Good choice!

  14. The only reason I haven't purchased a Rowenta steam station is that they spill and drip. But what Craigrama said about placing the water tank on the floor makes a lot of sense!

    So I will revisit that descision - to buy it or not.

  15. Starlight Express is pretty crapulent, true, but it's in good (bad?) company, from Mary Tyler Moore's all-singing, all-dancing Breakfast at Tiffany's to that natural toe-tapper, Carrie, to - way off-Broadway, but my own personal low-point, a neo-tropical romp called Flamingo! Flamongo! I saw years ago that featured the least erotic ever BDSM tango number imaginable. Bad musicals are a connoisseurship all on their own.

    As for decisions:

    Love the sunglasses, but part of me does wish you'd gone for something round and tortoiseshell. But what do I know? My favorite sunglasses cost two bucks.

    And I do appreciate your desire for a spiffy summer suit, but that New Look ensemble is mouth-watering. I'm seeing it in aqua with chocolate details, or possibly Nile green with black.

    As for irons, I dare not opine. They are one of those aspects of life we will be rediscovering on our return to the States this summer after many years of blissfully relying on the artistry of Mrs. Gallapatti-da Silva and her predecessors. Pray for us.

  16. I like these sunglasses much better than any of the other models you've tried (so far).

    I dragged 3 friends along to Starlight Express when it came to Australia in the 80s - I'm not sure that they've ever forgiven me. On the night we went the venue would have been at least half empty. By that stage they were giving away 2 tickets for the price of one ... but still no one came. It remains the worse live show I've ever seen.


  17. Hi Peter! Are you thinking about adding a tulle-ed underskirt to give the skirt some body?

  18. Starlight Express might be the one of the worst Broadway musicals, but I just saw a contender for the crown, although it hasn't made it to Broadway yet. Let's just say please skip Flashdance if it ever comes near you, ugh.

    Yes on the sunglasses, and yes, please, on the dress for a like color turquoise blue taffeta or maybe brocade and some foofy petticoats.

  19. Read Peter's blog. Best decision today. ;-)

  20. I was only just expressing my dream of seeing Starlight Express yesterday at work. Even if it's bad, technically and design-wise it seems jaw-dropping.

  21. I have an earlier version of your iron, but I have had some spitting issues with the iron head on the lowest setting. But isn't much of a problem at the silk/wool level and above. Except the first squirt of steam after the iron heats up, or after its been sitting for a long time, which leaves some drips in the tube as mentioned above. I usually have the steam setting on the base at halfway; not sure if lower or higher would have an impact on spitting.

    Great idea to set the base on something lower than the board. My hose is not really long enough to set the base on the floor, but maybe a stool or table next to the board.

  22. Nice choice on the sunglasses, Peter.

    As far as the Rowenta, for those who can't or don't want to keep the tank on the floor, I wonder if insulating the tube to the plate would work?

  23. Well. Those are 7 minutes of my life I can never get back. What's the German word for "yikes"?

  24. I've got the same iron. After it heats up, you need to burp it holding it vertical until the steam flows. Also turn the steam knob way down, mine is set at only 1/4 of the power. It does a really good job, even tho I've bounced it on the floor a few times. :(

  25. My parents took me to see it when I was a boy. We saw it in London. I thought it was very cool. Made me gay.


Related Posts with Thumbnails