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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 »

Make Way for Polka Dots!

Polka dots: do you wear them or avoid them? I have generally avoided them, though whenever I’m exploring the cotton shirting aisles of Mood Fabrics in NYC I often find myself drawn to them. But then I worry they’ll be hard on the eyes or overwhelming to my short-ish frame (I’m 5’7″), so I move on. On my last visit, however, I found what I think is the perfect polka-dotted cotton voile.  The dots are somewhat random, so easier to look at, while the mixed color palette — the black dots in particular — give the eyes a place to […]

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A Furry Happy New Year!

I have been wanting to make myself a faux fur coat for a long time. This winter I finally took the plunge! At Mood Fabrics in New York City, I purchased 1 3/4 yards of a lustrous high-pile black faux fur.  It didn’t really look like an imitation of an animal — mink, maybe?   I thought it looked elegant and — most importantly — wearable.  While I love to look at some of the more “out-there” fake furs, I didn’t see myself wearing any of them. (You can see Mood’s online selection of fake fur here.) I wanted my […]

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A Cardigan Sweater for Mom!

I don’t sew knits very often, but when I do, I most enjoy working with sweater knits. Unlike jerseys, sweater knits tend to be thick and stable, making them easier to sew. They are generally woven from wool or wool blends, though I’ve worked with cotton blend sweater knits too.  (You can check out Mood Fabrics’ selection of sweater knits here.)  I imagine it would take a lot longer to knit a sweater than it would to sew a sweater from a sweater knit fabric. Gratification isn’t exactly instant, but it’s faster! For this month’s project, I purchased two yards […]

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Purple Guipure Lace Shrug

For the past few months I’ve been sewing a wedding gown for my good friend Christina. While the gown is oyster-white silk, Christina wanted to add a dash of color, specifically a deep, aubergine purple. There’s a wide purple ruffle on the bottom of her crinoline, and the ribbon that ties her corset is deep purple as well. I wanted to create a beautiful bridal shrug for Christina and at Mood Fabrics in NYC, I found the perfect purple polyester guipure lace.  It is, in a word, sumptuous. (You can view Mood’s online selection of guipure laces here.) To make […]

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Late Summer Sewing: Men’s Floral-Print Shirt!

Happy September, everybody! We still have a few weeks left of summer, which means there’s still time for some (late) summer sewing! Last month I purchased two yards of this gorgeous Liberty of London-style cotton floral print, and I knew I want to work with it right away!  (Mood Fabrics online offers a large selection of both Liberty of London and Liberty-inspired prints.  Check them out here.)  With its combination of blue, gold, and reddish-brown, it seemed like the perfect choice for a late-summer/early-fall project. I decided to sew myself a short-sleeve shirt using Vogue 8889, a fitted men’s shirt […]

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Beautiful cotton print becomes Beautiful shirt!

Shirtmaking is one of my favorite types of sewing. (Tailoring is a close second, but much more work.) I am extremely fortunate to live less than a mile from Mood Fabrics so, when I decided to make my partner, Michael, a shirt, I invited him to visit Mood with me. He was a bit overwhelmed by their huge selection of cotton shirting, but I helped him to narrow down his choices. His favorite was this beautiful cotton ribbon print, very much in the Liberty of London vein. (You can shop for cotton shirting at Mood Fabrics online here.) For Michael’s […]

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Striped Linen Men’s Shirt with Liberty of London Contrast

Is there any more comfortable, cool summer fabric than linen? I purchased this candy-striped red and white lightweight linen last year and this summer decided to use it to make a casual short-sleeve shirt. (You can find similar lightweight (i.e, shirt-weight) linen stripes at Mood online here.) I made my shirt using vintage Seventies Vogue pattern 9617. I made just a few changes to the pattern, choosing to add two pockets instead of one, and shortening the length by roughly 1″ — a standard alteration I make to most commercial shirt patterns. I chose to decorate both the inside pocket […]

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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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