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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 »

A Birthday Blouse for Mom!

This week was my mother’s birthday, and I could think of no better gift than a custom-made blouse. I found this beautiful blue and white embroidered eyelet at Mood Fabrics in New York City.  It’s cotton and airy and perfect for late spring and summer.  (This particular embroidered eyelet seems to be sold out, but you can see others available online here.)  One of the great things about this embroidered eyelet is that it’s light enough for a blouse but sturdy enough to be used for more substantial garments, like a jacket or skirt. I used Simplicity 2339, a contemporary […]

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Introducing the boxtop, a new menswear garment!

Men’s fashion doesn’t change very quickly, so every once in a while I like to give it a little push. The idea of combining a dress shirt with boxers isn’t original to me. Back in the 1920’s, Arrow offered something similar.  (Notice how the Arrow shirt buttons up the right leg.) More recently, a French company has begun marketing a shirt/boxer combo called the calchemise, which I wrote about earlier this month on my blog.  My readers were ambivalent and, initially, I was too.  So I decided to make one and see for myself. For my version, I used a […]

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Colorful menswear for spring!

Spring makes me want more color in my wardrobe.  And in everyone else’s! I worked on two additional projects this month I wanted to share. One is a wacky and wonderful knit sweater I made for myself and the other is a long-sleeved dress shirt in an Easter-y palette I made for my partner, Michael. First, the sweater. I found this wonderful wool blend Italian knit — a  one-yard bolt end — at Mood Fabrics in NYC. I loved the saturated colors, which immediately made me think of The Simpsons — very cartoonish.  It also has raised areas, like a topographical […]

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Men’s Distressed Plaid Cotton Shirt

These are exciting times for menswear, with a lot of innovative designs that really push the envelope. Still, most men continue to wear primarily traditional shirts and pants. Most of the time, I follow this tradition.  But I do like quirky touches. That’s why I was so excited to find a very unusual shirting fabric at Mood Fabrics recently, an Alexander Wang cotton blend plaid with a distressed effect I’d never seen before. It looks like the fabric has been eaten away by acid or eroded by nature. It was both traditional and avant-garde and I loved it. I decided […]

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Flannel and Denim with a 70’s Vibe

Something about late February makes me want to snuggle up in cotton flannel. At Mood Fabrics in NYC, I found a beautiful, super-soft flannel in a muted blue, black, and white plaid which I knew would eventually end up as a winter shirt for me. (You can see Mood’s online selection of cotton flannel shirting here.) This month I decided flannel-shirt time had arrived, and I whipped one up using a favorite vintage Seventies shirt pattern, Butterick 4575.  The only change I made from the original pattern was to add contrasting inner cuffs and collar stand using black cotton sateen […]

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Men’s Liberty of London Cotton Poplin Shirt

When it comes to menswear, shirts are my favorite garment to make. I relish the challenges involved, like precise topstitching, special finishes like flat-felled seams, and the creation of a perfectly balanced collar. I also enjoy the creative challenge of finding coordinating fabrics to add special touches like a contrasting inner collar stand, cuff, or under collar.  These details can be hard to find in ready-to-wear shirts, but make what might otherwise be an ordinary shirt into something special. I love working with the Liberty of London and Liberty-inspired cottons available at Mood Fabrics. Last summer I found a beautiful […]

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Men’s Black Denim Zippered Jacket

Maybe it’s because my hair is graying, but I’m finding black denim much more flattering to me than blue denim these days. I’d recently purchased two and a half yards of stiff black 100% cotton denim at Mood Fabrics in New York City and I knew it would be perfect for a not-quite-winter shell-type jacket I could wear over sweaters. (This black Ralph Lauren denim would be perfect.)  I much prefer layers to a single cold-weather garment: with global warming, you never know what the temperature will be. If I told you my jacket was based on a 1930’s men’s […]

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Men’s Silver Metallic Jeans

I’ve always been drawn to fabrics that have a metallic sheen. But it wasn’t until I found this Ralph Lauren metallic denim — the end of a bolt — at Mood Fabrics in New York City that I decided to take the plunge.  (While my fabric is unavailable online, this silver stretch faux leather seems like a good alternative). To make these jeans, I used my self-drafted jeans sloper and added elements like pockets and waistband from Kwik Sew 3504.  Since this fabric has Lycra in it, I did a little tweaking along the way.  I knew I wanted these […]

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Men’s Cotton Knit Rugby Shirt

I don’t often sew with knits. I generally find woven fabrics more rewarding to work with. But last summer I found a beautiful medium-weight striped cotton knit at Mood Fabrics in New York City that reminded me of those classic French cotton boatneck shirts that have become so popular. This navy blue and off-white knit had the same beefiness as those shirts, and I was delighted to discover that there was no Lycra in it (not a fan of cling, on me at least). It also had only two-way stretch, making it more stable.  (You can shop Mood’s online selection […]

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