Posted in sewing

FehrTrade Surf to Summit: Menssss

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Over Thanksgiving I pattern tested Melissa Fehr Trade’s Surf to Summit Top for men. Note, I didn’t make one for myself because I neither surf, nor summit. Jordan on the other hand snowboards, runs and bikes. One time we went running together and I *begged* him not to run with me. I get really self conscious about what a slow runner I am. And, I kind of hate being encouraged when I run. Just let me run in peace and self loathing. He wouldn’t do it and jogged along with me at my 12 minute mile pace. The next day, he had shin splints. Because, it was like he was jogging in place. ::sad trombone:: We haven’t gone running together since….

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Anywho, I tested this pattern because it was free and something I would have bought anyway. I’m probably a terrible tester, because I sewed this sucker up in less than two hours on a Friday night. And, I glanced through the directions, but it’s really simple construction. I will say her diagrams are really good and I think Big 4 patterns could take a lesson from her on how to illustrate instructions. Her pattern description below:

Both the men’s and ladies’ versions feature princess seams, side panels (so no side seams!), your choice of long or short raglan sleeves, optional sleeve mitts for keeping your hands warm without fiddling for gloves, a tall integral collar to keep your neck covered, and your choice of two hem lengths. An optional half zip and back cycling-style pocket are also included.

I made the pullover in long sleeves with sleeve mitts. I would have done the half zip, but didn’t have a zipper on hand and wasn’t trying to go out over Thanksgiving to look for one.

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Guys, I get the love of a PDF pattern — instant gratification and no shipping. But, I’ll only sew them if they are copy shop. Period. I know there are faster ways of taping, but I won’t do it. Some people won’t upgrade to smartphones and get on Facebook. I won’t tape PDFs. So, I was really happy I could get this one copy shop printed.

For Jordan, I first sewed a straight Large. His chest measured 42.5. Jordan’s clothing issues are short torso, broad chest, large biceps and somewhat narrow waist — but with a little extra weight around his middle.

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After taking photos so she could see how the straight Large fit (above and unhemed), I took three inches of width from the waist. Jordan wants it even tighter next time so it’s a more a true compression shirt. When I sew it again, I’ll also add one or two inches in length. At first he said it was fine. Then, he went for a run and admitted his stomach got cold.

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I really like these run mitts. When sewing them, I had zero idea what they were supposed to look like. And, feared I’d sewn them wrong. But, they are correct and Jordan said they worked brilliantly. But, he felt some stares when we was running, but said they worked so well his hands were sweating by the time he got home. Below on the left is the run mitt and on the right what it looks like when not engaged.

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Finally, I made this up in some of my hoarded Under Armour Cold Gear. I have two more pieces of it left in red and sage green. I’m saving the red for myself and donating the sage green to his exercising cause.
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This went together really quickly. All serger construction with my coverstitch for the hems.

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I think I need to make some fit tweaks. I’d like to try an XL on top and through the arms and taper to a medium in the waist. I’ll also add some length at the bottom. And, this summer I can sew him some bike versions from the Nike fabric I bought in Minnesota this summer. Plus, with the seaming details, there’s plenty of opportunity for me to use some reflective tape to make him a bit more visible in the wild.

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I’ve sewn some more holiday gifts for Jordan that I hope to blog after Hanukkah this week. In the meantime, Happy Hanukkah to those who celebrate. And for those of us waiting for Christmas, it’s less than two weeks away!!

Allow me to leave you with my new Christmas tree. Because, I can.

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Posted in sewing

Blue Boxers, German Translation and Most AMAZING Burda Archive

I was planning on throwing in some boxers with Jordan’s Hanukkah gifts in December. But, then I thought, are underwear really gifts? Is that like getting a pack of socks from your parents? So, I decided to just make them over Thanksgiving and give them out when I was done. I tried, but he wasn’t trying to model these for my blog either. SO incredibly selfish.

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These are Jalie 2327. I’ve made them before in two or three batches for Jordan. This time, I made up five in size U. I think I found with these sizing down a size was the fit he wanted. For the waistband, I measured his waist and subtracted six inches. The Singer Sewing Reference library book on lingerie (I don’t know that Jordan would appreciate knowing my measurements for his boxers comes from a lingerie book, heh.) says subtract between 2 and 6 inches for waistband elastic.

