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Oct 18, 2015

What I've Been Sewing, et al.

It will come as no surprise that I've been sewing a lot of shirts lately.

Up top and below is a peek at my latest creation, a purple-y gingham with Liberty of London contrast inside collar stand and cuffs for a client.  I'm very happy with it.

I've also been working on a shirt for Michael, who celebrates his birthday the week after next.  It's a beautiful solid blue with a somewhat psychedelic contrasting inside collar stand and cuffs.

I ran into chic Mr. Kenneth King this weekend at the flea market -- always fun.  I may be participating in a Kenneth King-related giveaway in the coming weeks so stay tuned!

Meanwhile, I'm thoroughly enjoying my patternmaking class at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT).  We've already drafted princess seams, a bodice with shoulder yoke and shirring, a bodice with midriff yoke and shirring and, next week, sleeves!  The class runs through December so there's still lots more ahead.

Must practice my pinning technique!

We're not working from a textbook, but rather from handouts we're given each week.  Our professor did recommend Patternmaking for Fashion Design by Helen Armstrong, but it's not required.  I already own one of the later editions.

If you follow me on Instagram, you already know that last week MPB reader Pam sent me some fabulous shirting she'd picked up in the UK a number of years ago, as well as a pair of deadstock Ralph Lauren pleated wool pants that fit exactly like 1940's pants (i.e. high-waisted, full) though these are from the 80's I believe.  I may be blogging about them in more detail in the near future.

The hem's turned under here; they're quite long.  I found the cardigan sweater on the street!

And that's it!  I hope your sewing is going swimmingly and, if the weather's cooling where you live, you're staying warm.

Have a great day, everybody!


  1. Your shirts are always beautiful!

    I am super jealous of you being able to take that class. How wonderful to be living in a place that things like that are available.

  2. A found sweater, fabric and pants sent to you, and you came across Senor King in the wild. As always I ask, will this be the give-away which includes the man himself??

  3. Gorgeous collars and cuffs! Maybe someday I'll be able to sew a decent curve. You make it look so easy!

  4. Your shirts always look so crisp.
    Any tips on interfacing? Brand? Fusing? No fusing?
    Great job, as always and I love the color choice

    1. I generally use a medium weight woven fusible. The purple gingham has collar stays, which contributes to the crisp look. I usually get my interfacing locally -- no specific brand, and I fuse with dry heat and a press cloth. I always test first as some interfacings fuse more easily on some fabrics than others. I always preshrink my fusible by soaking it in warm water and then letting it dry overnight. Seems to help. Honestly, though, it's trial and error, still.

      Another thing I've discovered is that better quality shirting (which usually has a higher thread count) tends to press better and stay crisper longer.

  5. I do like Helen Armstrong's book/s; most of the questions I ever have are answered in it. Certainly covers a LOT of ground, and hasn't been priced out of the reach of most folks (also in a lot of libraries).
    So much beauty in one post (and KK! My hero!)

  6. Once again, I'm reminded just how much I like spread collars; your choices for contrasting fabric are inspired, especially for Michael's shirt. (Early happy b-day, Michael.) Those Lauren pants look really comfortable and luxurious, great fabric (What is it -- salt-and-pepper tweed?). That sweater-jacket (swacket?) that KK is wearing is really something -- I've never seen anything like it.

    Your shirts, contrasting fabrics, KK's jacket, FIT, fabric...sensory overload!

  7. Overjoyed that they made you happy! For all the happiness MPB brings, mwah! The new shirts are exquisite.

  8. GORGEOUS shirts, and I love The King's coat. Beautiful pictures. Your class sounds like so much fun, I envy you.

  9. Love the shirts, especially the contrast insides! Your class sounds really good, I envy you too!

    1. Jealous vibes from me, too!

    2. Jealousy, jealousy, did someone say jealousy??

  10. Love the shirts, the collars are so 'clean' if you know what I mean.
    Mr King's coat is the one he wears in his Craftsy class on making a coat. It's adapted from a vogue pattern for a wrap front coat.

  11. Your shirts are wonderful! I've taken some classes from KDK at La Canada College in Redwood City, CA. You must do the same, I highly recommend him. He's a wonderful instructor. Great stories too. Ask him about Elton's knit rainbow beret. And please tell him 'Hi' for us from The Bay.

  12. Lucky lucky you to run into Kenneth King in the street! Major jealousy here.
    Those shirts are so professional!!! I love the print facings.

    Those photos of your drafting class take me back. How I loved that class! If you put the point of your pin just at the folded edge of the seam it might work better.

  13. Beautiful, crisp shirts. The one for Michael is the perfect color for him.

    I remember those pants and they are super comfy. Fabric, pants, cardigan and Kenneth King ... everything's coming your way!


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