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

Aug 12, 2018

MPB DAY 2018 -- Wet, Wild, and Wonderful!

Friends, I won't lie: when I saw that the forecast for yesterday's MPB Day festivities called for scattered thundershowers, I was worried.

Wisely, I had preemptively identified indoor backups for our outdoor activities in case of rain.  I learned yesterday, however, that it pays to have a backup to your backup, because while the Antiques Showplace building was a superb alternative to the outdoor flea market, the Bank of America atrium ("Open Daily from 8 am-8 pm"), a substitute for Bryant Park, was closed.  CLOSED!  What to do?

Luckily, I had a Plan C!

If it's ever raining on your weekend fabric shopping adventures with 50+ soggy adults, hightail it to Sunrise Mart, a spacious Japanese self-serve grocery/cafe at 12 East 41st Street.  You'll find plenty of seating and delicious Asian treats.

Here's my rundown of what proved to be the largest MPB Day gathering in history.

At 9:30 am, a group of us early birds met at the indoor Antiques Showplace building at 40 West 25th Street, directly opposite the increasingly rag-tag Chelsea Flea Market.  With three levels of antique booths selling everything from 1930's lingerie to Scandinavian art pottery plus a lovely downstairs cafe where you can grab a quick coffee, this place warrants a shopping day all its own and you don't have to worry about sunstroke or lightning bolts.

Carol, James, and Liz at the Antiques Showplace

At 11 am, the entire group met at the FIT Museum, where we caught the exhibit "Fashion Unraveled."  Fascinating!

Photo: Dario Gonzalez

After the museum, we grabbed lunch at Panera Bread (an MPB Day tradition), where we took over the entire upper level dining area (also an MPB Day tradition).  I must say that the food at Panera Bread has improved over the years.  The bathrooms, however, were out of order.

Kristen and Carol

Dawn, Anna, Tambira, and Roberta
Joanne, her father Keith, and mother Glennys
Ever see a comment written by Testosterone?  That's him on the left! (real name, David, with Wendell, right)

At Panera, we held our annual pattern swap.   Like a trip down fashion's memory lane riddled with potholes (What were we thinking in the Eighties?), the pattern swap is arguably the most stimulating part of the day.

Like every year, there were a great many patterns left unclaimed (and currently in my possession).  Why nobody wanted these gems is anybody's guess.

We have our worst-pattern-ever winner -- Congratulations, "Janet!"

I strongly suspect these were all donated by the same person who shall remain nameless.

As always, after lunch we went fabric shopping.  We hit such wonderful stores as AKN Fabrics (probably the largest selection of African Wax Prints outside of Africa), Metro Textiles (Kashi opened just for us!), Fabrics & Fabrics (the name says it all), and East Coast Trimming.

Me and Fernanda at Fabrics & Fabrics.  Photo: Dario Gonzalez

Anna Christina at AKN Fabrics

Hey, isn't that Sarah McFarland, Editor of "Threads" magazine?  Why yes, it is!

James, Kyle, Carol, and Kashi at Metro Textiles

Incredible grosgrain ribbon selection at East Coast Trimming!

We don't hold a formal "Best Me-made Outfit" contest, but maybe we should. Claudine sported a unique summer ensemble.  Her top is made from mattress ticking and boasts an amazing ruffled detail in back.

Julie was a citrus sensation in a vintage-inspired lemon-print dress accessorized with a lemon-slice handbag.  Loved it!

I wore my new mermaid-print shirt.

Pam's me-made top is made from DKNY fabric.

From the early morning till the late afternoon, the weather was entirely dry--a miracle.  The rain started up again just as we were to converge in Bryant Park.  Plan C to the rescue!

Sunrise Mart provided dry shelter and delicious treats.

At Sunrise Mart, we rested our weary pins, rehydrated ourselves with cool beverages, and shared our treasures till it was time to bid adieu.

I always have a great time on MPB Day, but this year I had a slightly greater time than ever before.  Maybe it was the cool weather, maybe the scores of familiar faces from previous outings, or maybe it was all the new faces who came from as far away as Canada, Ohio, and even Argentina!

