Jan 5, 2011
Friends, I fear a Hipster Alert! warning call is imminent and well-warranted. I finished my flannel shirt yesterday and I cannot deny that I look like what New York Magazine calls the Urban Woodsman. That scares me though I used to be an avid hiker.
Fortunately I don't live in Brooklyn and yet mysteriously I found myself there yesterday afternoon (though hardly in a hotbed of hipsterism). Why? Read on.
I am somewhat ashamed to admit that I finished the plaid flannel shirt yesterday. I do want to sew more slowly and I try but it's hard. No matter what I do -- schedule in distractions, miss a night's sleep, sew with dusty old vintage sewing machines -- I find it a challenge to stretch these project out longer. I will keep trying.
One time-saver was my decision to skip front pockets on the shirt. They were simply too much plaid and made me seasick. I hope you agree but I'm standing by my decision.
I also serged the side seams -- a first -- after a very tedious hour spent flat-felling the armscye seams. Flannel is so spongy and it doesn't really iron to a crisp unless cooked.
I realized a little late but better late than never that I could use beige thread as my top thread and black thread in my bobbin (exact same weight thread from Sil thread) so I wouldn't have unsightly beige stitches on my black cotton sateen trim. I may redo the front right placket -- you see how the stitches on the placket are beige whereas the collar is (nearly) all black? I prefer the latter.
The cuff is topstitched beige but the cuff lining is black, which is nice if I turn up my cuffs.
Here's the rear:
Buttonholes , which I did on my Singer buttonholer attached to my Pfaff 30, came out great.
I know reader Renee was rooting for snaps, but I opted for plain old plastic buttons. Sorry, Renee!
My Pfaff 30 was a good little trouper though still in need of some fine tuning imo. Her feed dogs automatically drop which made using my buttonholer much more convenient than on my old Singer Spartan. She's a lovely topstitcher, powerful slow or fast, and I love having my machine in a table and sewing flush with the table top.
For the record, I made this shirt using Butterick 4712, a slim-fitting vintage Seventies pattern that often shows up on Etsy and eBay.
In other news, friends, the sew-along is GO!
We have a few options.
1) We can all use the same pattern. I can recommend a current men's shirt pattern and we can purchase it on our own from a place like Pattern Review or wherever you buy patterns. That way we're all on the same page.
2) I can recommend a few in-print options and let you decide what works best (since some of you are more interested in women's shirts, or boys shirts, what have you.) Shirt patterns are more alike than they are different and the sew-along will focus on techniques anyway that will be useful regardless of the pattern. This way those who may already have a vintage or OOP pattern they want to use can participate.
The number of men's dress shirt patterns currently available is woefully low. Do you hear that, friends at The McCall Pattern Company (comprising McCall's, Vogue, and Butterick)?
Either way I'll let you know and we'll come up with a way to post pictures to the site, have a forum for questions, etc. Start date will be early February. Exciting!
Finally friends, poor Michael. Tired of watching my swift ascent to blogger whatever-dom from the sidelines, always hoping for a brief mention or photo on Male Pattern Boldness, Michael has decided to start a daily blog of his own.
It's all about food and his cooking adventures and it's called Pleasing My Palate.
Won't you check it out? We do all have to eat after all. I am prominently featured, albeit not in my leopard pants, plaid shirt, or toggle coat. Still you might enjoy it.
Of course if you choose to follow Michael's blog you'll earn extra points in my book, points which will entitle you to the chance of winning potentially valuable prizes at some future time yet to be determined.
Thankfully Willy and Freddy are not yet up to the daily discipline of blogging though they do have strong opinions about raw meat (love it!), treadmills (ho-hum), and enforced dental hygiene (grrrr.....).
In closing, I have expanded my plaid shirt Picasa file, so do take a look if you like flannel shirts and expansive views of New York City from a Brooklyn high-rise where I will never live but my brother and SIL, we'll see. Vertigo alert.
Have a great day everybody!