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Mar 25, 2014

Hat Update + Last-Minute Homework



Let's cut to the chase: the Amazon bowler hat goes back from whence it came.

I swung by J.J. Hat Center yesterday afternoon to try on some bowlers in person.  The first (of two) was $185 (a Selentino) -- very nice but out of my budget; the second was by Capas and $85.

The cheaper hat was wool felt as opposed to fur felt.  Apparently wool felt hats don't hold their shape as well over the long haul, so if I really see myself wearing a bowler a lot, I should go for fur felt.  I tried on a few different sizes but, as one or two of you said yesterday, my head shape is better suited to a "long oval" bowler, which apparently is no longer manufactured, though they do turn up from time to time on eBay.  The problem is the shape of my head, particularly the front, which isn't round enough for the classic bowler shape to fit perfectly, even when the size is right.  That said, at the store they can do some things to help it fit better.

Lest you think all I do is think about hats all day, I also ventured over to Dover Street Market again (where I first saw that "Home Sewing is Easy" shirt -- still there in all its $188 glory).  I love this store, which is filled with the most incredible avant garde fashion.  I finally tried on some Comme des Garcons culottes and drop-crotch pants and now covet both big time.  At $245 each, however (from their cheapest line, Black), those garments are just going to have to wait to be knocked-off -- my next project, perhaps.



Even if you don't buy anything (and there didn't seem to be much plastic changing hands yesterday), Dover Street Market is a great place for inspiration.

Like this shirt:



It's a synthetic (nylon?) floral print overlaid with black mesh and would be very easy to copy.

In other news, I left my Menswear Sewing class homework for the last minute as usual.  What's worse, I did it all here, on my home machine.  I know it sounds like a cinch to hop over to FIT since I live three blacks away, but I'm only three feet from my Kenmore sewing machine, and just a bit more than that from the KITCHEN. 

For today's class we had to cut sleeves and sleeve plackets from the cotton shirting we've chosen for our final shirt, and make cuffs and collar.  I used fabric from my stash.  I don't have enough of it to make a whole shirt, so I'll use these pieces for something else and when I find shirting I want to use for my final shirt, I'll start over again.









I bought that floral cotton voile from Metro Textiles years ago, and while it's pretty from close-up, from far away it reads muddy.  I've only ever used it to make boxer shorts.

Finally, Michael had a pair of Levi's 501's he wanted to get rid of -- he says they look like Mom jeans on him.  I tried them on and they fit me, but it has been years since I've worn RTW jeans and I was so surprised at how baggy they were compared to the jeans I make for myself.   The back rise, in particular, is inches higher than my version(s), but quite comfortable when you bend over or sit on a bike seat.  I hate the riding-down feeling on the back waist of a pair of low-slung men's pants.  Maybe it's time to make myself some Mom jeans!









Is it time to revive high-waisted pants?

Have a great day, everybody!

29 comments:

  1. Tbh I much prefer the jeans you are making. I remember when I was young (good heavens, I sound like my granny) a pair of 501s was THE jeans to have, but now they seem very old fashioned.
    But the drop crotch pants??? Really??? Although I suppose you would manage to make even those into a stylish garment...

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  2. I love Mom jeans. In fact, I'm wearing some right now! Bring them back, I say. Love your collar and cuffs. I see what you mean about the fabric reading as muddy from a distance, but close up it is exquisite.

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  3. What did you do with Michaels head in the 2nd pic?!!!

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    Replies
    1. He was making a very unpleasant face; one click and it's gone!

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    2. I've been studying that photo wondering if I was going mad!

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    3. Jajajaa, that´s cool! If only was it so easy in real life to click away stuff we don´t like...

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    4. Headlessness! Lol. I could NOT figure that pic out for the life of me. You are too funny.

      Awesome job on your collar and cuffs. Always enjoy reading your blog Peter.

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  4. I believe the correct term for jeans like that are "Dad jeans" which Barack Obama has been known to wear. "Mom jeans" come up to the belly-button, bag out in the hips, and taper down to the ankle. In the 80s they were the ill-fated "baggies."

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    Replies
    1. Nope. The correct term is Mom jeans and Obama wears 'em.

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  5. If you plan to ride a Citibike this remember Whitney's quote "crack is wack". I do like your original pattern for pants.

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  6. I'm all for higher waistlines, but then I'm a "mom" and "old". I cannot find a RTW pair of jeans that fit comfortably. I believe pants should sit at the waist - not at my widest spot. When I finally find a pair that fits at the waist, they are huge in the leg! I am determined to sew my own. Yours look great!

