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Dec 30, 2014

Favorite Projects from 2014

Last January seems like eons ago somehow, though it's been the same twelve-month period as every other year.

Dec 26, 2014

Holiday Updates + Dogs vs. Cats: MPB VIDEO Exclusive!

This has been a wonderful holiday for me and my family, with a lot to be grateful for.

Dec 24, 2014


Dear friends, it's Christmas Eve and what better time to play a special Yuletide edition of the sewing blogosphere's favorite pattern-naming game, MPB's exclusive NAME THAT PATTERN!

Dec 20, 2014

The (Slightly) Shortened Shacket + New Fabric, New Patterns

Sometimes you need the distance of a few days to realize that a completed garment could benefit from a tweak.

Dec 18, 2014

Dec 16, 2014

Progress on the Wool Shacket (Shirt Jacket)

I am not quite done with my shacket, readers, but I'm getting close.

Dec 12, 2014

My Next Project: a Shacket!

When I recently saw a photo of this snazzy wool "Patrol shirt jacket" on the Cadet website, I immediately thought, I can whip up one of those -- and for a whole lot less than $228! (fabric and notions only, not labor; sewing is my joy, not my job).

Dec 9, 2014

70's Bedsheet Score + Keeping Up With Technology

I knew when I started reading complaints about my choice of boring muslin fabrics in my last post's comments, I had to do something and fast.

Dec 3, 2014

Dec 1, 2014


I love to sew, obviously.  What I'm not a big fan of is mending. 

Nov 29, 2014

Battle of the Turtlenecks: And the winner is....!

This has to be one of the sorriest sights I've ever photographed (click pic to super-dupersize).

Nov 28, 2014

This and Hat

To those of you who celebrated Thanksgiving yesterday, a belated Happy Thanksgiving to you.  To the rest, happy Friday!

Nov 26, 2014

Back It Goes + Coat Muslin Progress

The vast majority of you who commented yesterday will be happy to know that the light blue L.L. Bean turtleneck I modeled yesterday is headed back to Maine, free of charge (to me).

Nov 25, 2014

Keep or Return? or "The Unbearable Cheapness of Bean"

Is it me or have men's cotton turtlenecks nearly vanished from mainstream fashion?

Nov 24, 2014

On With the Sew

Readers, thank you so much for your many words of support regarding my mother's injury.

She asked me to send along her thanks as well.  My mom's doing somewhat better: eating (not enough but some), pushing through her exercises with her physical therapists, and even -- this is a big one -- accepting phone calls and visits from a few friends.  I see her most days and I'm actually enjoying the trips, believe it or not.  Being able to bicycle to the hospital (well, near it) helps too.

Nov 21, 2014

A Difficult Week

Not great news that could have been much, much worse.

Nov 19, 2014

Down the Rabbit Hole of Japanese Men's Style Magazines!

I've been aware of the fascinating world of Japanese men's style magazines for a few years now.

Nov 17, 2014


Friends, I am delighted to announce the latest version of MPB's exclusive pattern-naming game: NAME THAT PATTERN, 100% Gluten-Free.  Now you can indulge in the revelry without worry of tummy upset.  Bean-based, it's more digestible and more nutritious too!  

Nov 16, 2014

Pantone Guide to Communicating with Color UPDATE

A few weeks ago I mentioned that I had purchased a used copy of the Pantone Guide to Communicating with Color.

Nov 14, 2014

My Wild Wool Challis Shirt!

Readers, my internet service is back AND my shirt is done!  You can view me modeling it here.

Nov 13, 2014

Treadling a Shirt VIDEO + Live From the Coffee Bar!

Readers, tragedy struck yesterday: an explosion in the West Village knocked out RCN Cable service to the entire West Side of Manhattan.  I have been without Internet for nearly 36 hours.  I feel, frankly, a little desperate and Michael is worse.  I'm writing this from a local coffee bar, so please excuse all food stains.

Nov 11, 2014

Nov 10, 2014

Re-visiting (and Improving) an Old Project

Do you ever re-work old projects?  I do occasionally: I'll change a shirt collar or narrow a pants leg, things like that.

Nov 8, 2014

PARTY PICS: Pattern Review's 13th Bday!

I wasn't feeling my best yesterday, but I managed to stencil on my party smile and hightail it to the Pattern Review event at Elliot Berman Textiles last night.  (You may recognize the woman in teal on my right as Kyle from Vacuuming the Lawn.) 

Nov 7, 2014

Panel Print Shirt Collar + I'M DONE!

