A Guayabera for a Secretive Guy

mood sewing network | oonaballoona | linen guayabera

And here endeth the Live Human Model shots for this post. Sorry, but Big Daddy is a child of the sixties and not so into putting his good looks on the internet. Bright side: for once, you get actual detail shots of actual sewing!

I have recently become aware that blue is my Dad’s favorite hue, and so for his birthday, I attempted a linen Guayabera that compliments his (*not* blue, *not* pictured) eyes.

mood sewing network | oonaballoona | linen guayabera

This woven linen was unearthed on Mood Fabric’s lower floor, a level that I must admit, I don’t frequent! Jerseys & Shirtings live there, and for some reason, this past 4th of July weekend, a small pile of linen bolts languished by the Liberty prints. I snatched several up immediately, although I thought the loose weave and solid color of my Dad’s bolt might give me brain pain. But with proper handling the yardage was a pleasure to work with, even without a technicolor print to keep my attention.

This is Colette’s Negroni, which I’ve previously modified into a Hawaiian shirt, and now into a Guayabera. The mods included boxing out the side seams & adding little 3 inch vents (to accommodate the hem)…

mood sewing network | oonaballoona | linen guayabera

I chose coconut buttons for a summery feel, and added an extra to the inside of the turned-under-and topstitched side seams.

mood sewing network | oonaballoona | linen guayabera

I used several seam finishes, depending on what the seam needed to do–here on the facing, I turned under 1/2 inch and topstitched along the raw edge with a zig zag , so that it would lay flat under the shirt. It’s interfaced, so I’m not too worried about fraying…

mood sewing network | oonaballoona | linen guayabera

I have recently become acquainted with my newest needle love: the wing needle. SO MUCH FUN. Three rows of machine hemstitching in rayon with a wing needle down either side of the shirt gave it a Guayabera(ish) feel– I was going to get way more fancy with that stitching, but decided to keep it simple once I realized the shirt might…never…get…worn…

mood sewing network | oonaballoona | linen guayabera

Let me explain. Whilst pondering how many pockets to add, Ruggy had a feel of the fabric . Um, oona… he began, with hesitation, knowing he was pretty much poking a violent beast with a dull stick, after all, I was sewing MENSWEAR… this seems a little heavy for a summer linen shirt.

WHAT DO YOU MEAN, I bellowed, IT’S LINEN AND LINEN BREATHES. SILENCE CITIZEN.

Yeah, it’s a little heavy. Adding two breast pockets meant adding two more layers of this awesome, but heavy, stuff, right across the chest. No bueno. (Hey man, at least I’m picking a more manly shade of fabric. You should see the stuff I try to put Ruggy in.) Pockets abandoned, I decided to call it a Fall/Winter Dress Guayabera, and presented Big Daddy with his prize– along with the promise of another summer shirt before he even opened this one. But he put it on immediately and called it good!

(He’s still getting a lighterweight shirt, because I don’t trust him.)

mood sewing network | oonaballoona | linen guayabera

Here it is flipped inside out. Hmmm…I probably should have used bobbin fill rather than poly for that hem stitching...anyhooo... I couldn’t resist using some of this Italian Digitally Printed Silk for the inner yoke and under collar. Found that beauty in silk prints, an aisle you’ll often catch me in. It’s not visible at all, but it made me all sorts of happy to know it was there. You’ll be seeing a lot more of this print shortly…

mood sewing network | oonaballoona | linen guayabera

And whoops, you’re seeing more of Big Daddy right now! I LIED! Look, he should know better than to turn his back on me when I’ve got a camera in my hands! Don’t worry, Dad, the internet still doesn’t know who you are. Your secret agent persona is safe.

 

 

14

Comments


  • Janine
    August 18, 2015

    I can’t stop smiling! This is a great shirt, love the fabric, lining and the decorative stitching…. what is it called, hemstitiching? Great treatment, you’re right it does look like fun, I am looking it up in my sewing manual today. The great thing about these types of shirts is that they do not cling or show bumps & bulges (the non-muscular type!). I love it when someone inspires me to think outside the box!

    • oonaballoona
      August 20, 2015

      yes, hem stitches– so much fun! i think you can use any stitch where the needle will puncture the cloth more than once in the same place, then the wing needle creates lovely little holes in the fabric. hope you’re going for it!

  • Lise Neely
    August 18, 2015

    Love it! I’d like to make one for my guy too!

  • anne jewell
    August 18, 2015

    wonderful! my husband loves his guayaberas and i hope your dad does, too! that was a really clever way to get him to wear embellishment–not too obvious but still within the character of
    the style.–anne

    • oonaballoona
      August 20, 2015

      you should see his closet, this is a neutral for him ;)!

  • Elle
    August 18, 2015

    Looks like it suits a man of the 60’s perfectly!

  • Peter
    August 18, 2015

    Lovely shirt and those decorative stitching details are inspired!

  • Michael
    August 19, 2015

    Lovely job on the shirt. My first attempt at sewing a shirt was a Negroni, which took 40 hours and didn’t fit and looked worse than a home ec project at the end. Your work inspires me to revisit the pattern now that I’ve made about a dozen shirts. Brava!!

    • oonaballoona
      August 20, 2015

      ah, michael, so did mine!!! i only revisited the negroni after a few years of staying well away from menswear ;). and let’s be real, i’m not making the long sleeve version with the placket, HA!

  • Marina G. Villalobos
    August 19, 2015

    Hi Oona!

    I love the shirt and your blog in general. You are a great writer and, if you weren’t such an inspiring and gifted sewer, I would recommend you turn your attention to creative writing. But, then again, maybe your blog accomplishes both!

    Guayaberas are a part of my Cuban culture. When I was a girl in pre-Castro Cuba, almost all men wore guayaberas all the time.
    They wore them to work and even to weddings. The formal ones had long sleeves with French cuffs and and were worn with bow ties. Guayaberas were usually made of white linen. Today they have made a big comeback and are done in a variety of cottons, silks and linens as well as all colors and prints. My husband loves them and wears them to luncheons and informal dinner parties. I think you’ve just inspired me to attempt one; if I can figure out how to use a wing needle! Making all those rows of tucks a traditional guayabera usually sports is much too daunting for me.

    Thanks for the great post.

    Marina Villalobos
    Casa de Campo, Dominican Republic

    • oonaballoona
      August 20, 2015

      marina, thank you so much for the wonderful compliments!

      i wanted to do pintucks, actually, but the thought of manipulating that weave did away with that notion :). and the wing needle is super easy to use, so long as you pick the correct stitch it really does the work for you. i hope your hubby gets a handmade guayabera, i wish i could fill ruggy’s closet with them!

  • Kimberly
    August 19, 2015

    Hey Big Daddy!!! Your girl got you lookin’ good!! Excellent work Oona. Great attention to detail – as always – but it really shows when working on menswear. I love the collar. 🙂

    • oonaballoona
      August 20, 2015

      MAN, i mean, you really have to pay attention to detail in menswear! i *might* tackle a blazer. i don’t know. the thought sort of makes me sweat.

  • Fiona
    August 27, 2015

    What a lucky Dad! I love the Negroni pattern and you’ve worked wonders with it here. Love the little buttons and colourful facings!