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Apr 29, 2010

SHOCKING -- Man Exposes His Pelagia on Peter's Blog!



Thank you, reader Rachael, for identifying the name of this Liberty of London print yesterday.

The shirt is finished, it fits, and Michael loves it.  What more can you ask for in life, really?





Of course, no sewing project would be complete without a little wabi-sabi and this one has its share.  Indulge my compulsive need to point out these endearing imperfections to you, dear readers; it's a personality defect.



Can you see how, on the (wearer's) left side, the collar stand juts out about 1/4 inch beyond the shirt front, when it should be perfectly flush with it?  Strike one up for carelessness. (I have done this before.)

And then there's this:



I caught the unraveling with Fray Check, but it's annoying.  In retrospect I should have used finer thread for the buttonhole and perhaps a finer needle as well.  I can clean this up by hand or perhaps one of you could take care of it for me.

I also need to shorten the back hem about an inch; an easy fix.

But you know, whatever.  It looks good on Michael and hopefully this will keep him satisfied for a few weeks and he'll stop asking me to sew him stuff. 



If you'd like to see more photos of this project and alternate views of Michael's Pelagia, click here.

As for shirtmaking, the best way to learn to make shirts is to make a lot of them.  For straight seams and accurate topstitching, nothing beats a straight-stitch sewing machine and I highly recommend picking up a vintage mechanical like a Singer Spartan or 99K (which is a Spartan with a light and originally some extra feet); or a 15-91 or 201 (Spartans and 99Ks can be found on eBay for less than $100 -- and should be; a fully accessorized 15-91 or 201 usually costs a bit more). They're great for everything and give you excellent control on garments that require a high level of stitching accuracy -- and don't they all?  (You can read my recent review of the Singer 15-91 here.)

And now on to my next project.  What should it be? The rose-print dress I've been talking about for months?  Jeans for me?  Curtains for the bedroom?

I am actually anxious to get back to my cheap fabric, peeps.  Liberty of London is swell, of course, but I feel most at home with a nice cotton-poly flat sheet from the Salvation Army.  There's something about the smell of those sheets under the iron that says home.

What would you like to see?

43 comments:

  1. Love, love that shirt!!
    You should try making some jeans next.

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  2. Beautiful -- a work of art, really! And it's perfect on Michael, too. Suits him to a -- well, NOT a tee, that's for sure. I don't know if cotton/poly sheets are ever going to work for Michael now that you've introduced him to Liberty.

    For straight stitching, I think there's nothing better than a mid-20th century Singer Featherweight. I love my Pfaff, but nothing does a fine, straight line like my little Featherweight portable. I'd recommend it to anyone. Not to mention that they're beautiful machines, too.

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  3. Great shirt and it suits Michael's colouring so well. Would you beleive I've got pelagio in pink sitting in my stash. It was going to be made up into a Burda wof blouse but got pushed aside quite rudely by some Heidi dresses.
    What to make next? That's the perennial sewer's problem. So many ideas, so much stash, so little time!

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  4. WOW!! You've finished it already? I adored the fabric when I saw it earlier in the week but made up it's awesome! Don't worry about the inperfections. My ma always says when I point out my mistakes: if it were perfect people would think it was bought. It's the little errors that help us to learn (in theory) & can make a handmade garment all the more unique.

    I say sew something for yourself next.

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  5. Peter this is fabulous! I wish I had my own personal tailor - Michael is right to nag at you to make him some clothes.

    That fabric is awesome - I have just made a Project Runway blouse with Liberty fabric and it truly is lovely! I would love to see your jeans made up next...

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  6. Oh, it is beautiful, and perfect despite any small imperfections. Michael looks so happy. As you say, what more could you possibly ask? I'm really glad that this project turned out so well for you (and him!).

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  7. What a beautiful shirt! The wabi -sabI shows that it is hand-made. Be proud of the imperfections! Remember that the Chimayo Weavers put imperfections in their weavings on purpose.

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  8. It's a really fabulous shirt Peter and looks wonderful on Michael (as does Michael!)

    I'm not sure how many times I have to vote for the purple but it's your choice really as I'm always fascinated by what you manage to come up with!

    Do you have a favourite colour? Have you mentioned that before? Just curious.

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  9. Bravo, bravo (she says, jumping to her feet and clapping) . . . that shirt is just exquisite! Michael looks terrific in the shirt (probably looks terrific in anything, i bet). Funny, I was thinking of you last night . . . I'm sewing the new Vogue Ralph Rucci caftan out of oyster-white Vera Wang poly satin, and the phrase "coffin lining" occasionally creeps into my mind as I work with the fabric! I'm not happy about that!!!!

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  10. That shirt is a triumph, in spite of the "mistakes" you pointed out. I'm sure you'd do jeans beautifully.

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  11. It's beautiful. Don't listen to that little nagging voice telling you that imperfect is bad.

    I know I'm concertedly not listening to that one because Little Bit's new dress is about 1/4 off in the middle and could be fixed with the sleeve gathers.... but I'm not taking it apart to fix it now that the buttonholes are in!

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  12. Peter, it looks great! Not that I would expect anything less from the sight of that placket yesterday. Since the track suit is not in your list of items to choose from (which saddens me greatly) I say go for the jeans or the curtains. Maybe something as simple as curtains would be a nice change from what you have ben doing? Then tackle the jeans.

    Regardless, we will be excited about whatever project you chose. Even if it *is* the track suit ;) (Sorry, just had to get it in there one last time.)

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  13. Spectacular! Impressive how you matched the pattern across the front perfectly--that's more important than a little 1/4 inch off collar. As grandmother would say about the little mistakes, "Nobody would notice it from a galloping horse."

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  14. Wonderful! I'm glad you take a philosophical view on your project issues and don't allow them to slow you down. Practice is how you learn and improve. I love the shirt--good job!

