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Feb 10, 2014

Weekend Meet-up & New Shirt Project!

Readers, you may not believe it, but I have worn my leopard print Miyake coat every day for the last three days.  And that's without closures!

I have received many compliments and quite a few double takes.  You know who I feel like when I wear this coat?  Rudolf Nureyev.  Or is it Margot Fonteyn.  Anyway, very glamorous.

On Saturday, I met up with Elizabeth, who was in town visiting from the west coat, Claudine, Kat (an American living in Greece) and Sarita.  Naturally, we hit a great many sewing-related hot spots, including Paron's, Daytona Trim, Chic Fabrics, Pacific Trim, and Mood, Glorious Mood.


Claudine and Sarita

Kat and me

Claudine and Elizabeth

This month, Paron's has a 40% off sale on everything not previously discounted.  I bought a beautiful mint-green pique that I think will be perfect for a robe for my mother (and hopefully she'll agree).  I love it.

Claudine kept badgering about my coat so I finally let her try it on.  I must say she looks smashing in it.

Claudine was wearing a skirt she made from the amazing furry fabric she purchased at Paron's on MPB Day last August.  I know I ribbed her about it at the time, saying it looked like it was embellished with a used Nad's For Men body waxing strip, but I love it, and it may just be the inspiration for my upcoming man-skirt, though probably without the hair.

We all ate lunch at Market Cafe, where I was introduced to the concept of the bottomless Bloody Mary.  I thought I'd have to take my pants off but I wrong (thankfully, as I was all in mesh).

After losing Kat and Sarita, we elders headed for the FIT Museum, where we caught two shows, Trend-ology and Elegance in an Age of Crisis: Fashions of the 1930s.  I'd seen the former already, but the latter is fantastic and just opened last Friday (and closes April 19).  The museum is free, btw.  I love free.

Before the museum, we stopped for coffee and I caught this awesome hairdo.  I'm not sure how you sleep in it, but it's not something you see every day.

I met up with my friend Johanna yesterday and she generously loaned me about a dozen Japanese pattern books (more about that later).  Have any of my Japanese readers seen the segment on Nippon TV about Johanna's sewing machine collection?  We're still waiting for a DVD of the footage, I mean, Johanna is.

Meanwhile, I'm trying to organize my week. I want to sew a shirt with the fabric I bought last week.  I thought I'd try something interesting with pleats from my Japanese men's shirt book.  Which version do you prefer?

It seems like a lot of work but I think the results could be interesting, don't you? 

Below, I pleated out the orange stripe, and then stitched the pleats along their width, first in one direction and then in the other, to create a wavy effect.

Oh, I almost forgot: also on Saturday, I bought covered hook-and-eye closures for my Miyake coat. When I got them home and opened one of the packages, I realized I'd bought BROWN!  I hate when that happens.  I'll have to hunt down the black ones.

And that's it!  A busy week ahead, including preparing for tomorrow night's FIT class.  Tempus fugit!

Have a great day, everybody!


  1. If you're doing a series of pleats, Peter, may I share with you my cheater trick to get ALL of the straight and evenly spaced? Before I figured this out, I'd get all of them right... except there would be ONE that would be crooked...

    Transfer the markings for the pleats to your fabric. Not only will the pleats be perfectly straight, but you'll have lines to sew on as well!

    1. Thanks, Laura. I'll probably just use the orange stripes of my fabric as my guide.

  2. that green pique looks like waffle fabric. Is that the same thing?

    1. My understanding is that waffle is one kind of pique shape.

  3. Ooh! Thanks for reminding me that those new exhibits are up! So glad you went the hook and eye route.
    P.S. - I just got my vintage machines back from the repairman today, fingers crossed!!!!

  4. That hairdo is called a French Twist. My Mom used to do mine up like that when I was younger (and had longer hair!)
    Love the look of the pleated plaid for that shirt. Ah, to have all those choices for shopping for fabric!

  5. I believe the proper way to sleep in a beehive is to wrap it in toilet paper first. At least that's what the ladies in the Midwest used to do in the 60s.

    1. Right. The toilet paper (or sometimes thin sheets of foam rubber) was held on with those metal clips. Then the whole pile was covered with a big hairnet.

    2. She looks as if she's just come from the salon...

  6. I love Claudette's coat lapels under your's. I actually had to go back and check to see if you had changed the original.

    WHY did you have to tell me Paron's has another 40% off?!?!?!?! I"m there too much as it is!!!

  7. Love the pleats.
    Try going over the brown hook and eyes with a black fabric pen or Sharpie.

  8. Wow, I was thinking of making a coat like yours for myself, but now that I've seen this photo, I have to! It looks great.

  9. I like the first shirt, and LOVE the pleats going different directions. I never would have thought of that pattern used with plaid, but, as usual, you're a genius! Can't wait to see it all done.

  10. Your pleats are awesome--go Peter! And thanks for the heads up on the Paron's sale.

  11. Peter, unfortunately I couldn't watch that, it seems the video was on air as of Dec 1. That was in 5 minutes short program in Tokyo Met Area. Though this is Japanese text, you can refer to the TV program' page mentions Johanna's collection.

    About shirt making, I think "14" stand up collar shirt is better, because it's casual and useful to wear more than "7" formal wing collar one. I have same shirt book, also
    have his coat and apron book. Now I am thinking to buy his military wear book lately published, which may not be your taste.
    Good Luck with your new shirt, Masa

  12. Haha, love that first photo. Just can't walk past a photo op in that coat. I'd do the same.

  13. I just remembered something, if you ever want experiment with making a closure for your Miyake coat there is Japanes braid called edouchi-himo cord that might look great; it's used in clothing and doesn't look home dec-ish. Here's a link to a web site with lots of colors and sizes, although there must be someplace in NYC that has it as well (maybe Toho Shoji?)

  14. so sad i missed, claudine's skirt is mind blowing. as are your mind bending pleats.

    have you considered leather buckle closures for your coat-- kind of like that ones you liked on my multicolored boucle jacket?

  15. So fun to spend time with you. LOVED your new coat. As for the shirt, I like the pleats going all the way down. :)

  16. I think you should consider a kilt pin for your coat. Fancy like a broach or plain and unobtrusive, it would do the job. ~Kelly, in Norfolk

  17. Your coat looks totally different, and equally wonderful, on Claudine. Amazing.

    I looked up the 30's exhibit from your link, and wow! I'd love to see it in person.

    A kilt pin is meant to hold together the relatlively loose weave of a tartan. There may be heavier brooches with finer hasps, though, and they'd look amazing holding your coat together.


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