Male Pattern Boldness is proud to be the world's most popular men's sewing blog!

Feb 8, 2010

Monday, Monday (with sewing goals)

Good morning, beloved readers! 

I always like to take time early on Monday to outline my sewing goals for the week.  (Do you ever do this?)  It helps me organize my projects and plan ahead.

I begin by reviewing the previous week's goals to see how I did and where I got stuck, if at all.  So without further delay:

Last week:

1) I was able to drag my cousin out for a glamorous photo shoot whose highlight was a dramatic makeover that not one reader -- either here or on Pattern Review -- commented on.  Should Cathy have gone platinum or shaved her head a la Britney, perhaps? What do you have to do to get noticed around here?

Alas, today's 24/7 coverage of shocking world events makes it difficult to absorb something as subtle as a chestnut rinse and a blow out.

2) I not only purchased fabric, I used it! (well, some of it)  I also managed to sew something for Michael, which -- due to the overwhelming response to this weekend's poll -- you will soon see him modeling, though probably not in heels.  More than 100 people voted!  You guys rock.

3) I finally straightened up my living room a bit.  It's amazing what a difference it makes to just put away the ironing board, vacuum the floor, and return my sewing equipment -- point presser, pin cushions, cutting board, patterns, scissors, rulers, et al.,  -- to their rightful little plastic drawers.  I'm always a little shocked at how little time it takes and how much clearer my head feels as a result.

OK, so now on to THIS week:

1) I found some great vintage sheets in the trash last week, and this week I'd like to launder them and make a sheet shirt, this time using Simplicity 8255, the princess-seamed mens shirt from 1968.  It's about time this shirt got made: 42 years, HELLO?!

Some day I'll get around to making those hip hugger pants too, though I can't promise I won't narrow the pants legs a bit.  Right now to my eye they look...what's the word for it?  Bizarre.

2) I still haven't come up with a good use for more than 3 yards (of a 60" bolt) of burgundy vinyl-coated faux python print.

From new fabric!

This may require another poll, alas.

I suppose I could make 400 wallets and a tote bag, but that doesn't really get my juices flowing.  I'm thinking more along the lines of either a jump suit -- maybe for me, maybe for "cuz" -- or a jacket and pants ensemble.  The print is highly reflective and I think it needs to fit snuggly, along the lines of Emma Peel on "The Avengers."

Can you picture this look in python?    (Crickets, what's with those crickets?)

3)  I never did get around to experimenting with drafting my own dress patterns.  This will either have to wait until the shirt is finished, or till I get the nerve to actually unroll the tracing paper I bought. (I also have a somewhat irrational fear of the French curve.)

Seriously, I do badly want to start experimenting with pattern drafting, and maybe the best way would be to start with altering small details on a commercial pattern I already own, like changing a sleeve or a neckline...or a buttonhole.

When goals start appearing on my list week after week without my accomplishing them, I try to re-evaluate whether they're still priorities and/or where I'm getting stuck and address that.  I'd rather have a shorter list of things I DO get around to, rather than a longer list of this I DON'T.  The latter can start to feel discouraging.

So, what will YOU be sewing this week?  Something mild or something wild?  

Do tell!


  1. My 2 cents on the drafting, based on my own past obsession with patternmaking: If you're wanting to learn about fit, learn to draft a dress from scratch. You will learn tons about how patterns are built and the "why" of fitting adjustments.

    On the other hand, if you're wanting to learn about design, you might be better off just changing up existing patterns, or copying from RTW and changing those up. IMO there's no reason to start with a blank sheet of paper, if there are perfectly good patterns that fit you which you can use as a foundation for your designs.

  2. Hi, Peter - sorry about the lack of comments for Cathy's makeover. She did look beautiful! My vote for the vinyl is some kind of great pants... I have a snow day today and will be sewing a dress... Happy sewing!

  3. How about a long-ish jacket/coat for Cathy out of the vinyl? Like a sassy trench. That or clubwear pants, if you or Cathy are the club-going type.

