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Peter brings a passion for sewing, a love of fashion, and a spirit of adventure to all his projects. And he's funny too! See more from Male Pattern Boldness »

Floral Linen Pants for Summer!

Call me old-fashioned, but I still consider Memorial Day the official start of linen season. And this year I begin the season with a special pair of linen pants, made from a pattern I drafted myself! At Mood Fabrics in NYC, I recently found a bold linen floral print with a “closeout” tag.  This fabric had a heavy drape and a relatvely coarse hand. What could I make with it? Given the weight and the drape, it seemed ideal for a pair of pants.  I pre-washed and dried my linen–my normal routine before sewing–and it laundered beautifully.  (Linen prints make [...]

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White Cotton Lawn Shirt, Early-Sixties Style!

There’s something about white shirts I adore: they’re clean, crisp, and high-contrast. I’d picked up up some lovely white cotton lawn at Mood Fabrics in NYC (available online here) and knew it would be perfect for a summer shirt. Lawn is a lightweight cotton weave with a crisper hand than, say, voile. It’s semi-transparent, and the weave is often easily visible. You probably know by now that I’m a big fan of vintage styles and own a collection of vintage sewing patterns which I often use for my projects. I made this shirt using Simplicity 4971, a men’s shirt and [...]

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Embroidered Cotton Voile Shirt with Italian Collar

Spring is here! In anticipation of warmer weather, a few months ago I picked up two beautiful embroidered cotton voiles from Mood Fabrics in New York City.  This month I present the first project I’ve made with one of them.  Do check out Mood’s online selection of embroidered cotton voiles here. I’ve had vintage Butterick 2305, which dates from around 1963, in my stash for some time. It has a type of collar that was new to me, an “Italian” collar that is sewn very similar to a shawl collar, with facings that extend from the front to the back [...]

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Self-Drafted Wool Crepe Blouse and Pants

For the last two years I’ve been attending classes at Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) here in New York City.  Last semester I took a draping class that was dedicated to designing soft silhouettes like dolman sleeves, pegged skirts, and cowls. At the beginning of the semester we draped in muslin and then moved on to knit jersey and woven crepe.  For our final project, we were asked to drape a two-piece ensemble with a resort feel (think winter cruise).  One of the pieces had to include a cowl — either front neck, back neck, or underarm cowl, or a [...]

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Men’s Cotton Camouflage Shirt Jacket

Camo is everywhere these days. As much as I like the look on others, I never thought camo — classic army green camo — was flattering on me.   So I was delighted when I found this dark gray camouflage fabric, a crisp lightweight Italian cotton, at Mood Fabrics in New York City.  (There’s still some available at Mood online here. Rest assured, there’s no green in it.) Since we’re enjoying spring weather this February, I decided to make a generously proportioned shirt that could also be worn as a windbreaker. I found my inspiration from a (very) vintage men’s shirt [...]

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Men’s African Wax Print Pants

Happy New Year, everybody! This month, a number of us Mood Sewing Network bloggers decided to sew with African wax prints. You’re probably familiar with these fabrics (Rome-based designer Stella Jean is their best-known proponent) — brilliant-colored, abstract cotton prints with a wax coating that can be left on for a stiffer hand or laundered out for softer garments. The history of African wax prints is a little complicated — they’re not always African; in fact the fabric I used to make my pants is labelled “Supreme Wax Print Holland.” (Read more about the history of African wax prints here.) [...]

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December denial? Men’s shorts and short-sleeve shirt!

Who sews short sleeve shirts and shorts in December? I do! This month I sewed for an upcoming vacation to a tropical clime where I’ll be needing warm-weather clothes. I had two great Mood Fabrics to inspire me: a unique cotton seersucker like shirting from Opening Ceremony (not available online, unfortunately) and a beefy black cotton blend knit.  (Mood sells some beautiful black knits online, in a variety of weights. Check them out here.) For my shirt, I used a vintage 1958 McCall’s men’s convertible collar shirt pattern, 4723 (below).  I love the boxy cut of 1950′s shirt patterns, a [...]

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Men’s Bias-Plaid Wool Cape

Capes are back! I’ve made all kinds of men’s outerwear over the last few years — anoraks, parkas, pea coats, varsity jackets, raincoats — but I’d never made myself a cape. Readers, it was time, and what better cape season than fall? At Mood’s NYC store, I’d recently purchased four yards of beautiful plaid wool coating in red, creamy white, and blue. (Mood’s extensive online selection of wool plaids can be seen here.)  This was a large-scale plaid and needed to be used in a garment with enough drape that the repeat of the pattern would be apparent. After much [...]

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Men’s Fitted Poplin Shirt (and Total Designer Knockoff)

Is it wrong to blatantly knock off somebody else’s design if you’re just sewing for yourself? I almost never do: menswear doesn’t really afford too many possibilities.  But I stumbled upon a beautiful white poplin shirt from the Fall 2016 collection of designer Hussein Chalayan a few weeks ago, and fell in love with it.  Unfortunately, at $520, it was way beyond my means.  So I did what any determined sewer would do: I decided to knock it off. Last summer, I happened to purchase three yards of gorgeous white mercerized cotton poplin shirting at Mood Fabrics in NYC.  (Also [...]

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