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  7. Keep the collar and cuffs and make the body of the shirt a contrasting color, I'm thinking navy. Maybe the cuff placket (I think hat the term) can be the same fabric as the cuffs.

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  8. I have noted that some of the European designers and slowly sprinkling in high waist, or "Hollywood" trousers... hope it comes back in a big way.... something so elegant about a full cut pant (love a full 'sailor cut" too....

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  9. Hey Peter - this is a fantastic blog you have that I found searching for "men's sewing patterns". We've got a TV show here in the UK called 'The Great British Sewing Bee' which has inspired me to give it a whirl - and seeking inspiration - I found you :)
    I'm not sure if you've seen the show? If not - I'd really recommend checking it out on iPlayer, particularly this evenings show which should have been dedicated to you as it's all about vintage machines and patterns:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b03zj89v/The_Great_British_Sewing_Bee_Series_2_Episode_6/
    Keep up the great work and great blog - you're an inspiration!

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  10. I'm laughing to myself, as finally you are modeling an article of clothing that I actually see worn here in rural Alabama....a pair of saggy bottom, loose leg Levis! Your collar and cuffs look excellent, as always!

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  11. Hmmm. The full load CdeG shorts are pretty awful.
    Love your collar and cuffs.

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  12. Love the London Dover Street Market - I wander around mumbling "covet, covet, covet..."
    I think high waisted trousers are starting to appear in womenswear collections so it's just a matter of time. High waisted, but slim everywhere else. Or you could go high waisted and a drop crotch and then you are in harem pants territory. Which is a good thing.

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  13. Your jeans look fab, but I am a little worried that your partner's head seems to have fallen off in one of the photos. Does he have a part time job as a magician's assistant?

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  14. I haven't even worn jeans since 1984, so don't look to me for an opinion on them.

    However I do love the disappearing head in your photos. If only it was possible [to some few people] in real life!

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  15. So- If wool hats won't hold their shape as well, would they mould to your forehead better? ...curious
    Kimbersew

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    1. That's a good question. What I didn't realize until I tried them on was that the bowler is a very rigid, helmet-like hat; it's not soft like a fedora. They did say that over time, yes, the hat (wool or fur felt) would conform a bit more to your head.

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  16. Peter, you make it look so easy, and at the last minute!

    Your Kenmore is convincing, the cuffs and collar look as if they are from F.I.T. Which Kenmore was it? What was your needle size, and thread (brand and composition) of choice?

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  17. Did you remove Michael's head on that picture?

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  18. I was listening to the radio this morning driving to work, and a company of hatters were being interviewed, guess what they make? http://www.lockhatters.co.uk/Town_Coke-details.aspx, they even make pink ones for the ladies.

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    1. Wow. How does 295 pounds translate to $$?

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  19. High waisted jeans are definitely making a comeback and not just as mom jeans, I saw a teenager wearing a pair the other day (along with a crop top that she spent most of the time unconsciously trying to tug down). Even jeans for regular women who studiously try and avoid the mom look (even if we are), the waists are going up. I'm a bit divided on this, on one hand it's nice to not have to worry about butt-crack or muffin-top, but on the other hand they are a bit more restrictive. Fashion!

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  20. Peter, just a suggestion on the jeans, why don't you do some "alterations on them" Since you might be planning on getting rid of them, why not give a go to restyle the jeans ... remove the baggy'ness in the seat, trim the legs up and make yourself a pair of "skinny jeans" . I do this all the time with jeans i pick up at thrift stores. I general find most of my sewing to be alterations, fixing RTW so that it fits and is current in style.

    Why not give it a go, I think it would be good practice to try doing some alternations. There use to be a whole community on line devoted to "repurposing" clothing called ThreadBangers.

    All the best
    Corey

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    Replies
    1. Honestly, I'd rather make a pair from scratch and pass these along to someone who could use them. I'm just too lazy! ;)

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  21. I don't think those 501's look great on you. My boyfriend is a devoted wearer of the style and his fit neither as baggy nor has high so I don't think that is how they should look.

    On the other hand, I'm all for a decent rise on trousers. Especially for activities like cycling. I draft my own and the 'lowest' rise I go for these days would be 2 cm below the waistline. Of course, I am a pear shaped woman who likes 'that vintage look'... so your likes may be different.

    Oh, and although I can't really see the details of those culottes in that picture. It seems like the kind of thing which would be really easy to draft. I think I have a pretty good idea what the pattern pieces would look like.

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