Silly Shorts

DSC03101 On a recent trip to Ikea the mister spotted this colorful denim (these are mos def his colors) and asked for some clamdiggers. I said no on the clamdiggers because with this fabric I thought it would look like something my grandma would wear. I did agree on shorts though obviously, and here they are.

These were made with Simplicity 1948. It’s one of the Suede Says (ughhhhh) patterns. Can we talk for a second about how fug most of the Suede designs are, especially the ones with a more “rocker” edge to them? Gross! These are no exception, The basic pattern is a jean, or you can add a bunch of unnecessary pockets and zippers if you feel like it.

DSC03103I’d never made pants for Chris before and unfortunately these came out too big. I made these while he was out on a long motorcycle ride so I didn’t have him available to try them on while I was working. I wish they were sized by waist measurements like men’s pants are. The finished garment measurements on the envelope are for the hip measurement, which isn’t very helpful. Oh well, he’s wearing a belt in these photos.

I’m going to cut down center back  and take the excess out from there. I did 4 lines of topstitching on the waistband so I have no intention of unpicking all of that. Scissors it shall be. Sizing was the only issue I had with the pattern.

DSC03105All of the pieces fit together well. I gave these an 11 inch inseam which I based off of other shorts he owns. I  took the time to cut the pockets and back yoke with the stripes matching, but switched them at the last second. I decided visually I liked being able to differentiate all of the design elements instead of having them fade together. The pattern instructions were quite good. I was even able to follow their instructions and diagrams for inserting the fly front zipper. Easy peasy mac and cheesy.

DSC03104All seams are finished by my serger and then topstitched down. The insides are very neat and tidy if I do say so myself.

I also recently finished sewing up some curtains for my sister. Although I did make her do all of the measuring and pressing (i.e. the boring parts). I think I’m do for another few month of selfish sewing 🙂

xx, Cynthia

Dood Stuff

 Mr. DapperDuds  (isn’t he cute!!!) was very patient and got rewarded with a bespoke t-shirt. After accompanying me to the flea market WAY FAR AWAY, we drove past Fabric Depot on the way home. I looked at him with puppy dog eyes and asked if we could, “pretty-please-stop-I-haven’t-checked-out-the-outdoor-sale-all-summer-long-because-it’s-so-far-out-and-it’s-almost-over-and-I-won’t-be-too-long-blah-blah-blah.” He reluctantly agreed, made a U-turn and we found ourselves there.

There wasn’t much left in the sale, but this turquoise (his favorite color) and grey striped knit caught his eye. He asked if he could have t-shirt made out of it, so I said “Absolutely!” He asks for things so infrequently, it was fun to make something new for him. Even though I have no men’s t-shirt patterns and super limited experience sewing with knit fabric, I felt confident.

I’m super proud of this because it’s one of the first things I’ve made all on my own.  My only beef with it is that the fabric is of the tissue thin variety (super soft though) so I don’t think this will be very long lasting. I traced around an old Greenpeace T-shirt he likes the fit of, evened out the lines, and then added seam allowance to make my own pattern. I had to cut this out as a single layer in order to match the stripes. Sewing this together was a breeze. I’ve started working 3 days a week in production for a luxury knitwear company, so I’ve got the order of construction for garments pretty firmly in my head. I matched the stripes along the side seam and invested in a twin needle. That made hemming and applying the neck band a much better looking process. American Apparel ain’t got shit on me 🙂

xx, Cynthia

Look how excited he is!

Blue Steel

So pensive, what’s going on in that beautiful mind?

These photos really crack me up. Chris really got into his male modeling and threw out all of the blue steel, Quiet Ryan, and arm behind the head sexiness I could catch. Oooh lala.

This is his bad boy Magic Mike shot.

I made another version of McCall’s 6383 for Mr. Dapper Duds. I really like the slim groovy fit of this 70’s pattern. I used a black chambray from Joann’s for the body of the shirt, and a colorful rainbow plaid for the undercollar, collar stand, and the inside of the pocket flap. Originally, I had planned to make colorful piping as well, but I didn’t like the way it looked when I layed it out. I think I need to move away from piping for a bit.

Hey girl, I really like the way you put the yoke on that western shirt.

I made a few changes to the pattern. The most obvious change I made was to make this version short sleeved. I layed out the sleeve piece from the modern McCall’s 6044 to see the length I should make the sleeve. I was shocked to see the difference in the sleeve cap. Isn’t that cray cray? No wonder I was unhappy with setting in the sleeves on the modern pattern. I kept thinking they looked puffy. Sleeves, you were the problem, not me.

I also shortened the pattern by 4″. My man is not one for tucking in his shirts. The last adjustment was toning down the large 70’s collar. I simply removed the seam allowance (a standard 5/8″) to get it to a more modern proportion.

I’m really proud of the  seam finishing I did. He could wear this inside out if he wanted to. I double dare you to find a raw edge. I used flat-felled seems throughout. I really like the strength and tidyness they provide.  Side note: I really need to get a flat-felling foot. This shirt is built to last.

