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May 14, 2014

Menswear Sewing Class: The Dramatic Conclusion



Friends, I am well aware that after my spring break last month, I stopped providing weekly updates of my menswear sewing class at FIT.

This is partly because the last quarter of the class was largely review and partly because I got caught up in other things.  Class ended last night, alas.  It seems like we started a long, long time ago and we did: the end of January.

Yesterday we presented our final shirts -- all nicely pressed and displayed on dress forms -- and received our grades.  My shirt was the club-collared paisley Liberty I completed last week.  Other than cutting off a few stray threads and moving a button, it was exactly the same as you saw it here.

We also had a party -- we each brought a dish (mine was a dressed salad) and socialized for about an hour.  Then we said our farewells.

I gave Professsor B. a parting gift.  When I'd first shown him the Liberty-esque fabric I was using for my final project, he'd made a joke about whether there was enough for him too.  Well, at the store there was, so I picked up an additional three yards for him before the bolt was finished.  He gave me a hug.

Professor B. had very complimentary things to say about my shirt.  One criticism he had was that the edgestitching I applied to the bottom of the inside collar stand was, in places, ever-so-slightly off the bottom edge of the outside collar stand (which is hidden under the collar, naturally).   I have already forgiven myself.

The lower line of edgestitching on the inside collar stand...

...is slightly off the edge of the outer collar stand in places. 

I got an "A" -- not that anybody's ever going to ask, but as a blogger who writes primarily about menswear sewing, it does matter to me as you can probably understand.

Professor B. made a joke about my having made seventeen shirts during the class, which is a bit of an exaggeration: I made eight, always appying the techniques I'd most recently picked up in class.  I'm not sure I have a favorite -- do you?



















I still haven't made up my mind about taking an accelerated summer class (which would start in just a few weeks), but I'm pretty sure I'll be signing up for "Tailoring I" this coming fall, for which Menswear Sewing is a prerequisite.  That seems a long way off though.

In conclusion, this was an excellent class which I highly recommend to anyone in the New York area interested in learning men's shirt-making techniques.   And Professor B. (as in Blackman) did a marvelous job keeping us all (and we were at many different levels) challenged and supported throughout.  It was privilege to have had him as an instructor.

You can read all my class entries by clicking the Fashion Institute Classes link in my archives.

Have a great day, everybody!

45 comments:

  1. You ARE such an overachiever. Nicely done! I'll also be taking a class in the Fall (Monday nights; Patternmaking for Knitwear), so maybe we can meet up sometime!

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  2. I so wish that I could take a class there. That sounds like so much fun. Eight shirts is totally impressive. Each one is gorgeous. I've loved reading about your class.

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  3. I'm in love with the purple gingham.

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  4. Tie between the pleated plaid, and crossword puzzle

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  5. as one who tries to get every detail perfect when i make a shirt, i really enjoyed reading these posts. thanks for sharing!

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  6. Congratulations on your well-deserved grade. As a beginner, I'm in awe of your skills and have thoroughly enjoyed (and learned from) your posts re. classes and what you've learned. My favorite is the pleated, the first listed.

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  7. I would vote for the Crossword Puzzle shirt as my favorite.

    All of them are fantastic, though. Thank you for taking the time to share them with lurkers like myself...

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  8. Congrats on your A...you deserved it. I think my fav shirt is the mixed patterns shirt...although they are all awesome!

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  9. I love your final shirt--it's gorgeous. In the time you've made 8, I've made 3 mens shirts for my husband. I'm starting on my 4th this week. And honestly, edge stitching the collar stand continues to be the hardest part for me. No matter how neatly I press and carefully pin it in place, the stitching is always a mess on the underside. Any tips Peter??

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    1. don't go into enormous detail, but read this post I wrote about how we were taught to make collars:

      http://malepatternboldness.blogspot.com/2014/03/fit-class-7-finishing-dickey-attaching.html

      Everything should be clean and neatly finished by the time you're attaching your collar/collar band unit. All you need to do is attach the outer band (starting at each edge first), flip the collar over to the inside, and then edgestitch that final lower edge on the inside collar. Does that make sense?

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    2. Thanks Peter! As they say, "Practice makes perfect," so another 20 or 30 collars, and maybe I'll have it down ;)

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  10. I'm glad I recommended the class to you. I knew you would get an A. Just so you know, some of the older tailoring teachers grade harder than Prof. B., not that he's in anyway a softie. But with one of them, the errant top stitching would have gotten you an A- or B+.

    In regard to the accelerated sessions. Never take the Summer Intensive (21-day classes) unless you have no choice. You simply don't get as much out of them. And God forbid you get lost.

    The regular Summer term seems more doable, although still not as good as the regular Fall and Spring sessions. Still, you're very motivated and have the time to work between classes so it might be a good situation for you.

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  11. Thank you so much for walking us through the class with you! It was enjoyable, instructive, and generous on your part. I do especially love the final shirt, the paisley Liberty-like fabric.
    SanMarie

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  12. All of the shirts are wonderful, but I think I like the purple gingham the best. The contrasting pocket welt makes it for me. I cannot wait to see your posts on Men's Tailoring.

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  13. What a fantastic collection of shirts! Who say's there has to be a favorite? They are all favorites! Thanks for all the wonderful class reviews.

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  14. Congratulations! Excellent job.