The big job today was making a collar for my shirt.

Nov 6, 2014

Panel Print Shirt Progress -- One Day to Go!

Speedy sewing has no special value in my book -- better to take your time and do a first-rate job.

Nov 5, 2014

A Panel Print Shirt by Friday, Nov. 7th?

Friends, do you remember this panel print fabric I purchased last summer at Elliot Berman Textiles?  (I was with Laura Mae, who was emptying out the store so I had to buy something.)

Nov 3, 2014

Color Combining with Confidence -- Your Favorite Resources!

Readers, if there's one area where I would like to improve in my sewing, it's actually one that has nothing to do with sewing itself, but rather with color.

Nov 2, 2014

The Completed Organic Flannel Shirt!

My orchid flannel shirt is finished.  I couldn't be more pleased with it.

Oct 31, 2014

Getting Started on my Orchid Flannel Project + New Patterns!

Question: Is there really any difference between lilac, orchid, and lavender?  If so, what is it?

Oct 30, 2014

Happiness Is a Sharp Pencil

I use pencils a lot when I sew.

Oct 29, 2014

Calling All Redheads!

Friends, I have become a little obsessed of late with red hair.

Oct 28, 2014

"We interrupt this Python" or Sidetracked by Organic Cotton Flannel

You know that old chestnut about women being afraid of snakes?  Well, I can't vouch for its accuracy or lack thereof, but I can say that, much to my surprise, every woman who has caught sight of my python jacket-in-progress has totally oohed and aahed over it -- my octogenarian mother included.

Oct 24, 2014

The Vinyl Frontier

I admit it: sometimes the blog title comes first and then I write the post to match it.  I think you'll agree, "The Vinyl Frontier" beats first runner-up, "The Vinyl Solution." 

Oct 22, 2014

Digging Out the Faux Python

When I first started sewing five years ago, I used to shop at two bargain-basement fabric stores on 35th St.  One is gone for good and the other seems to have changed hands: I haven't been by in a long time.

Oct 21, 2014

Reversible Garments -- YEA or NAY?

Friends, what are your thoughts about reversible garments?  Do you own any?  Have you ever made any -- and if so, was it worth the trouble?

Oct 18, 2014

This 'n That + Cape Fear

Much to cover so let's get started!

Oct 14, 2014

Prepping Simplicity 1820, a 30's Jacket Pattern

I still have outerwear on the brain as you can see.

Oct 10, 2014

Good-bye, Elna Lotus + How Did I Not Know About Botani Trimmings?

Friends, I sold another sewing machine this afternoon: my Elna Lotus.

Oct 9, 2014

In Search Of....High Quality Rib Knit Waistbanding

Above is a photo of an Italian Valstarino men's jacket (manufactured by the Milanese company Valstar).

Oct 6, 2014

Peter Models the Op-Art Anorak!

Readers, it's here, ahead of schedule and ready for its close-up!  (That's Versace up top, btw, not me.)

To see me model my newly completed black and white op-art anorak, just click here.

Oct 4, 2014

Oct 2, 2014

Anorak Muslin + Another Sewing Machine Sold!

Yesterday I made a muslin of my anorak.

Sep 30, 2014

Two sewing machines gone, two more heading out.

This morning as I sipped my coffee and glanced at the sewing table in the corner of my kitchen, I had an epiphany: 

Sep 28, 2014

The Secret Dressing Room Selfies!

Readers, I know it's wrong -- or is it wrong?

Sep 25, 2014

"And a Child Shall Lead Them" + Rita Moreno!

Friends, if you really want to make a six-year-old's day, let her walk your chihuahua.

Sep 24, 2014

Post-Parka Depression + So You Want To Sew a Men's Parka...

OK, so actually, I'm not experiencing post-parka depression but the title sounded intriguing.

If truth be told, however, I have been in a mild funk for more than a month now, and the parka project helped lift me out of it.  The challenge now is to stay out of it.  Sewing helps.

Sep 23, 2014

Peter Models the Completed Mountain Parka!

Friends, today is the first day of fall (Happy fall!) and my parka is finished.

You can see me model it here.

Sep 20, 2014

Parka Post #3 - Hoods, Cuffs + Baby's First Grommet

Friends, at last I can see the light at the end of the tunnel vis-a-vis this parka project.  If I had my snaps in hand, I could probably finish tomorrow.  Unfortunately, I'm still waiting for them to arrive in the mail, so Monday at the earliest.
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