Influences, My Favorite Things, New York, photography, resources
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My Favorite Things – Sew What?

About halfway through reading this book, I decided it was time to have my sewing machine fetched out of storage and shipped to me.  It’s not that I’ve decided to open up another business; just that I’m tired of clothes not really fitting well and the material feeling cheap.  (Reading about the inhumane sweatshop practices overseas and the sad fact that skilled seamstresses are a dying breed in this country has something to do with it, too.)

So today I traipsed down to…

Fashion avenue

Where there are multiple stores like these…

Fabric store

And these on every block!

draped dresses

I learned to sew from my mother, who still has a sewing machine that looks like this.

Singer sewing machine

My skills are quite rusty, but I bravely bought material to make a pair of pants.  From there I headed to my favorite trim store for thread, and buttons (to update one of my husband’s old blazers).

6th Avenue

An entire store devoted to trim, buttons, sequined appliques and everything glitzy definitely deserves a display like this…

wedding cake trimmings at M&J

And this!

window at M&J trimmings

Inside, I was tempted with the ribbons…

ribbons at M&J Trimmings

And the chain and sequined trims.

trim wall at M&J Trimmings

But in the end decided that I should just concentrate on making a decent pair of plain black pants before I start getting cute.

(Wish me luck!)


  1. Well, m’dear, I wish my old sewing machine (that belonged to gramma) looked like that one. It’s similar, but also more humble. And I love it to pieces. I also love your photos of those fabric stores and trim stores. Almost more than actually going to the stores, which overwhelms me. I can see you in your new pants, hopefully decorated with buttons and pearls and chains! love mm

    • Hi Ma,

      Does your old Singer still work? I seem to remember you also had a newer machine. Mine refused to sew today (one pant leg in) so I had to call the repair person. He thinks it might be a belt issue (in the machine…not on the pants;-)

      I found a friendly fabric store called Paron Fabrics. We can go there (and to M&J Trimming) the next time you come visit.

      I love you, J

      • Pixel:
        gramma’s old machine works perfectly, even if I leave it in Goosey P all winter. All it ever needs is a drop or two of oil, and it’s good to go. My newer, fancier machine at home also needed repair last spring. No way is it as good as that adorable Singer.
        So are the pants gonna have chains and rhinestones?
        I love you pixel, mm

        • Hi Ma,

          The sewing machine is fixed, apparently, and I’ll be getting it tomorrow. Maybe I’ll be able to finish my pants in time for Thanksgiving? If not, do you think it would look odd if I just wore one pant leg? Hmmm….

          I lurve you! J

  2. ladycotton999 says

    I loved this edition of your blog. Good luck on the pants. You are brave. Like your mama, I loved seeing the shops in Manhattan. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks so much for visiting my blog and for your nice comment. The pants (all one leg of them so far) have hit a snag since my sewing machine died mid-seam today. I think it’s a belt issue and have sent off the machine to the sewing machine “doctor.” These are turning out to be a rather expensive pair of pants…if they turn out, I’ll definitely post a picture!

      With all best wishes, Joana

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