Editor’s note: We are thrilled to welcome Peter as one of our newest Mood Sewing Network bloggers! You may already know Peter from his blog Male Pattern Boldness, “the world’s most popular men’s sewing blog.” We look forward to seeing what he makes with our fabrics.
Readers, I am thrilled to be participating in the Mood Sewing Network and extremely excited to be posting this, my very first MSN blog post. A special thank you to Meg and Eric for inviting me to be the network’s first blogger dude!
I had no idea what my first project would be. I’m fortunate to live within a mile from Mood so was able to make multiple visits for inspiration. After my first trip, I returned home with two pockets-full of swatches — so many amazing options. One fabric called out to me louder than the others, however. It was leaning against a wall among a pile of bolts of fancy silks and taffetas, waiting to be reshelved, and it seemed to glow from within. Upon inquiry (the Mood staff know their stuff) I learned that it was a Marc Jacobs poly-silk taffeta.
The daisy print has a photographic quality (almost like a hologram) and I loved the slight blur of the print. I wasn’t sure how it would look as menswear though: I’m all for subtle florals, but this fabric basically screamed daisies. The more I thought about it, the more I thought I should use my participation in the Mood Sewing Network to challenge myself. I ran back to Mood the very next day (in the rain) and picked up two yards (of a 60″ bolt). We bonded right away!
I tested the fabric extensively: it was surprisingly sturdy, didn’t water spot at all, and was relatively easy to sew (for taffeta). Since the fabric design was bold, I decided to stick to simple lines — easy in menswear since most men’s garments are basic shapes. I chose to make two items: 1) a raglan sleeve, lined windbreaker, and 2) matching short pants, the combo inspired by the matching cabana sets men wore poolside in the 1950’s and the bold print ensembles seen in many contemporary menswear fashion shows. I used two vintage Seventies patterns from my stash: Simplicity 8808, a teen track suit pattern for the jacket, and Simplicity 3044 for the shorts.
Here are the results!
I made a few minor changes to the original patterns, adding single welt front pockets to the jacket as well as an inside breast pocket, and adding a full lining (a vivid yellow Italian nylon I found at Mood among the outerwear fabrics; the sleeves are lined in a lightweight gray polyester lining). For the shorts, I altered the waistband (using my yellow lining to line the inside) and lowered the rise. I was originally going to go with a standard plastic YKK zipper for the jacket but decided to splurge on a gold metal one and I’m so glad I did: I think it adds a lot to the jacket.
A few details: outer pockets, inner pockets, zipper, and shorts.
I love my new outfit and can’t wait to wear it outside when it’s a little warmer (it was close to freezing when I took these shots — brrrr…). The jacket is perfect for spring, summer, or fall, and I know I’ll be wearing the shorts this summer, both with the jacket and without.
Perhaps you’re wondering what Marc Jacobs used this fabric for. A ballgown, from his 2010 RTW Fall collection!
Is it wrong for me to say I think this fabric works better in my version? I’d love to hear what you think!
Editor’s note: Inspired by Peter’s jacket and shorts? Mood has a wide selection of floral taffetas online.
I can’t wait to start on my next project. Thanks for reading!