  4. Hi Peter,
    First, I recommend learning pattern drafting. It really expands the ability to design and sew, and you can get a better fit for some of Cathy's dresses. Trust me, I do not fit most standard women's patterns and learning to draft has helped a lot. If I can find a pattern drafting class up here in the ass end of nowhere surely you can find them in NYC.

    Second - I am anxious to see that Simplicity pattern made up. I have had it in mind for Andy for both the pants and shirt, but Andy is apprehensive because of the princess seams. He thinks it's too feminine. I tried explaining that it has similar fit to his beloved Express fitted shirts with vertical darts, but he has not yet consented.

    Third - fear not the French Curve. Use it to connect the dots, just remember to adjust it's placement as not all curves will be accomodated on any one exists curve of the template. Move it around to create the proper curve.

    Fourth - the python print would make a great slick looking double breasted fitted trench coat for Cathy. Or, you could do the Emma Peele thing and make a catsuit. I have a PVC catsuit that I did not sew but heavily altered and it is one valuable piece in my wardrobe (it should be for what I paid for it). Considering how expensive they are, if you can make one you will save tons of money...that is, if vinyl catsuits are your thing. I used mine for Halloween this year with no regrets.

    Finally, I thought Cathy's makeover looked great but she did not need one, she is already gorgeous. Unfortunately Samantha over here is getting anxious and I keep getting bothered with "where's my dress? When are you making MY dress?" from her whenever I start working on a new project for myself.

  5. I confess I hadn't looked at Cathy's photoshoot yet here or on PR -- the chestnut looks great, so flattering! Glad to see Cathy's local now, it'll be so much easier to get her to pose!

    As for the faux python, well, what about those hiphuggers? Although I have to tell you, anything you make for yourself with those will be bringing you perilously close to 1970s NYC Narcotics squad gear. (I used to be related by marriage to someone who still had photos of their undercover days - wow!) You might want to take Jenny's suggestion and make Cathy a new coat!

  6. "Although I have to tell you, anything you make for yourself with those will be bringing you perilously close to 1970s NYC Narcotics squad gear. "

    See and I was going to say exactly that same thing. But, you know. Because I thought it was a positive.

    Dude, seriously. You so need a pair of David Soul hiphuggers. (I thought everyone did.)

    (And Cathy did look lovely. I was simply distracted by her amazing day. Ah, the life of a high-flyin' model.)

  7. Yep - I'm voting for the trenchcoat idea - Cathy will look awesome!

  8. Cathy has been all about the vintage dresses lately that it might be good for her to explore her wild side a bit in a catsuit. ;)

    This week I'm trying to finish up a high-waist black pencil skirt (that has become a real pain in the arse) and hopefully get the muslin fit down for the Uptown Downtown HP dress. Fingers crossed.

  9. @beangirl: ha ha! I didn't say it was a negative, just wanted to point it out. Because it so will.

    Although, without the muttonchops and ridiculous hat it might not quite be the same!

  10. I love your weekly goals post! I'm in the middle of a coat for spring and I also want to give drafting my own patterns a whirl. I bought an Adele Margolis book after reading about the one your read here. I bought the one on fitting and I'm thoroughly enjoying it. Thank you for the tip! Totally love that pattern and yes the pants are bizarre, but the shirt will be so amazing. And Michael totally has to model the shirt you just made for him. Can't wait for that!

  11. Egad - the python is AWESOME. You should totally make a slim jacket and slimmer pants...

    I set up a sewing room yesterday - hopefully it means I will be able to stop setting up and tearing down my dining room space.

    I also hope my special secret new sewing stuff arrives today. I have lots of packages due to arrive - but the one I want most is the bra-makers supply kit!

  12. Pattern drafting is my very favourite part of sewing - you might find Winifred Aldrich's series of books handy for this, she has one on womens wear, one on menswear and one on Childrens wear. Also I think there is one for tailored jackets.

    I am currently making a mans corset! And a vintage style bra (own pattern).

    Lovely to have found a man sewer on here!


  13. OMG, so many inspiring ideas! I am such an innocent, I honestly have no idea what the NYC Narcotics Squad gear might look like, but I'm imagining the worst.

