Mens

 

So, I found this amazing pattern for a smoking jacket from 1951, Butterick 1769. Despite being neither a smoker nor an idle rich guy from a Hollywood melodrama, my Husband decided he needed one in classic satin and quilted velvet. He accompanied me to the fabric store on a Saturday (an event never to be repeated), where he picked out this gorgeous Asian style brocade. We splurged and bought the fancy dress velvet to do the collar and cuffs. I made up a muslin sample, which actually fit him pretty good. I just needed to shorten the sleeves and he decided he would prefer a belt to buttons, so I drafted one. This is where the fun ensued. Slick satin just refuses to be sewn, especially when you are trying to meaningfully join it to any type of napped fabric. Sheer hell. Puckering. I ended up using tissue paper between the layers, which helped some, but not enough. I had to hand baste the batting to the velvet to do the quilting, which took forever and isn’t totally even. The piping was a pain, and in retrospect I should have used a finer weight cording. To top it off, I forgot to cut the back pleat into the lining, which I didn’t discover until I handed the jacket to my Husband to try on. I had to buy more fabric to recut it. Despite the hellacious and neverending trouble this pattern gave me, I still think it turned out pretty good. My Husband likes to strut around the house with a martini while wearing it, so mission accomplished. The moral of the story is that choice of fabric and finish details can make a BIG difference in your work load!

 

 

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A couple of years ago, I found an amazing vintage Mens’ robe pattern on Etsy and fell in love. I snapped it up, ordered some gorgeous rayon fabric and some ultra-soft micro fleece to line it with. When the pattern arrived  I was so excited… and then somehow I never made it. You know how it is, projects pile up, work gets too busy and then before you know it, it’s two years later – no robe.

So this year I was determined to sew it for my husband for Christmas, and I was determined that he wouldn’t even know I was sewing something for him. In the middle of finals project and a really busy month at Mrs. Depew Vintage I was sewing this robe like a crazy person. And let me tell you, lining rayon with micro fleece is about as easy as getting a puppy to hold still during a cat parade.

I sewed between assignments and studying, before and after work, at midnight while he was working night shifts (gotta love the military) and every time my husband rode his motorcycle into the driveway I madly dashed to stash everything into my studio closet and delint the threads from my clothes to hide any evidence of my undertaking.

Vogue 8753 Robe Front

 

Vogue 8753 Robe Lining.

 

Vogue 8753 Robe Cuff Embroidery

The work paid off though and it came out perfect -  and he loves it!

If you’d like to see more pictures (I didn’t want to bore you with too much) you can read the full post on my blog A Few Threads Loose.

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I’ve been busy the last couple months with sewing that wasn’t vintage.  There were a couple of zombie events where I needed to make a Pride and Prejudice costume and a steampunk-ish costume.  Then I needed to make three Santa themed costumes.

I digress, this post isn’t about those projects.

A bit of back story – my husband spends pretty much 99% of his days in shorts, tank top and button down shirts.  EVEN WHEN IT SNOWS.  It use to be T-shirts, but as he’s the owner of his own tech company, I finally talked him into wearing shirts with buttons.

Quite a few months ago I posted about a box of retro patterns I was gifted by a friend and her family.  It was filled with patterns from the 50s-70s for men, women and kids.  This project is a button down shirt from that box of patterns.

Simplicity 5029 - View 3

I showed the hubby a couple of different patterns and he chose the pattern above, view 3 (short sleeves).

The hubby is a big fan of orange and plaid and I managed to find plaid shirting for $4/m.  I pre-washed and matched the stripes before cutting.  I know a lot of people find matching plaid intimidating, but a shirt project is a good place to start.  You don’t necessarily need to match every seam – it’s up to you.

I decide to cut the front pocket, the collar and back yoke on the bias to give the shirt some visual interest.  This patterns had the ease in the back dealt with slight gathering instead of pleats.  For a casual shirt, I think this is a great idea, but would still use pleats if I was making the dress shirts.

Back yoke.

 

Close up of front details.

One of the little details this shirt has that I love is the notched sleeve.  Simple detail, but a really nice touch.

Notched sleeve detail.

My hubby LOVES his new shirt, but he’s too shy to model it for us, so you’ll have to use your imagination.  My petite mannequin doesn’t quite fill out this shirt adequately enough to stand in for my 6’2″, 195lb hubby, but she’ll have to do.

The finished shirt on my female mannequin.

Until next time – keep your machines purring along!
xo girliefrank

 

 

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After some uncomfortably warm temperatures and my poor fella only having one decent cool-weather shirt, I decided to try something new and sew a men’s shirt.

I used a contemporary pattern with a classic, ageless style (Vogue 8800) and picked a blue and brown tiki print cotton fabric. I thought the combination evoked a very retro feel.

The pattern worked up quickly and incorporated some nice techniques like flat-felled seaming.  It made for a fast, fun project and I’ve already purchased more fabric to make another.

Check out my blog for a bit more.

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