Vogue 7104: Men’s Cummerbund and Tampa Bound

If we’re facebook friends or you follow me on Instagram, you’ve already heard this tale of woe.

We all have slapdash moments. Saturday, was mine. We bought a tuxedo for Jordan a few months ago knowing we had two black tie events within three weeks of each other (fundraiser for theater I’m on the board of and a wedding). And, at around $170 a pop, it didn’t make sense to rent a tux. I took charge of the tuxedo ordering (wool and cashmere blend on sale from Macy’s) and said I was out of the process. Shoes, shirt, etc. were now on him.  Totally forgot about the tuxedos and went about my business.

Saturday morning, “Did you ever get me that tuxedo vest?”

Me, “No…!?”

Him, “Well, what should I wear?”

Me, “I have no idea.”

Him, “Are you going to be able to hem the pants today?”


Him: “Also, the waist is loose and the jacket kind of boxy.”

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I cannot stress this enough: alterations are the worst.  So, that is how I spent my Saturday. Making a cummerbund, taking in his jacket, hemming the pants and taking in the pant waist. Now, the truth is I bought a blind hemmer with the thought I might need to mend and hem pants in my future. But, I wanted to finish my UFO Hot Patterns Windcheater jacket on Saturday!

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There was no way I was going to make a vest that day. So, I elected to go with a cummerbund from Vogue 7104. I chose view F as it mimics the peaked lapel of his jacket. Did you know that the curved look of the cummerbund was designed to mimic the look of a shawl collar tuxedo? Who knew? Not me!

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As for the cummerbund. It’s ‘fine’. I will be remaking it for the wedding we are attending next month. The pattern calls for sew in interfacing and I used silk organza.  But, what it really needs is Peltex or similar tough stiffener. I also want to make him a wider, self-tie bow tie out of the same silk faille. And, a pocket square. I’ll also go with B. Black and Sons to order cummerbund hardware (plus some for bow tie).

Of course, I watched this video after I’d made the waist covering. If I’d seen it first, I’d have used the right interfacing. And, seriously, big ups to A Fabric Place. I sent Jordan to buy cummerbund material while I did the tailoring.  The silk grosgrain / faille was a steep $60 per yard, but you only need 1/4 yard for the style cummerbund I chose.

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It was worth it. He looked like James Bond. But, this also means that his Windcheater is still waiting for buttons to be sewn on. It’s going to be summer by the time I finish that jacket.

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The gala’s theme this year celebrated the work of the costume shop. It was AMAZING.

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They did a fashion show highlighting their work over the past 51 seasons of the theater. I might try and arranage a back stage tour this summer as a meet up. Wouldn’t that be fun?

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This is my third time attending the gala. I’ve always made my dress (First and second years). But, this year I didn’t have the right fabric on hand nor the mojo.

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This year I bought on sale online. This is how I roll. I buy like ten dresses online from stores with free shipping and returns or where  local returns are possible. I pick the ones that work best and send the rest back. Oh, this one had to be hemmed too. But three inches. At least I got a headband out of the excess!

I’m leaving on Wednesday morning to see my dad for a few days near Tampa (in Hernando County). Does anyone want to try and meet up? I head back to Baltimore on Saturday morning. But, other than picking up my vintage Bernina (squee!!!) am flexible with time. Plus, I’ll have a car so I can come back to Tampa too. We don’t have to go to a fabric store. It could be drinks or lunch or anything really!



  1. Such a gorgeous couple! I was laughing while reading that whole tux scene, because it could have been me and my husband. Good thing we love ’em, huh?! You did a great job tailoring, he looks sharp.
    I would love to get together when you’re in Tampa! Please email me at satinbirddesigns at g mail ( dot ) com and I’ll send you my cell phone number. I’ll email Myra (Simple Inspirations) to see if she is available also.

  2. I have to imagine the sound track to this adventure was one long playing of the theme from “The Lone Ranger”. I’d have gone barking mad having to take in a tuxedo.

  3. You two make a beautiful couple! And you will get faster and more adept at those pants alterations. Got so that I could do them Sunday morning before church!!!

  4. I hate alterations as well. Hate and hate! My brother’s always try to get me to fix their pants, and I always ask them to give me a deadline because if they don’t, I’ll never do it!

  5. I think I see a need for you to follow-up with your man about fitting issues! Renee, what were you thinking that he would actually have the initiative to try it on and let you know if it didn’t fit? LOL Only very rare men do that. All the rest expect you to produce a miracle, which you did! He knew you’d pull him through. You make a very attractive and polished couple. Love that dress on you.

  6. Girl, I’m with you on the alterations. They are the PITS! You both look awesome together though, so totally worth it.

  7. Ack, you’re a saint! Alterations are the WORST- I’m terrible and always recommend my tailor to my dude friends. But it was worth it because you two look amazing! You’re such a gorgeous couple! LOVE your dress!

  8. Well, it may have made for a crappy and stressful Saturday, but it was worth it. Jordan looks hot! 🙂 You’re way nicer than I am – I just send Erik to the tailor for alterations. And the two of you look great together – LOVE your dress!

  9. Well, he looks good in his tux, and your dress is beautiful. Sometimes you just have to buy instead of make, because life gets in the way of your plans.

    Have fun in Tampa with your Dad. At least it isn’t too hot there yet.

  10. You’re right, he does look like James Bond, LOL!! Seriously though, love the dress you selected, it’s GORGEOUS!! I totally agree, you too look fabulous together!

    Andrea always beats me to the punch…I would love to connect while you’re in Tampa! I’ll touch base with Andrea to see if you two have connected already.

  11. You both look stunning and happy. I’d love a Baltimore meetup sometime. I will be there in August. My grandchildren live there and I go as often as I can get there from Atlanta.

  12. A gorgeous couple indeed! Plus something James Bond never had… radiant smiles to go with it all.

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  14. I live in Pinellas county, probably an hour and a half to Hernando, and I work in Wesley Chapel which is halfway between. Alas, my work schedule Wed to Sat won’t work, but next trip perhaps a meetup would be fun. I’m in the process of connecting with some Tampa residents, and soon to be residents, and I think by the end of the year we should have a reasonable Tampa Bay sewing meetup group. K

    • Hi Karen, Myra and Andrea. I live in Tampa also. I would love to join a meetup if my schedule permits – right now Friday would work best for a meetup with Renee, but I am open to further meetups Karen or anyone else may be organizing.

      • Hi Tracey, yes! I work M-F right now (till mid to late June) but then will have a more flexible schedule. There are a few other stitchers here I know about, and am trying to get connected together. I will see if I can get your email from your signature, and we can work on getting together. K

        • OK,Tracey, doesn’t seem like I can connect to an email. If you see this, please send me message at acorgihouse at yahoo dot com. K

  15. You are truly a generous and skilled wife doing all that with a deadline! But the result is fantastic…you both look so happy!

    • Carolyn, I just left message with Tracey. I am in Dunedin. My work schedule is a bit difficult till mid June or so, but I would like to connect some of us. You can email me at acorgihouse at yahoo dot com. K

  16. Are you the bestest wife ever or what?! I wouldn’t know what to do if someone asked me to alter a jacket. Great job!

  17. Love your dress even though you didn’t make it. The cummerbund looks great!

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