    I am deeply into my sheet shirt and I must say I LOVE the way the princess seams are turning out. I hope to have this done by tomorrow so keep your fingers crossed.

    Julia, I have no idea what a man's corset would be, other than that girdle I posted from John Galliano's menswear show -- is it that? So very Playtex!

  14. P.S. - I need one more follower to make 100. Does anybody have a friend...?

  15. There you go, 100! (Although, actually I follow you on google reader and don't really use google follow.)

    I love how all these resources for sewing for men have been showing up here! I'm off to look up Winifred Aldrich!!

  16. Sarah, congratulations! I owe you a drink or would you prefer some old sheets?

  17. I had never seen a princess seamed men's shirt before! I really have to see that one sewn up. I usually never make sewing goals for each week (have only done annual goals for each year before) but now that I think about it, I do have some for this week. I am going to sew New Look 6912, which I started working on today at lunchtime. I also plan to make another New Look 6429, but modify the pattern this time to make it fit better (plan to shorten the wrapover section so it fits more closely.)

  18. I just found your blog TODAY! Right now! Why didn't I find you last week so that I could comment. You know I would have.

    Anyway, I can't wait to see the shirt all done up. You can do it justice. As for the python fabric-- definitely a jump suit. Get it all made up, and let's go have mojitos.

  19. Peter - do you have an actual job that involves leaving the apartment to go to work, or are you just living off of Cathy's bankroll as a high paid socialite/model? When do you find the time to sew? I thought I had ample time as a full time grad student with no actual classes this semester (just research) but I am at one garment per week if I am lucky.

    I wish you didn't live in NYC, I'd love to take you with me tonight to pattern drafting class for some Show and Tell.

  20. Hey Peter, I say go right ahead and change an existing pattern first. Currently I am taking an unlined dress pattern with a natural waist and changing it to a lined dress with an empire waist.

    That's not a lot of change, but it is certainly something.

  21. I love the look of that princess line shirt and I am looking forward to seeing it made up. I am in that spot (not a bad one) where I have about five potential projects lined up, but am frozen in indecision as to which one to start first.

  22. I covet your python print. I would make a figure hugging pair of pants and possibly a jacket, which I think I could squeeze out of three yards. Both pieces would be very useful to my wardrobe, separately and together. Although I had planned to sew my SWAPS this week, now I am being tempted by a snake print jersey I bought a while ago. It's one of those fabrics that never got put away when I bought it. I've quite deliberately left it laying around my sewing room because I really want to sew it. I just can't decide on a pattern. I also covet the vintage men's shirt pattern you have and I really look forward to seeing it made up. It is exactly the sort of thing my bloke would wear, complete with the pants. Coincidentally the pattern is dated the same year as him, so it's appropriate. I'm going on the hunt to get this pattern, so if you see another one somewhere, please let me know!

  23. Carol, we're quite covetous tonight, aren't we?

    Dig a bit and you'll eventually find it. Everything shows up on eBay eventually!

    Kids, I expect progress reports as the week goes on. NOBODY gets off easy at Male Pattern Baldness. We're here to get things done.

    Kerry, I work out of my home and I pimp out Cathy on occasion. That's about it.

  24. This week, I will be making a rail fence full-sized quilt. And then, I shall probably start making baby clothes. And I'm going to Joanns to take advantage of the pattern sale on Simplicity patterns--they're $1 each. I think there's a ten pattern limit per transaction. So bring a buddy and grab as many as you want! *heh heh heh*

    Me, well, my sister is pregnant with a little girl, so I'm gonna be getting some pretty baby clothes patterns. I didn't sew much for her little boy, so now I get to make all the pretty frilly things!

    I'm also getting the rest of the materials I need for my cousin's little boy's baby quilt. I need some random blue cotton and some train cotton. I have just the pattern in mind, and leftovers of baseball and sports fabric that will fit right in.

  25. My week's goals are varied: finish the grey jumper for me, work on hand quilting the wallhanging, finish a UFO top, clean the sewing/dining room. I did finish a table runner that was a gift for last night, so one thing was accomplished. :)

  26. Quilts, wall hangings...well, why the hell not?!


Related Posts with Thumbnails