Harley helps.

Harley helps.
Harley, my hard-working sewing assistant.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

MPB Day 2013

I had a fantastic time at MPB Day. It was so much fun (and so great to meet other sewists and geek out on fabric the entire day -- whee!)

Recap, with pictures:

I got in late Friday night and stayed in my favorite cheapie hotel, the Carlton Arms. (I would've stayed at the Gershwin, but it's under new management and I think they're going more upscale, bah.) It's old, and creaky, and every room is painted by a different artist.

A couple of scenes from my walls:

Also, they have cats. The cat last time was old and grumpy and slept in the lobby a lot. The cat this time was a four-month-old EMERGENCYKITTEN who decided it needed to explore my room the second I opened the door.


The next morning, some of us met up early at the Chelsea flea market. Peter has a nice group photo of us, which I hope he doesn't mind if I borrow.

Vicki, Linda, me, Peter, Suzanne

At one point, I saw an Issey Miyake skirt and pounced. (I have, let's say, a minor obsession with Issey Miyake and am bound and determined to make up a Vogue pattern someday.)

"It's Issey!" I said, and Teri (not pictured) came with me to take a second look.

"It's...nice," she said.

"But the pleating!" I said.

"But it's poly," she said.

And that was that.

(She was right, of course. But: Issey!)

I should also mention that everyone's handmade clothing was amazing. Suzanne (right) made her dress from a Grainline Studios pattern, and the skirt Vicki (far left) wore, which I'm pretty sure was handmade, although I didn't ask her, was ivory linen with black ribbons and buttons. It was a beautiful thing.

We moved to another location across the street and did not buy the Christmas fabric.

Isn't it glorious, though?
Then we walked up the street and gathered by the FIT museum. There were a lot of us. Peter handed out a (great and I'm keeping it forever) guide to the Garment District.

I'm on the bottom left.
The exhibit was also amazing. It was just one gallery, but it took us a good hour to go through it. I loved the Paco Rabanne chain mail dress (can't find a picture, sadly).

Then we went to Panera and noshed and pattern- and fabric-swapped. I scored two or three yards of stretch denim -- I see experimental jeans-making in my future!

(Nicole from Bold Goods actually recommended the Jeanius class on Craftsy as a good way to learn how to make trousers. "If you can learn how to make jeans, you can make any pants you want," she said. SOLD.)

Then it was fabric-shopping time. I accidentally lost my group (I didn't see them, assumed they'd left, ran to catch up, and couldn't find them -- whoops), but ran into various smaller groups along the way.

I saw but did not go into Spandex World.


(Okay, I went in. But I didn't buy anything. I swear.)

I visited the kitties at Daytona Trim.

This guy has an identical twin. They were both very large and grumpy.
I went to Mood and saw Suzanne and some others from the group as I was exiting the elevator. I walked up and said, "Hey!"

And Suzanne said, "That's Uli from Project Runway."

I turned around, and lo, there was Uli from Project Runway, who had been STANDING RIGHT BEHIND ME IN THE ELEVATOR and I missed it. (No picture. Sadpants.)

And then I went to Paron's WHICH WAS AMAZING and I blew most of my fabric budget right there, mostly on two cuts of Italian stretch wool for a top-secret project.

(Okay, it's a Vogue pattern.)

(Okay, it's an Issey.)

(Okay, and yes, I'll probably never make it up and just pull out the fabric occasionally to pet it and cry.)

Here's the final fabric haul.

Left to right: Cotton photo print from Paron's, stretch denim from the swap, striped cotton from Mood, and magical Paron's stretch wool.

"What are you going to make?" said the guy at Mood, when he was cutting the striped cotton.

"I don't know yet," I said.

"I think you should make pajamas. Little pajama shorts with elastic!"

Good idea. Also, I'm thinking of using some for the sleeves on this Katherine Tilton jacket. And this ribbon. Y/N?

Also, very important score: SQUIRREL THINGS. Not buttons. I'm not sure what they are, but they're going on something.

Camera was on the wrong setting, auughh.

I also got GLITTER SQUIRRELS.  !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And here's the pattern haul from the swap.

Vintage, Butterick, New Look, and a Colette coat pattern.

After shopping, I ran to meet everyone in Bryant Park, but the park was packed and I couldn't find them. Note to self: Next time, do not leave lunch early!

All that to say: I had such a great time, and I can't thank Peter enough for organizing it. I'm already looking forward to next year.



  1. MPB Day was the best! I'm sorry you didn't find the group after lunch. It would have been lovely to chat with you. Definitely can't wait until next year's event!! I blog over at WorkroomSocial.com and I posted a recap of MPB day this morning. http://workroomsocial.com/blog/mpb-day-recap/

    PS - Someone says they saw Sandro from this season's Project Runway. So jealous of that celebrity sighting!

    1. Oh, you're kidding! How funny. (I still haven't seen the infamous Sandro episode -- I was too busy packing!)

      Sorry I missed you. See you next year (and thanks for the link; looking forward to checking out your blog!)

    2. Sandro was there getting fabric cut by Kooan (season 11), and after he left, Kooan was giggling about how Sandro was the drama queen of this season. I was disappointed to miss Uli, because she is my favourite of all time :(

    3. Kooan was there?! Sheesh, I miss everything.

  2. That is a bad habit - at least your first runaway you convinced Nicole and I to go with you! Too bad that bookstore was closed :( Nicole blogs at Bold Goods. It was fun to meet you and I look forward to reading more of your sewing adventures. And make that Issey Miyake!

    1. Hey! You know what -- I checked my list again, and there was ANOTHER bookstore in the basement of the Student Center. Auuugggh. Next time, I guess.

      It was great meeting you too! See you next year?

  3. I'm glad you left that comment on Peter's blog, because I realized when we were at the park that we had lost you, and I didn't know your blog! We were kind of hidden behind a low wall and a café, so even though we were a big group, I can see how you'd miss us.

    Can I just say that I am completely jealous of your patterns? I suppose that 3/4 are still in print, so I should just shut up and go buy them ;)

    Next year for sure - I had such a good time that it was worth the looooong bus ride.

    1. I'm so glad you commented! I was wondering how I'd find you again. Hope your trip back wasn't too painful.

      And if I wind up not using the patterns, I'll send 'em your way. (Love the Butterick, but realistically, not sure the high waist will work with my beer belly...) :)

  4. I'm not sure we met - there were so many people! But I just wanted to second KK's jeanius class. His sewing techniques are very clear and easy - I always struggled with zip flies before and now they are no prob.

    1. Hi! I saw you at FIT, but I don't think we had the chance to chat. Thanks for the recommendation!

  5. When you get to the Miyake (whichever one), internet search on the name and number for folks' postings. Pattern Review is good for a lot of information, but I keep stumbling on the brilliant solution on blog posts. My only advice: read the directions, read the directions, make a little model from the pattern info sheet pictures, and THEN cut. And mark!