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  15. My favorite is the plaid shirt with the pintucks. I love the colors!

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  16. Yep, the pintuck shirt as well.

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  17. Congrats on a terrific experience and a great grade! Hands down, my fave shirt was is one with the floral bodice (worn with the skirt).

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  18. Thanks for letting us tag along on your journey through sewing shirts. I've thoroughly enjoyed it--and envied you just the tiniest bit! I have to go out of town--probably out of state--to take comparable classes!

    Favourite shirt? While I love your final shirt, Michael's crossword shirt captures my imagination and attention! :)

    Taja

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  19. It's been great "taking" your class with you, Peter. As a long-time sewist it's always good to find new challenges. Thank you.

    My vote is for the crossword shirt. I had my doubts about whether would care for it at all, but once I saw it I just loved it!

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  20. tough choice...the paisley and the pintuck are my faves

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    1. Agree, but not a tough choice. These are standouts.

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  21. Crossword and the Sewing aint easy!! Love the Purple gingham and the Lace too! You blog is the bomb!!

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  22. I had two lovely ladies in my evening tailoring class years ago. They both worked clerical jobs at the post office and when their boss was out of the office they'd whip their sewing machine out from under their desks and have at it.

    So each week they would show up and be like "look at the 10 things we made this week"

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  23. Congratulations Peter! I think my favourite(s) are the crossword puzzle shirt and the paisley final shirt. They look like all of your shirts are all wonderfully crafted though.

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  24. Congratulations on your grade! Everyone of your shirts are beautiful, is hard to choose, my very favorite ones are the crosswords and the gingham.

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  25. I love them all, but my favorites are the paisley, the pintuck, Sewing is Easy and the crossword shirt.

    I can't wait for you to start tailoring 1.

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  26. Congrats Peter. The pintuck and crossword shirts are my fav's.

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  27. I love the pintuck shirt, the crossword shirt and the paisley. All of the shirts are great though. Will be fun to know which one you go to most often.

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  28. The paisley and the pintuck are my favourites. Anne-Marie

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  29. I must admit that I would have been very surprised if you did NOT get an A !! My favourite one is the plain blue - what can I say, I have conservative tastes !

    A question about the (only) criticism your teacher made ("the edgestitching I applied to the bottom of the inside collar stand was, in places, ever-so-slightly off the bottom edge of the outside collar stand"). I can't, for the life of me, do this kind of operation correctly. My edgestitching is OK at the inside collar stand (the upper layer of stitching) but, at best, wobbly on the outside collar stand side. Most often, it's off the edge completely. As a result, I both use basting glue and thread-baste everything tightly, and stitch sloooooowly, but, even then, I never get a nice, parallel line on the outside collar stand side (same with cuffs). It drives me mad !

    I'm amazed that yours is only a tiny bit off ! Is there a secret ?

    Thanks !

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  30. Congratulations, Peter! I love ALL the shirts you made from a design standpoint -- you have a truly gifted knack for selecting the exact right fabric and then coming up with a spectacular application for it. You may have missed your calling as a fashion designer. But from a sewing standpoint specifically, the solid blue shirt you made for Michael is my favorite. Without the distractions of exciting fabric combinations, all I see when I look at that one is the quality of craftsmanship and the perfectly custom fit. All of the shirts are beautifully made, but for me the "plain" blue one was the most challenging because any irregularities would be glaringly obvious in a solid color shirt, but might be camouflaged by a print. Congratulations on your well-deserved A and thanks for sharing your journey with us!

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  31. Peter,I am blown away by your work. Beyond wonderful. My favourites are the pin tuck and the paisley.

    Terry

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  32. Love the final shirt, and I love that crossword puzzle shirt the second best!

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  33. Congratulations on making an "A" in your class! I'm sure you don't need me to tell you, but I can see the difference of the before/after. I think the class was well worth it. I wish I lived closer to NY and could take some classes at FIT.

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  34. Peter, you are such a talent and inspiration. Congrats on your A (no surprise!). That class sounds awesome! My favorite shirt is either the "Sewing is Easy" or the Crossword. Just so original. Thanks for such a great blog!

    Brian

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  35. I so appreciate you sharing your class experience with us. I'm working on shirt #5 for my adult son and you've helped me up my game. I've sewn my entire life (including many mens shirts) and it nice to learn new techniques and trends. Thanks!

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  36. Don't get a big head on us! Congratulations on the A. Thank you for your inspiration.

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  37. Thanks for your effort in giving out these great informations.pls am having problem in folding the curved hem of a shirt,is there any guideline

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    1. We were taught to stitch at approx. 1/4" and fold up at the stitch line. Then fold the folded-up section in half and edgestitch it down. If 1/4" is too narrow to work with, you can do it a bit wider so the folding is easier. Using lots of pins helps keep the folded edge in place before you stitch it.

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  38. When I do a narrow rolled hem on a curved shirt tail hem, I always do a three thread serge (works best with cotton wovens). This provides a firm edge that can be twice turned and topstitched, even around those pesky curved edges.

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  39. Thanks for the hemming guideline,I will try it out.your so kind peter,I appreciate your gestures!

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  40. All your shirts are beautiful but I have a small preference for the last one.
    ;o)

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  41. please say that you will be taking a summer class. I really miss your FIT posts

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