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  15. awesome! i say go with the curtains or jeans...switch it up a bit

    What is it with people asking you to make them something when they find out you can sew? How do you nicely say no to people like friends, but not that good a friend?

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  16. I love a man in Liberty. It is a lovely shirt, and he looks so pleased with it. You should be pleased, too.

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  17. This guy is not going to stop asking you to make him stuff if you hand over something that's 1) gorgeous 2) perfect for the upcoming clammy weather. You should have used vintage double-knit polyester, -then- he'd leave you alone :-).
    That said, I'd throw in a pair of jeans for you first, followed by some restful bits of straight seams for bedroom curtains. Unless you're already waking up too soon because of the lack of curtains..

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  18. Thanks everyone! Trouble is, where can one find double-knit polyester these days?

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  19. double knit polyester? Joann's in Pleasant Hill, Bolt's End in Castro Valley, Nor-Mar Fabrics in Napa (all California)........since you asked ; )

    i confess i have become something of an expert at repairing buttonholes.....too vigorous at cutting the hole, the return line of stitches hops on top of the original line, bobbin goes haywire and leaves a nest of thread underneath the stitching......the worst is picking out buttonhole stitches. and/or when every buttonhole has gone swimmingly, EXCEPT the one right below the collar, of course the most visible one in the entire garment (sigh).

    hopefully you'll avoid achieving my level of expertise on the topic.

    BOO-tiful shirt!! lucky Michael. steph

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  20. It's a beautiful shirt and Michael is a lucky guy! The fit is really spot on.

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  21. You did a wonderful job, Peter. Michael is right to look so happy wearing the shirt.

    I better not show the shirt to Bad Dad, or else he will want his own Pelagia shirt.

    I just happen to have some polyester doubleknit, but it weighs too much to ship.

    Kashi had some high quality poly interlocks. Remember how I rejected some colors of interlock when he told me they were poly? I bought only the red and grey b/c they were rayon. The other colors were poly (but very nice poly). $6/yd and a shirt should take only 1.75 yds.

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  22. Wonderful shirt and Michael looks great in it.

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  23. Well done. If you don't point out the "oops" we wouldn't ever have noticed.

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  24. Truly excellent shirt - the pattern is awesome and it fits SO well!

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  25. I am so, so, SO impressed. I realize, as a non-sewist, that means relatively little. But for what it's worth ...

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  26. No -- it's the non-sewists opinions I value MORE, Sal. Sewists will forgive almost anything!

    e.g. "..the imperfections make our clothes unique." Yeah, an upside-down sleeve: unique! (I'm kidding, Tamara!) LOL

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  27. Not to worry, Peter, your collar stand "jutting out" problem can be solved! Margaret Islander uses a technique for eliminating this (and it works, because I've done it) that she calls the "burrito technique." She has DVDs on her web site, but I'm not sure which one explains it. I have an old VCR tape I bought on eBay that has it. The Stitchery bog at http://thestitchery.wordpress.com/2006/10/23/collar-and-collar-stand demonstrates it. Now, your shirts can be the epitome of perfection! We can't have your otherwise impeccable shirts spoiled by a little collar stand imperfection, now can we?

    Micheal's Liberty of London shirt is wonderful and he looks great in it.

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  28. Haha.. I had to check this out just to see what a Pelagia was (and I bet a ton of other people did too!) Great shirt, Michael looks fantastic in it.
    My vote on your next project? I pick the rose-print dress, but then again, I do gravitate to florals and prints...

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  29. I USED the "burrito" technique (I have the Islander DVD), but somehow ended up with an enchilada.

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  30. It looks fabulous and it's obvious he loves it.

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  31. Awesome shirt, Michael looks good in it. You sewed it so quickly...my project usually takes me forever and a day to complete. I would love to see some jeans. I love the dress for cousin Cathy, but i think its time for something for yourself.

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  32. That is a beautiful print and the colors look just right for him. (I'm also impressed at your sewing speed!)

    Betty

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  33. Gorgeous!

    But MUST you keep reminding me of the colossal mistake I made putting my singer featherweight into storage when we last moved??? All I have is a modern Janome and my serger for the next two years. I blame pregnancy fog + moving. So sad.

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  34. Peter I don't know the 'burrito' method but those pokey bits at the end of collar stands always get me too. Here's a tip from Gigi's bog 'behind the seams' that looks worth a try
    http://behindtheseams.wordpress.com/2006/05/

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  35. Peter, don't blame yourself for the collar mishap. Just stick to your Islander patterns in future. They are much more precise than McCalls. Part of it is those 5/8" seams rather than 1/4", with all their excess bulk, and part is McCall's trying to make their patterns foolproof with the lack of precision that implies. The Islanders are just drafted better. San Antonio Sue

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  36. I actually cut my 5/8 seam allowances down to 1/4 on the collar and collar stand pattern pieces, as Islander recommends. But when these pieces are interfaced and a little spongy (I used weft-weight woven) sometimes it can be harder to catch the edges (if that makes sense). You don't have much room for error either. Still, I just wasn't paying close enough attention.

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  37. What a gorgeous shirt; so beautifully made (and unless somebody points a camera at the buttonhole IN SUPER BIG CLOSE-UP nobody's ever going to notice that slipped stitch...). The rounded collar is great and it looks fab on.

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  38. This is such an amazing shirt! Your man is very lucky. I'm sure he knows that. He will be getting many jealous stares in this. It is fabulous.

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  39. Handsome man in a handsome shirt! Nice work on both counts!

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  40. Rats! I thought I'd helped you solve your collar band problems forever, but Margaret Islander beat me to it. I bet she has a "jut out" thingie every once in a while but doesn't tell anyone.

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