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Jul 25, 2017

Sewing with Linen and Liberty of London


Long-time readers of this blog will know that I'm a big fan of combining contrasting fabrics in my shirt projects, especially coordinating prints (or stripes with prints).


Sometimes it's easy to find two print fabrics that work well together and sometimes it isn't.  I looked high and low for a summery print that would work well with this red and white striped linen.  I decided to use a Liberty of London floral fabric scrap I had in my stash.  If you look closely you'll notice that the reds don't match perfectly, but from a distance they work well together.


To make my shirt, I used a pattern that was new to me, Vogue 9617, a fitted shirt pattern from the 1970s.  I don't remember exactly, but I suspect I picked it up on eBay in a pattern lot I purchased.



I like my summer shirts a little loose.  I also like a slightly longer sleeve.  Today most short sleeve shirts end at mid bicep; I prefer mine to end just above the elbow. 


While there wasn't anything remarkable about the pattern or the process, here are two shirtmaking tips I think I've shared before but I'll share again:

1) When I use a pattern that is new to me, I always start by trimming the seam allowances of the  collar, collar stand, and neckline pieces (fronts and back yoke) in half: from 5/8" to approximately 1/4" or 1/3".  This makes sewing these pieces together and attaching the collar to the neckline so much easier.  (It's a tip I learned from an old Margaret Islander video.)  You'll also save a bit of fabric.


2) After you've sewn your collar seams together, make sure you press them open with a point presser/clapper.  Your collar edges should look clean and sharp.  Naturally, when you turn, press, and topstitch your collar, you want to make sure that there's 1/16" of the top collar showing on the underside.  You never want to see the undercollar showing from the top.  Same deal for pocket flaps (see top photo).



I wasn't going to add pockets to this shirt at all, but in the end I decided to add two, plus pocket flaps.   It's harder to make two pockets because they not only have to look good alone, they also have to match each other perfectly (and be sewn on symmetrically). 




I love this cool, linen-and-Liberty shirt, but I think Michael's going to get the most wear out of it.  It fits him better than it does me.  His shoulders are broader and he's a few inches taller, pus he already owns the matching shorts!


You can see a few more photos of the shirt over at the Mood Sewing Network here.

In closing, do you have any secrets to share when it comes to pattern mixing or do you just follow your intuition like I do?

Have a great day, everybody!

Pretty, intersecting flat-felled seams.

Jul 19, 2017

Grow Your Instagram: MY TOP TEN TIPS!




Readers, I am guessing that most of you are familiar with Instagram.

Jul 12, 2017

Wedding Gown Update, New Sewing Book, and MORE!


Lots to tell, friends!

Jul 7, 2017

NAME THAT PATTERN - Happy Birthday, Pierre Cardin Edition!


Readers, did you know that Pierre Cardin was born on this day, July 7, a mere 95 years ago?

Jul 4, 2017

Peter's Patriotic Pants!


Readers, it's been a while since I've sewn something totally frivolous and fun.

Jun 30, 2017

Two Wedding Gowns!


Readers, fasten your seat belts: I've undertaken two wedding gown projects and I hope you'll come along for the hopefully not-too-bumpy ride!

Jun 19, 2017

$75 for a Tank Top? Transparency Pricing -- YEA or NAY?


Readers, if you're like me, you're very aware that the cost of ready-to-wear clothes isn't always reflective of the quality.

Jun 16, 2017

Fabric Shopping with a Decisive Aussie!


Friends, as much as I like to fabric shop alone, I always have more fun shopping with others, even when I don't purchase anything.

Jun 6, 2017

Self-Drafted Floral Linen Pants!


So last week I sewed up a pair of pants using the pants pattern I drafted for myself in my menswear patternmaking class at FIT, which ended last month.

I learned a lot!

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.

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

MPB DAY 2017 -- SAVE THE DATE!


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.  

Feb 25, 2017

NAME THAT PATTERN -- Comeback Edition!


Readers, it was time.

The sewing blogosphere hasn't been the same since I retired NAME THAT PATTERN, the Internet's favorite sewing pattern game.  So I'm delighted to report that we're back, and with straighter teeth, fuller lips, and a noticeably firmer jawline,

Feb 23, 2017

FULL FRONTAL: Peter Models the Camo Shirt Jacket!


Readers, as promised, the BIG REVEAL.

Check out my new camo jacket over at the Mood Sewing Network here!

Feb 21, 2017

More Camo Capers!



Remember this jacket I made last August?

Feb 16, 2017

1920's Butterick Men's Shirt Pattern - The Muslin


Yesterday I realized that I'd traced the wrong size for the Japanese shirt pattern I'd intended to make:  I'd traced a Medium but I actually needed a Large.

Feb 13, 2017

New Sewing Project, New Pattern, New Sewing Machine!


Well, more like a new-to-me sewing machine.

Feb 9, 2017

SNOW LEOPARD! -- Michael Models the Animal Print Shirt


Let it never be said that Michael isn't an intrepid model!

Feb 6, 2017

Feb 1, 2017

First Fabric Haul of 2017


Readers, it's been a while since I've shared a fabric shopping haul with you.

Jan 18, 2017

Hear my recorded interview!


Hey, friends!

You can hear a recording of the interview I did yesterday with Dawn and Alethia on That Sewing Blab by just clicking HERE for Crowdcast and HERE for YouTube.

Jan 17, 2017

Whatever Happened to the Bed Jacket?


Friends, when is the last time you saw someone wear a bed jacket who wasn't starring in a 1940's film noir?

Jan 16, 2017

TUNE IN TUESDAY @ 7:30 pm EST for my LIVE interview!


UPDATE: Hear the recorded interview HERE!

Jan 13, 2017

BIG REVEAL: The Completed African Wax Print Pants!


Readers, the pants are finished!

You can get a (much) better look at them here.  (And what luck to find a mustard-colored dumpster to coordinate with them -- what are the odds?)

Jan 11, 2017

Another African Print Project


Readers, what would you make out of six yards of this African wax print?
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