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May 28, 2017

Something Old That's Something New: Simplicity 4971!

Simplicity 4971, which dates back to the very early 1960's, is one of those vintage men's patterns that proliferate on sites like Etsy and eBay and looks pretty unremarkable.

Upon closer inspection, however, the shirt portion has some unusual details.  One of these is the cuff notch, a lovely touch I'd seen on ready-to-wear shirts but could never figure out how to add to my own shirts.  The second detail, and the most interesting, is the waistband -- a waistband on a shirt!  This was a style that was popular at one time and is now little more than a fashion memory.

Isn't Tony Curtis wearing something similar in the photo below?  (We won't bring up the knee socks.)

How many of us can you name?
I decided I wanted to make this style shirt and to make it out of white cotton lawn.  Even though I'm prone to dribbling food on my clothes, I am quite fond of white shirts.  The fabric is semi-sheer, cool and perfect for summer.

I used antique French glass buttons, which came from the Chelsea Flea Market.

I call this a cuff notch.  Is there a better name?

The shirt came together easily; the only alteration I made was to take a few inches off the length so that the waistband sat at the correct height.  Naturally, you don't tuck in a shirt like this one.

Sewing with white fabric is always a bit of a gamble and I had to remove a few stains before I'd even finished the shirt.  I've learned the hard way that eating chocolate and sewing don't mix!

I'm very happy with the way this turned out.  I'm not sure how I feel about the style though.  Maybe one of these is enough.  What do you think of it?  Is it too much like a women's blouse?

There are a lot more photos of the shirt -- and me in it -- over on the Mood Sewing Network, which you can view here.

It's fun digging up a style that's no longer with us, which is one of the things I love about vintage patterns.   (You never know when it might come back!)
Have a great day -- and for you Americans, a great holiday weekend -- everybody!

May 18, 2017

Draping a Knit Dress with a Twist

For my final project in Draping IV at FIT, due this coming Saturday, I have to design both a dress and a jacket.

May 11, 2017

Self-drafted Pants for My FIT Menswear Patternmaking Class

Not much of a sketch, I know, and it's on the back of an envelope (above), but this is the design I came up with as one of my final projects for the menswear patternmaking class I've been taking at FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology).  It's due next week.

May 8, 2017

Listen to My Podcast Interview!

Friends, I'm thrilled to share with you a podcast interview that Sandi Hazlewood, who runs the excellent Crafty Planner blog, recently did with me.

Among other things you'll learn how I taught myself to sew, the origin of MPB Day, and when I was born -- not 1984 as is commonly believed.

You can tune into it here.  And do check out Sandi's other podcasts here.

Enjoy and have a great day, everybody!

May 3, 2017


Readers, it's really happening and it's gonna be yuge!

Apr 23, 2017

Draping and Patternmaking Class Updates

I think you know that this semester I've been taking two classes at Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT):  Draping IV (I skipped III but will probably take it the next time it's offered) and menswear patternmaking.

Apr 12, 2017

Brick-and-Mortar Shopping -- YEA or NAY?

Readers, when's the last time you shopped in a department store?

Apr 9, 2017

Lappin or Lanvin? Modeling the Embroidered Cotton Voile Shirt!

Readers, I've just completed my embroidered cotton voile shirt, which I made from an early Sixties Butterick pattern.

Check out the entire photo shoot here!

Apr 7, 2017

"Here, Kitty, Kitty" -- Peter's One-Year Anniversary Janome REVIEW!

Friends, I've been eagerly anticipating writing this review -- and could have written it much earlier -- but I wanted to wait a full year.

Mar 28, 2017

Simply the Vest

Readers, there is a certain kind of man who looks really good in a vest.

Mar 24, 2017

My Self-Draped Knit Dress: a Work in Progress

A day of draping and non-stop sewing -- my favorite kind of day!

Mar 21, 2017

Learning How to Drape in Knit

In my Saturday morning draping class (Draping IV), we're currently working in knit and I'm finding it very challenging.

Mar 16, 2017

My Jockey Journey or "The Crapification of Men's Undershirts"

Readers, today I need to get something off my chest and I don't mean my undershirt.

Mar 6, 2017

My Self-Drafted Men's Shirt + Kenzo Klunker?

Here's the shirt I designed last week for my menswear patternmaking class at Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT).

Mar 2, 2017

GLAMOUR ALERT -- Lenore Models My Yellow Crepe Ensemble!

Readers, a special treat!

My beautiful friend Lenore (who, among her many talents, is a handbag designer), has modeled my wool crepe ensemble, my final project for a draping class I took at Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) last fall.

You can view the results on the Mood Sewing Network here.  
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