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Jun 19, 2017

$75 for a Tank Top? Transparency Pricing -- YEA or NAY?


Readers, if you're like me, you're very aware that the cost of ready-to-wear clothes isn't always reflective of the quality.

Jun 16, 2017

Fabric Shopping with a Decisive Aussie!


Friends, as much as I like to fabric shop alone, I always have more fun shopping with others, even when I don't purchase anything.

It's just fun to be around other passionate fabric hoarders sewers!

You probably recognize Beccie (pronounced Becky) above, who writes the popular blog Sew Retro Rose, which I've been following about as long as I've been sewing.  Becky was in NYC this week from her native Australia, and I was delighted to be able to meet up with her today for a short-but-highly-productive stroll through the Garment District.

In addition to some old favorites, I introduced Beccie to a fabric store I'd visited for the first time only half an hour earlier.  It's called French Couture Fabrics, and it happens to be on the same block (37th Street) as both Mood Fabrics and Metro Textiles.  I'd heard about this place from some fellow students at FIT as well as on the Instagram feeds of many of my sewing buddies who participated in the most recent Pattern Review weekend here in NYC.  I don't often explore stores outside my circle of habitual haunts but it's always fun to discover new places -- and this place really is new: just one year old.


Their fabrics are French and many are from top designers like Givenchy and Sonia Rykiel.  Prices are good and the selection well-organized.  It's just one room but it's a HUGE room, and there's plenty to explore.  I'll be sure to add it to the list of stores we visit on MPB Day!


Sumptuous black wool boucle.
Lovely cotton shirting with a Moorish tile-inspired print.

Beccie had never been to Metro Textiles, so that was our next stop.  Like many of you, I love Metro Textiles even though for me it can be hit or miss.  Kashi has some amazing special occasion fabrics I never seem to have the special occasion to wear.  Case in point: this beautiful  metallic sequinned mesh.



And this elegantly embellished silk dupioni.

Don't even ask how they achieved this embellished effect.

I adore the two cotton prints below, one a polished cotton, the other a cotton voile but, alas, bought neither on this visit.  Beccie bought the gorgeous cotton eyelet you see her displaying in the top photo.



Kashi currently has gorgeous Italian cotton gingham shirting for just $8/yd -- less than half what I'd have to pay elsewhere, if I could even find gingham of this quality.  So silky.


Next we hit Mood Fabrics, where decisive Beccie made a beeline for the wool crepe.  So disciplined is she that she hardly looked at any other fabrics.  I, however, couldn't take my eyes off these two reversible woven wool coatings (below).  I may have to go back for those!



After Mood, I dropped Beccie off at Botani, where she wanted to purchase zippers.  They've recently expanded, taking over an adjacent space and offering much more fabric than before, in addition to their vast stock of zippers and trims.

I bid Beccie farewell and I returned home with nothing but memories.  But I do intend to revisit these stores again soon.  Gotta get me some of that gingham, for starters!

If you don't already follow her blog, do check Beccie out on Instagram,  Countless vintage treasures, adorable Schnauzers, and some fabulous Forties-inspired creations.

Have a great day, everybody!

Jun 6, 2017

Self-Drafted Floral Linen Pants!


So last week I sewed up a pair of pants using the pants pattern I drafted for myself in my menswear patternmaking class at FIT, which ended last month.

I learned a lot!

May 28, 2017

Something Old That's Something New: Simplicity 4971!


Simplicity 4971, which dates back to the very early 1960's, is one of those vintage men's patterns that proliferate on sites like Etsy and eBay and looks pretty unremarkable.

May 18, 2017

Draping a Knit Dress with a Twist


For my final project in Draping IV at FIT, due this coming Saturday, I have to design both a dress and a jacket.

May 11, 2017

Self-drafted Pants for My FIT Menswear Patternmaking Class


Not much of a sketch, I know, and it's on the back of an envelope (above), but this is the design I came up with as one of my final projects for the menswear patternmaking class I've been taking at FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology).  It's due next week.

May 8, 2017

Listen to My Podcast Interview!


Friends, I'm thrilled to share with you a podcast interview that Sandi Hazlewood, who runs the excellent Crafty Planner blog, recently did with me.

Among other things you'll learn how I taught myself to sew, the origin of MPB Day, and when I was born -- not 1984 as is commonly believed.

You can tune into it here.  And do check out Sandi's other podcasts here.

Enjoy and have a great day, everybody!

May 3, 2017

MPB DAY 2017 -- SAVE THE DATE!


Readers, it's really happening and it's gonna be yuge!

Apr 23, 2017

Draping and Patternmaking Class Updates


I think you know that this semester I've been taking two classes at Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT):  Draping IV (I skipped III but will probably take it the next time it's offered) and menswear patternmaking.

Apr 12, 2017

Brick-and-Mortar Shopping -- YEA or NAY?


Readers, when's the last time you shopped in a department store?

Apr 9, 2017

Lappin or Lanvin? Modeling the Embroidered Cotton Voile Shirt!


Readers, I've just completed my embroidered cotton voile shirt, which I made from an early Sixties Butterick pattern.

Check out the entire photo shoot here!

Apr 7, 2017

"Here, Kitty, Kitty" -- Peter's One-Year Anniversary Janome REVIEW!


Friends, I've been eagerly anticipating writing this review -- and could have written it much earlier -- but I wanted to wait a full year.

Mar 28, 2017

Simply the Vest


Readers, there is a certain kind of man who looks really good in a vest.

Mar 24, 2017

My Self-Draped Knit Dress: a Work in Progress


A day of draping and non-stop sewing -- my favorite kind of day!

Mar 21, 2017

Learning How to Drape in Knit


In my Saturday morning draping class (Draping IV), we're currently working in knit and I'm finding it very challenging.
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