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Aug 13, 2017

MPB Day 2017 -- It Just Gets Awesomer!

Friends, it's hard to believe that yesterday was the seventh annual MPB Day -- we all just get younger and younger!

Like every MPB Day in the past, it was an awesome time, but I hope I'm not sounding biased when I say that perhaps yesterday's MPB Day was just a bit more awesome than the others.

For one thing, despite a forecast of on-again/off-again precipitation, the day was dry, breezy, and cool.  Considering that last year's heat caused two MPB Day attendees to melt into the sidewalk, leaving nothing but bags of fabric purchases which we, sadly, had to redistribute among ourselves, this was a huge relief.  We had a fantastic turnout: by day's end more than 45 people, including two children and three extremely patient husbands.

Let's recap the day.

At 9:30 am, I led a group of highly-caffeinated early birds to the Chelsea Flea Market, where we spent roughly an hour and a half wandering among the dusty detritus of the last century.  I saw a few beat up old sewing machines for sale, but nothing to write home about, or even tweet.

Dawn (down from Ottowa), Tracy (from Boston), and Malinda (from Newport News, VA).

Me and Aimee.  I wore my reverse-print tractor shirt.
Jim (who made his shirt) and Marty (Brooks Brothers but watcha' gonna do?)  at the flea market.

At 11 am, we joined the larger group at the FIT museum, where we saw the excellent Force of Nature exhibit.  This exhibit runs till November 18th in case you didn't get a chance to see it with us yesterday.

After the museum, we had lunch at nearby Panera Bread, where none one other than celebrity sewing instructor/couturier/author/man-about-town Kenneth King joined us.  Here we held our now-famous/infamous pattern swap.  There were many, many gems to be had (including back issues of Threads and Burda) and, as always, a lot of leftovers, mainly patterns from the late Eighties and early Nineties that are too embarrassing to discuss.

Kenneth in some fabulous pants, Carol in her lovely gingham (from Metro Textiles) top.

Kate's pattern score.  Can you see why she's smiling?

We had many MPB Day veterans in attendance, like Cindy, Kyle, and Tricia (below), as well as a lot of newcomers; there's always a perfect mix.  It's great to see old friends again and to make new ones as well.

I loved Cindy's Pacman-print dress with softly gathered neckline.
Kyle (in her perfectly tailored cotton eyelet dress) and Peter (me).
Most-glamorous-Mom-ever Clio (Tricia) showed up with adorable toddler Taco in tow.

I got to have lunch with MPB Day newbie, charming Leslie from the Bronx.

The highlight of MPB Day is the fabric shopping.  This year, Kashi opened Metro Textiles just for us.  If we didn't quite clear out his entire inventory, we did make a measurable dent in it.  Among the many other stores we hit yesterday were B&J Fabrics, Fabrics for Less, AK Fabrics, Mood, and Botani Trimmings (and lots more)!

L to R, Melinda, Rhode, Peter, Kashi, Howard, Marty, and Roberta
I wasn't tempted to buy this Alexander Henry beefcake-themed quilting cotton (at AK Fabrics), but it did start me thinking about possible future manscaping.
Around 4 pm till who-knows-when (I left at 5:30), we hung out in Bryant Park and shared our day's adventures in fabric shopping-and-pawing.  There were so many great purchases and I can't wait to see what people make with their treasures.

Teri and her lace!
Carol's beautiful score.
James has Gucci dreams in his green lace.
Dawn caresses her fan-print cotton and who can blame her?
Joe displays his orange charmeuse print and quite a bit more.
In closing, what can I say?  Perhaps just a heart-felt thank you to all my old (and new) best friends: Mimi, Meta, Kyle, Teri, Aimee, Kristen, Anna, Mary, Paula and Frank, Malinda and Terry, Cindy, Joanne, Glennys, Kenneth, Vicki and Tashi, Mary, Tricia, Taco, Amanda, Tracy, Maggie, Lisa, Joe, Jim, Dawn and Alex, Caroline, Tomasa, Trudi, Heather, Stephy, Rhode, Carol, Roberta, Jean, James, Masha, Claudine, Kate, Leslie, Venka, Howard, Marty, Caroline.  If I missed anybody, I love you too!

Remember: MPB Day is held the second Saturday in August.  Mark your calendars now.

Hope to see you all next year!

Check out all my MPB Day photos here.

What did we do before selfies? L to R: Kyle, Mary, Peter, Tomasa, and James


  1. Thanks for a fun day, and sorry I had to.bolt without saying bye! Such great fun to spend the day with sewers. Looking forward to winter already :) Caroline II

  2. Peter, please make a road trip for west coast MPB day.

  3. Senor King!
    Leslie from the Bronx!
    And of course, Joe in the somewhat all-together.

    A banner year for MPB Day!

  4. Looks like a happy, fun day. Peter, I trust you will show us readers what you bought and your plans for it.

  5. sooo sorry I missed it. yet again. one day . . .

  6. It is times like these that I hate that we moved away from the city (other times I could care less lol). Must remember for next year!

  7. Thanks for organizing another fun outing!

  8. Calendar event of the year. One day ...

  9. Peter, thank you for hosting yet another great, fun, well-organized day! My seventh year and my calendar is already marked for 2018! You attract the nicest people in the world. I’m feeling so inspired and I’m plotting my re-intro project.

  10. Ah, sad to miss the event this time; I'm still trying to cool down from last year. With luck there will be no weddings to obstruct attendance in 2018!

  11. Is Joe taken? If not, he probably will be after that pose!

  12. I had such a good time and it was great to see you (and everyone!) Thanks again for organizing!

  13. Great to see so many familiar faces. And new ones, too. "The more the merrier" never rang more true than when the sewing tribe gets together. MPB Day forever!

  14. Thank you, Peter for inspiring us to make our first ever trip to NYC. And thank you for organizing this very fun MPB Day. Terry and I had a great trip, but the highlight was meeting everyone and doing some real fabric shopping. Everyone was like family.

  15. It was so much fun! Kashi and his son were cutting non-stop with the first group so thank you for contacting Kashi and making that happen! And thank you for bringing the sewing community together in this way every year.

    1. I was in Kyle's group, and Kashi and his son were very welcoming and helpful. I had swatches cut on Saturday and made good on my promise to Kashi that I would return Monday, when I bought two beautiful linens and a lovely rayon knit. Metro Textiles will be a stop on my future Garment District visits!

  16. Thank you for organizing this Peter - What a fun time we all had!

  17. To Kate, who took home the mid-1930s McCall coat pattern: that was my pattern, and I did sew it, but in retrospect I made some big mistakes: by shortening the coat so much for my 5'1" height I changed the proportions, and I used a coating that was too heavy. I was sorry to part with this pattern, but it deserved a try by someone else. Good luck, and I hope to see what you make of it.


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