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The fabric is Under Armour wicking material at like $5 to $7 a yard that they use for underwear. Local Guss Woolens was my UA fabric resource, and they closed up shop. So, I’ve sort of hoarded this material. I have it in three more color ranges so he should be getting boxers for a few more years now. The waistband elastic is from Sew Sassy (and conveniently University of Michigan colors). I also have it with black and grey from easy.

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Nothing too fancy here. Everything constructed with the serger. It’s as close as I get to production sewing.

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The elastic and hems are sewn with the overstitch and wooly nylon in the lower looper.


 

For myself, I have a few new bra patterns from the German company Sewy.

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They are Isabell and Leonie.  They are blessedly in my size range. But, entirely in German. If there are any German speaking readers who would be willing to translate for pay or exchange of fabric, patterns, etc, please let me know. I’ve made enough bras that I get the gist. But, English would be easier. Just leave a message at the bottom and I’ll contact you.


 

Melissa over at FehrTrade tipped me off to this on her blog. There is an incredible Burda archive here that allows you to search based on tags, size, fabric or garment. Incredible. Check it out. It’s already caused me to track down some Burdas that have patterns I *need*. You can also run the link http://burdavisor.ru through Google Translate to sort out how to download the archive. Seems like it has to be re-downloaded every month. But, with the Plus, Easy Fashion and Regular editions included going back to 2004, it’s well worth it.

Posted in sewing

Review: Hot Patterns 2004: Mr. H.P. Hemmingway Windcheater

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Almost three months past his birthday, Jordan’s got a new jacket! I bought this HP pattern back in 2013 with the thought I would sew it up for a Hanukkah gift. Then, I promised it as a February birthday gift. Luckily, Jordan is patient.

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I love how the HP Windcheater is modeled after high end and very expensive jackets. I submit to you the Filson Fisherman Parka

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At $500 that was never going to be purchased by me.

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I think my version looks pretty similar to theirs in blue!

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So, fabric is a cotton from Mood that I purchased in store in 2013. It’s navy blue cotton with a waterproof layer sandwiched in between. I don’t think it’s super breathable, but, it has great hand. It generally sewed fine with a regular needle. But, when I got to the buttonholes on the front I tried three different needles before the stitching ‘took’. I used a leather needle as it is A designed to go through non-wovens and performed like a champ.

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The lining is a cotton flannel from Joanns that he picked out himself. The sleeves have a silky lining to make it easier to take on and off.

Alterations:

  • Add an inch in length to the jacket
  • Add a inch to the sleeves (he likes them long)
  • Broad back adjustment for movement ease while on his Vespa
  • Added a pleat to the lining for movement ease
  • Scoop out the center front neck at the hood to accommodate for his larger neck.

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Looking at the completed garment I think the shoulders are a little long/ wide for him and I’ll shorten them a bit next time. And, the neck is still tight for him and I’ll need to scoop that out some more.

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For the zipper, I used a two way zip so when he’s on his Vespa or bike, he can unzip from the bottom. I bought and had it cut at Stadham Sewing.

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I also skipped snaps and went with buttons.  He chose these buttons from my stash.

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I didn’t do the drawstring waist. He said he would never use it.

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I added a zipper to the chest pocket. Just big enough to hold his iPhone.

So, I don’t want to gush, but I think he looks so stinking good in this jacket! And, not because of my sewing. I think it just fits him really well, and I love him in navy (and dark green and browns).

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It took me a long time to make this pattern because I’m lazy and it’s the first ‘real’ thing I’ve sewn since last July! I can’t believe how long it’s been since I’ve *really* sewn.  It felt incredibly good to sit down at a sewing machine and watch a project come together.

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I can see using this pattern over and over and over. And, I’d really like to make a two-tone version for myself like these Universal Works jackets that retails for $345 (it’s unlined).

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The next time I make this, I will use pre-installed drawstring and elastic. You’ll note that I have in the grommets. But, no drawstring yet.

And, I will add interior pockets like so

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and so

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Too bad it’s now too warm for him to wear the jacket…

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Posted in sewing

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?”

Me: WHAT?

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!