Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Give me Liberty..... Um, well, faux Liberty

Today, readers, we'll be traveling to merry old England and visiting the flagship store of Liberty of London. If I'm ever lucky enough to visit London, this is sure to be on the itinerary. Truly, this is a Mecca for the fabric obsessed. If you follow this blog, chances are that you fall into this category too.

Let's go inside, shall we?

Oh, my! This is what I would call a shopping experience. We're a long way from Kansas, and a long long way from Target. Apparently this installation was created for London Fashion Week. Spectacular. However, all this Tudor splendor comes at price.

I have been wanting a "little flowers" shirt for almost a year now. This is a very basic point collar men's shirt, with questionable matching at the front placket. Nice. It sells for £125 ( around $200 ). Pretty, yes......within my budget? Not on your life! I can't even justify the $80+ that the fabric alone would cost to make this shirt.

But all is not lost.

I was lucky to find this shirting on sale at Denver Fabrics. It's an Italian cotton, 36" wide, very finely woven with crisp printing. I ordered 3.5 yards at a $4.45 per yard. Score!

If I had not taken this picture I would never have noticed the subtle diagonal nature of this print. So much for just randomly cutting it out. I attempted to match the fronts and placket to preserve the diagonal effect. I've since read that the diagonal quality of the print is a hallmark of Liberty. Who knew? Certainly not me.

Here's a close up. These are all colors that work well for me.

Is it Liberty, or an imposter?

This is perhaps the best shirt I've ever made. I'm getting used to working with lighter weight fabrics. I've also given up my resistance to fusible interfacings. This shirt was interfaced with Pro-woven "shirt crisp" from FashionSewingSupply.com. I can't recommend it highly enough! It really gives the feel of a store bought shirt.

The matching isn't perfect, but good enough to preserve the flow of the pattern.

Final tally, not that it's that important...

Fabric $15.60, Buttons $5.25 = an "almost Liberty shirt" for $20.85

Clothes that I really love to wear .... Priceless!

I'm thinking I'll wear this for Thanksgiving this year. Speaking of which, I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving and joyful sewing!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Tuxedo Finale x 2

I haven't posted a completed project in ages.  So to make up for that I'm posting not one, but TWO completed tuxedo shirts.  

So with all due respect, Tennessee and Chumley .....  on with the show! 

First up is the VERY long overdue linen tuxedo shirt.  I was working on this shirt when disaster struck this summer.  One of my co-workers was about to move into a new house that had been under construction for at least a year.  My plan was to wear this shirt to the open house she was planning.  I would have worn it like this.  Untucked with a pair of dark wash jeans.  As things turned out I ended up on my porch, swilling Ensure and sweating up a storm.  

I lost 17 lbs. unintentionally over the summer.  Not being able to eat for a month will do that.  As a result this shirt is a little loose, but I'm sure I'll grow into it.  

Here it is tucked in.  The plastron extends about 2" below the waistband of my jeans.  

This shirt has a single French cuff, which is a lot less bulky than the double variety.  It seems less fussy and more appropriate for a casual shirt.   I'm wearing it with a pair of cameo cufflinks that were purchased from The Open Sesame on Etsy.  I like the contrast of formal elements and relaxed wrinkled ease.  Hmm.  Maybe I'll get to wear it next summer.  

This shirt, on the other hand, is ready to wear now.  I can totally see myself wearing this to the staff holiday party next month.  The pleating is very subtle on this shirt.  The light is just catching the edge of the pleats in this photo.  

In this shot the pleats are completely invisible.  I've learned since starting this project that my pleating is technically called "military pleating" or "pleating to the stripe".  It contributes to the more dominant horizontal stripes of the plastron.  It also makes the red in the tartan more prominent.  Note to self:  start making more red clothes.  

Here the light is showing the pleats to greater effect. 

Am I done with tuxedo shirts?  Hell no!  I'm totally seeing view D of this pattern in my future.  The "Venetian blind shirt".  

As always, I wish you happy sewing, and thank you for all the support that I receive as a result of this crazy blog.  Cheers!