Aug 14, 2011

Male Pattern Boldness Day!

Me with the world's most popular and (arguably) the sweetest male sewing blogger
It feels a little like Boxing Day (that's the day after Christmas for you Americans).  That's because today is the day after the First Annual (I added that part, but I hope it's true) Male Pattern Boldness Day, a day in which sewers from all over the Tri-State area (and beyond) gathered together to man-handle the collectibles at Chelsea Flea Market, be inspired by sporting clothes through the decades at FIT, and shop every divey fabric store frequented by our guru in all things glam, gathered and on-grain, the inestimable Peter Lappin of Male Pattern Boldness.

Our benevolent leader Mr. Lappin ushered us from one location to the next with all the grace of a senior summer camp counselor. Though I kept referring to my new friends by their place names (Florida; El Paso; Washington Heights), Peter somehow managed to remember all 25-ish people who showed up for the event.

The first stop was Chelsea Flea Market (not to be confused with Chelsea Market, which my husband clearly did when he said, "ooh, you can get cake!"). The Chelsea Flea is located on 25th Street near Sixth Avenue and it most definitely doesn't serve cake. I've been once before, years ago when I first moved to New York. It's an institution and Peter says he has even seen such celebrities as Parker Posey and Catherine Deneuve shopping there on a Saturday morning.

I didn't buy anything though I was tempted by some housewares and antique toys. But the price points were so...Manhattan. And after the first few times I queried the price of something and was quoted a sum five times higher than what I was expecting, I just stopped considering these were things for sale (the pair of dress form-shaped lamps will just have to live on in my memory). Because I am Canadian, and we don't negotiate. If we did, there wouldn't be a weird little strip of Minnesota in Ontario's Lake of the Woods region. When a Canadian hears the price of something is five times higher than she expected, she says something complimentary ("So beautiful!") and then scoots her ass out of there before she breaks something. Of course, others in our group found some great buys, so maybe it's just my problem.

Following the flea market, we joined the rest of the group at the Fashion Institute of Technology for the Sporting Life exhibit. I've taken three classes there now, but had never been to the museum. I'm always running to class right after dropping Lucy with a friend who watches her until my husband gets home. Look at how many sewers showed up for the main event!
I stole this pic from Peter's blog post. What are you going to do about it?
The exhibit was a treat. I loved seeing how impractical play clothes for women once were:

Woolen bathing costume!

Sailing outfit — because a floor-length skirt is what you need when you're hoisting the main
I didn't take any of my own pictures because there were enough security guards in the little museum to start a basketball team, and I didn't want the embarrassment of getting kicked out.

After that, the lot of us ate lunch around the corner at the Brown Cup cafe before moving on to the fabric shopping portion of our day. I usually head to the same two or three places, and was excited to see what shops Peter would take us to. Nothing was as divey as I expected (he's always blogging his $2/yard finds, so I was expecting to find wood shavings on the floor). On 38th Street, we hit Sil Thread and The Spandex House, then H&M, Chic and Mood. I bought black silk organza at H&M ($8/yard) to underline a silk dress I will hopefully start working on soon, as well as more ivory tulle ($1.50/yard) for Lucy's flower girl dress and a cute vintagey coral jersey with a muted stripey pattern ($5/yard). It was really fun to hear what projects the other sewers were working on (I wish Tambira had a blog so I could see how her sexy sequined skirt turns out!).

On the way to Mood, we passed by Olivier Green from this season of Project Runway, sullenly carrying a Mood bag. On his way back to Parsons to complete the day's challenge? That would be my guess.

What is with that guy's accent? He's from Ohio!
Later at Mood, the already-packed store was suddenly flooded with people carrying walkie talkies. Project Runway production staff prepping for a shoot? What else could it have been? We didn't stick around to find out.

That's because the group still had energy to spare, so we walked to Around the World Magazines (on the south side of Bryant Park), which stocks international pattern and fashion magazines (as well as pricey textbooks), before finishing the day at nearby Kinokuniya, a super cool Japanese bookstore that sells lovely pattern and design books. Then my new pals grabbed snacks and iced coffees and relaxed in Bryant Park. I had to run to a three-year-old's birthday party and was sad to see the day end. I hope MPB Day becomes an annual tradition. (I could totally see Peter with a headset on the top floor of a double-decker bus leading dozens of international sewers on a personalized tour of NYC....think about it, Peter!)


  1. it WAS pr, my sis in law & i were there earlier and they cleared the joint for a false alarm. i guess it happened later! i was hoping to run into y'all, we were at the same fabric stores but probably an hour earlier :(

  2. We must have passed like ships in the night. It was loads of fun. You should come next time!



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