Good morning, everybody, and Happy Day of the Dead to those (living) who celebrate it. I don't know about the weather where you live, but here in New York it's getting cold. Almost too cold for a velveteen jacket.
As you can see, I've been slowing introducing my new jacket to the outside world and so far, so good. I do notice that it doesn't go especially well with the blue of my jeans but I do like it with mixed plaids.
Readers, if I start to look like one of those Japanese kids on Harajuku Street, you will tell me, won't you?
You don't even have to say it explicitly -- a simple "!" will suffice. I am definitely getting more confident about mixing patterns and it's a slippery slope to the Hello Kitty lunchbox and embellished Uggs.
Readers, I'm not one to linger in the past, but occasionally I will happen upon something that reminds me where I was at a certain moment in my life and, consequently, where I am now. Does this ever happen to you?
I don't know why I was digging through Michael's underwear drawer -- boredom? -- when I happened up these.
Sentimental MPB followers and lurkers, those gingham boxers were my very first sewing project, which I made in June 2009. Aren't they pretty?
I made them using Diana Rupp's book, Sew Everything Workshop. It's a project called Foxy Boxers and Rupp's book comes with the actual paper pattern included (among many others). I always recommend this book for beginners because it's so good on the basics and very stylish.
Trust me when I say I had no idea what I was doing and no familiarity with sewing terms when I took on this project. It took me about three days to finish them (I'm not kidding). And as pretty as they are on the outside, inside they're a bit of a mess.
Let's take a look at the inside fly. I still don't understand how I ended up with this huge inside flap.
Or why I didn't clip this seam to help the fly opening lie flat...
Forget about overcasting seam allowances. Today they're all fraying.
Below, on the inside back seam, you can see I was stitching a second seam in zig zag, but a) the tension was too tight on my machine, and b) I never cut the seam allowance down to the stitching line. So despite zigzagging the seam allowance there's all that fraying.
Here's another area of yuck, where the leg and side seams intersect.
To my credit, the waistband casing came out pretty well.
And despite everything, I am still proud of them, and will promptly re-bury them in Michael's bureau.
I thought it was useful to take a fresh look at those boxers because I was reminded that you really can't go from A to, say, K, without passing first through B, C, D, E, F, etc. The only way to learn is to make mistakes and then figure out what went wrong.
If you don't have someone nearby to ask, you can ask questions on Pattern Review or take a look at a RTW garment of the same type and see how it's constructed. That is something that never occurred to me while I was making those boxers. I had a dozen boxers I could have examined to help me figure things out. But that was something I had to learn too!
Readers, the week ahead is a big one, ending in my brother's wedding. But more importantly, I am hoping I get my 1969 McCall's pattern in the mail. And look at the photo I found online yesterday: Yves Saint Laurent Spring/Summer collection, 1969.
Do womens sewing patterns today reflect current fashion trends as immediately as they used to? I wonder.
In closing, friends, do you ever go back and revisit old projects and recognize the progress you've made? If you don't, you should. Now I understand why Michael complained about getting tangled up those boxers -- it's dangerous in there!
Have a great day, everybody! What are you working on?
I'm a native New Yorker and self-taught sewing fanatic! I've been sewing obsessively since 2009 and today make all my own clothes using mostly vintage patterns and vintage sewing machines. Welcome to the warm and whimsical world of Male Pattern Boldness, where the conversation is sewing, style, fashion, fabric, and more!