The inside, yo!

I finished it off using this tutorial for creating an easy rolled hem. It closes with black pearl snaps I picked up at an awesome hoarder estate sale

The Yee-Haw Rodeo Shirt

The Christmas season is upon us and I was inspired to make this shirt for my husband (especially since I never got around to making one for his birthday).

He’s always loved western shirts and I was pretty stoked when I found this legit pattern from 1978 at a yard sale.  The pattern, magically, is his same size. YAY ME! I made a men’s size 40 with a 15 1/2″ neck. I used some soft orange plaid cotton flannel from Joann’s, white piping, and pearl snaps. The yoke, front bands and cuff are cut on the bias to add visual interest.

I had a lot of sewing “firsts” with this little shirt. Since this was a gift I really wanted to take my time and do everything right. This is hard for me to do, because I have a hard time planning out how to finish my seams. I think it’s because I can’t visualize how everything goes together until I’m actually doing it.

Chris is incredibly hard on his clothes so I decided to do flat-felled seams for as much as the shirt as possible. However, I goofed a little bit by only skimming the directions in the book I got from the library. Therefore, the pretty flat-felled seams lay on the inside of the shirt instead of the outside, where they would look nicer. Oh well, c’est la vie! I couldn’t figure out a way to do a flat-felled seams on the side seams. Is that even possible? While poking through his other shirts, it appears that most of them are serged along the side seams. So, maybe not.

Chris likes to wear his clothing on the more fitted side. He once to my chagrin, purchased several pairs of stretchy girl’s jeans. I made him return them all due to the appearance of his camel toe. Ick! But I digress, I didn’t need to take out any of the ease, because, well, dudes in the 70’s also liked their clothes supah tight. He doesn’t tuck his shirts in so I shortened this pattern by 4″. I went by the length of a shirt he likes. I didn’t calculate in seam allowances, whoops! So it’s probably an inch too short, but I may just be hyper critical of my work. It’s so hard to step back from something you’ve made and look at it from the macro rather than the micro level.

I originally had planned on using black piping when I purchased the fabric, but I woke up the next day worried it would be too “Nightmare before Christmas”. I switched to white, and I find the result rather pleasing. The white pops against the orange and black and doesn’t make the yoke look like a spider’s web. I was really freaking about that.

This was the first long sleeved shirt I’ve ever made. I became really stuck on the sleeve placket. I ripped it out twice and cussed up a storm at it. I couldn’t figure it out! So I used another style of placket I found in a shirtmaking book. While this is the first cuff and placket I’ve made, I still feel like I need to make another proper placket to be able to say I’ve successfully completed that task.

Another first  was using pearl snaps instead of buttons. This was actually pretty fun to do. I didn’t buy a special snap setter or anything. I had to hammer them all on. My apartment manager came up (his office is below our apartment) and asked me to move my little construction site due to the noise. I finished in the lobby which lead to lots of questions, stares, and requests to alter clothes. I’m glad I decided to add another “first” to this shirt by doing snaps. I feel like it’s a proper western shirt with them.

Poor Chris, I made him try it on and realize how awesome this shirt is, so I could take photos for this blog. Now, I’ve hidden it away and he can’t wear it again until Christmas. I’m a mean wife.

In other news, we saw Other Lives last night at Mississippi Studios and they were rad. They’re also pretty groovy and western. You should give them a listen.

Current Projects and a little Thrifting

Last night I decided to make my mister a tie to match my holiday cocktail dress. I used the free pattern available as a PDF from the Purl Bee. You can get a copy here, if you’re so inclined:

It came out super stiff and really short. If I were to make it again, I’d add several inches to the middle. I do love how skinny it is. We’re going to look straight out of Mad Men. If only I could convince him to wear a pair of vanity horn rimmed glasses. I still have enough of this fabric to possibly make a clutch purse. Do you think that is too matchy-matchy?

This was the first time he's "successfully" tied a tie.

Today, I went over to my friend Sofia’s and we had a sewing party. I helped her make some little aprons for her nieces and I was able to cut out my next project. I HATE CUTTING! It’s so boring. I was able to get over my fear of the rotary cutter, that does help speed things along.

I’m making Mr. F this sweet 70’s western shirt out of this super cozy plaid flannel. I’m making view B, with the rodeo announcer yoke. I think I’m really going to enjoy using vintage patterns, because they are usually cut (have I mentioned how boring I think cutting is?).


I told him I was going to make him a shirt for his birthday (in September) which I never got around to. I really need to get this done before we leave for Christmas vacation. It’ll be the most badass Christmas shirt ever!

In other news, I went to one of the thrift stores near my house and scored 4 yards of this 60″ wide upholstery fabric. It’s camel colored and will soon become a cape. I’ve been lusting over capes recently. Today I saw someone wearing one and she looked so chic. That will be me. I also have 16 holiday napkins which I plan on upcycling into the most obnoxious Christmas skirt an ugly-sweater-party has ever seen. I’m stoked.

I also found a picture of a beaver.