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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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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Dude Pants For My Favorite Dude

I think it’s pretty safe to say there are two types of people when it comes to making things for anyone other than themselves – selfish and selfless. I generally fall in the selfish camp, but every now and then I get rush of selflessness that makes me decide to dedicate my next project to someone else. Today’s Mood Sewing Network post is exactly about that project, with the lucky recipient being one of my favorite dudes – my baby brother! Matt has always been a big supporter of my sewing, and has been asking me to make him something […]

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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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