I'd like to thank my 50+ new best friends, including Duane, Enrique, Kristen, Angie, Tambira, Rose, Frances, Ruth, Joanne, Glennys, Keith, Claudine, Roberta, Cynthia, Yvette, Sarah, Fernanda, Dario, Melanie, Andrea, Mary T., Tomasa, Kyle, Tracy, Anna, Julie, Michael, Dawn, Mimi, Jean, Flavia, Christina, Pam, Lily, Jackie, Marty, Aaron, Aimee, Ruth, Jane, Katherine, Ali, Liz, Carol, James, Sandra, Synthia, Sarah, Rhode, Azizi, Wendell, David, Mary C., and Alexandra.  If I forgot anybody, let me know!

I look forward to seeing you all again at next year's MPB Day on Saturday, August 10.  Mark your calendars!

Have a great day, everybody!

You can read Tracy's impressions on her blog here.

Photo: Dario Gonzalez


  1. Oh, I'm going to get there eventually! Looks like an awesome day...

  2. Every year when I read this I say "Next year, I will be there!" Darn it! I was not able to make it again. But, "Next year, I will be there!"

  3. It was such a fun day, and you are a fabulous host, making us feel so welcome. Thank you!

  4. It was so much fun! And thank you for featuring me in your wrap-up! I will definitely put it on the calendar for next year.

    Dario, if you post your photos anywhere, I would love to see more of them. I always like to see a professional photographer's point of view.

  5. ....looks like you had a I'm sorry I was scared off by the weather...everyone looks terrific..........

  6. That was SO fun, and thank you again for hosting!

    I admit I kind of regret not taking the "Janet." (And not getting contact info for people!)

  7. Peter once again thanks for hosting such a wonderful event.

  8. The discovery, conversations, creative inspiration, and overall vibe, such a great day! Thank you for organizing. Calendar is marked for next year.

  9. I can't believe the iconic Testosterone was there! Finally the face behind the screen name has been revealed!!!

    The event was great and the weather really wasn't so bad. There's just something magical about MPBDay! Thank you so much for hosting it every year and connecting the sewing community in this way.

  10. Another successful MPB Day! I had so much fun, connecting with both past and new participants. You attract the best people. And I’m so happy with my fabric purchases. On my calendar for next year!

  11. What a day! MPB day has to be THE event of the sewing calendar year.

    And Testosterone revealed - wow!

    But where's Michael with his new hairdo? ;)


  12. and everyone is having such a great time! i love the group of dress patterns from the 'Cult Collection'. good to know that professional design is available.

  13. Thank you so much Peter for this event. It was more than worth the trip from Toronto. From the FIT museum, to the amazingly friendly people, to the fabric shopping and bookstore. At the end I couldn’t believe how many events were able to fit into one day with enough time to enjoy all of them. Really very well organized. Everyone was so lovely and warm. I can’t wait for MPB Day 2019.

  14. My first but definitely not my last. Thank you Peter for this wonderful day. To talk with, tour with, shop with, lunch with, and laugh with fellow sewers is like taking a mini vacation! It was such a joy. I have Aug 10 2019 marked on the calendar! ~Ruth

  15. Aww I wish that I had been able to make it but I was out of town visiting the parents. Next year I'll plan better and make sure to be there. It looks like you had a great day!

  16. It is a long way from Alabama - but further still from Argentina. Maybe I will make it one day.
    Testosterone looks like a fun guy - as testosterone usually is. (snicker)

    After the tease about Michael's new 'do, we certainly deserve a photo of it. Was he afraid to get it wet?

  17. If I had been there, I would have been totally thrilled to claim the Bloomsbury garden jacket (even if it hints I might have enjoyed 80s fashion;-)!! It looks like people had a great adventure, and thanks for posting pictures so that we who live far away can enjoy it too!

  18. Thank You for sharing! These pictures just made me smile! What lovely people! What wonderful fun!!

  19. Peter, thanks for such a productive day. And yes, all the patterns of shame came from my collection--though to my credit, I never made any of them.

    1. I went through a boucle yarn phase in the 90's...I looked like a muppet.

    2. Muppet, ha ha ha! Muppets are good, what’s the problem??

  20. Ooh, I see lots of familiar faces - and places! Sorry I had to miss out this year, it sounds like the most fabulous MPB Day yet! I hope some of that awesome plaid in the last photo went home with you, btw.

  21. I want to thank you Peter for planning such a wonderful day. I have always wanted to attend and finally made it! Such a lovely group of people and such a wonderful experience.
    Mary T

  22. Jealous! Jealous! Jealous!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts with Thumbnails