Monday, June 9, 2014

Oh, Yeah... I'm supposed to be making a suit.

Wow, it's been ages since I've posted anything. Spring sort of happened, (although most people in the Northeast are still in doubt), and life got a little hectic. Still, I've managed to make some progress on my Martha's Vineyard wedding outfit. I guess one could say I've been productive but silent. Still, I have a ton of work to do if I ever want to be ready by Labor Day weekend.

After finishing my Jeds, I moved immediately to the "wedding shirt" because I knew I could bang it out using my TNT shirt pattern. So here it is.

 

Squeee. Another floral shirt! This cotton fabric from Elliott Berman was a dream to work with. A point collar with collar stays may have been more appropriate for a somewhat formal occasion, but I opted for a buttondown because I want to wear this shirt A LOT after the wedding. I can get much more use out of a buttondown, and it would be a shame to have a shirt this gorgeous just hanging in the closet. I wish you could feel this fabric. Heavenly.

 

 

I'm wearing it with a vintage raw silk Rooster tie that I've owned for ages. I'm scouring Etsy and EBay for other alternatives. I'm really liking the skinny look.

 

 

I wasted a huge amount of time trying to match this fabric, AND did a poor job of it! The front placket matched perfectly at the neck, but gradually ran off course down the front of the shirt. I'm sure you see it in this photo where my tie is askew. It makes me feel like I need to make an appointment with the ophthalmologist. Almost painful! Live and learn. I would never bother to match a busy fabric like this again. My daughter from CA assures me that no one will ever notice. On a brighter note, I did a great job matching the left front chest pocket. Trust me, there's a pocket there.

 

 

I experimented with several different thread colors for the topstitching and buttonholes, and settled on a muted gold color. It almost disappears, as do the buttons, which are the color Latte from Fashion Sewing Supply. I strongly suggest that anyone interested in making shirts pick up the entire range of shirt buttons that Pam offers. They're a great value, and you'll always have just the right button.

Shirt done, pressed and in the closet until August. On to the suit....

 

In case you forgot, my suit fabric is a olive green cotton / silk blend from Elliott Berman. It had a somewhat stiff "crunchy" hand so I decided to prewashed it in cold water and run it through the dryer. Ooops! I ended up with a wrinkled mess that I just couldn't iron. In a slight panic I dropped all 6 yards off at the dry cleaners and asked them to steam press it. Their result was only slightly better than mine, so I'm going to have to embrace the rumpled nature of this fabric.

So here's where I stand.

 

 

The pockets are done and the jacket fronts are basted to the canvas.

 

 

I'm using a lightweight premade canvas from B. Black and Sons. It's very inexpensive and saves a great deal of time, which is of the essence right now.

 

 

 

The pockets are made according to the directions in Roberto Cabrera's book on men's tailoring. I'm really pleased with how they came out, especially the flap welt pocket which I've never attempted before. What I love about Carbrera's instructions is that you can toss out all the fussy little pattern pieces. The pockets are composed of simple rectangles that get marked, folded and stitched. "Sewing origami" is my name for it. Somehow, it all comes together, and I love when that happens. I plan to add a pick stitch detail to the pocket flaps and lapels of this jacket.

 

The next step is to pad stitch the lapels and add the twill taping to the front edges. Lots of handstitching in this man's future!

 

Oh, and I've finally started planking the boat!

 

11 comments:

  1. Missed seeing your blog. Wonderful shirt. Great pockets on jacket.

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  2. This looks like the beginning of a great ensemble, I'm looking forward to seeing more. The palette is fabulous; sophisticated and subtle.

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  3. You have so much talent you have inspired me so much. Please keep making beautiful clothing and posting it on your blog. Much love enrique.

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  4. Love the shirt -- and the boat! I must get back to Elliott Berman someday soon -- the last time I was there I saw some beautiful shirting I can't get out of my mind.... Good luck with the suit!

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  5. The shirt looks beautifully made. I am in the same boat thinking I would get more use from a button down shirt. A solution could be wearing the shirt to the dressy affair and making it a button down after.

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  6. There's a pocket on that gorgeous shirt? I can't see it at all! That's some amazing matching. The shirt is divine and the jacket is coming along great. Can't wait to see the completed suit.

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  7. I never thought of matching flowered fabric, how do you do that? It seems really painful :-)
    The fabric reminds me of Liberty fabrics, those prints obsess me! But I have never tried to match them.
    Anyway, your work has paid off, your shirt is beautiful. Good luck for the vest, I enjoy seeing pictures of the construction.

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  8. I'm so glad that you're back. I was worried that you had given up! Love the shirt - the matching is fabulous and so are the buttons. I can't wait to see the suit either. It's going to be great.

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  9. The shirt is perfect! Since the pocket is really the only place it's worth matching on this print, you've done a great job there. Glad to see you posting again too! Don't forget to let us see the jacket construction.

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  10. I'm with Louisa...please take a few snaps of the jacket in progress for us!!! The shirt is to die for...blended pocket and what a cool tie! You could/should be on the cover of Vogue!

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