menswear

 

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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I was at Hawthorne Vintage when I found the blue plaid Pendleton I used for my Peony as well as this more manly 1970′s beige plaid wool. I decided it was high time I created something more inticate (well, not necessarily more intricate, but tailored in a way that I was less accustomed to) and I purchased the Colette Patterns Negroni shirt.

I was also gearing up to make my Sew For Victory dress, which has a button-up bodice. I was nervous to try a shirtwaist dress for the first time using a vintage pattern. As always, the instructions in my Colette Pattern Booklet lead me through this Negroni project with ease and when it came time to make my Doris Dress, it was a breeze! I <3 colette.

Having only just 3 yards of fabric I went ahead and cut it out in size small. As it turns out, small men’s Pendleton shirts are in high demand in PDX. I found a friend who was interested in buying this shirt, even though I didn’t have enough fabric to make full-length sleeves. Yes, it is a bit awkward to have a heavy wool shirt with short sleeves, but as my mother said, “Men usually end up rolling the sleeves up anyway.” I think I did a good job of making due with what I had and gave life back to this bit of old wool, don’t you?

 

For more pictures and construction details, visit my blog. Thanks!

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I just finished sewing up this fun western shirt for my honey (the handsome model in the photo below) from Simplicity pattern 3054 from 1949.

I used dark brown & tan lightweight wool and a plethora of cream colored piping for this project. I also added pearl snaps instead of the buttons which were suggested for a more traditional western look.

the finished product!

I’m really satisfied with the result aside from a few tiny details that no one will ever notice except me.

back view

While sewing this up, I learned how to do these nifty arrowhead tacks on the pockets…aren’t they fun? Of course they are and guess what? They’re easy too! I referred to an awesome tutorial that I found on the Coletterie website ( http://www.coletterie.com/tutorials-tips-tricks/arrowhead-tack-tutorial ), which i love!

hand sewn arrowhead tacks & tricky welt pockets!

My honey loves the shirt & even wore it for a recent show with his band! :)

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