Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sewing for Men

The home sewer who tackles men's clothing is one brave person. Men's clothing changes much more slowy, it's better made and it's much more demanding in fit than women's or children's clothing.

That's why I'm always surprised to see a pattern like this one. If  you're up to the challenge, you can turn out a fine 1970s jacket, fully lined with all the bells and whistles including interior and exterior breast pockets with flaps.

Whew! I actually took on a really difficult project for my sweetie when we were just honeymooners. He was very patient since we lived in a small apartment and it was a surprise. He had to spend a lot of time in the bedroom while I worked away at this two-piece suit I had decided he needed. And I don't think we have one photo of that suit. And it turned out amazingly well.

Since then, I've done a few ties and dress shirts, but I've had the most success with Hawaiian type shirts. He's worn them and liked them. But it's hard to compete with the tiny stitches and precision of foreign-made men's clothing.

On the other hand, it still makes me rather ill to see what passes for well-made women's clothing. You can make a truly beautiful home-sewn outfit and beat the price of some shoddy piece of workmanship with uneven hems and hanging threads. Plus, if you make it yourself, you know it's going to fit.

The same goes for children's clothing. If you want something really nice, designer and different for your child, you should probably make it yourself. And because of their small size, you can still sew children's clothing economically.

So to whatever brave soul purchases this pattern out of my shop here, my hat goes off to you!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Mini Pantjumpers from the 1960s

What happens when skirts get ridiculously short the way they did in the late 1960s? You end up with something like this. The micro mini lengths of the 1960s created the need for the pantjumper. This cute girls' pattern allowed you to show a lot of leg while keeping those panties covered. Some patterns had  micro miniskirts but provided a bloomer pattern to go underneath.

I had a handy little cottage industry in my dorm room hemming up skirts for the other residents. Skirts got shorter and shorter each season. I remember that as a college girl, there were always boys congregated at the bottom of stairwells during class changes. Wonder why?

We weren't allowed to wear pants on campus (yes, believe that or not) but pantdresses (Or pantjumpers as in this pattern) were okay.  Go fig.

I adored my pantdresses. They were so cute. Mom made me one in a forest green floral print with a big beige middy collar. My boyfriend (who's about to celebrate our 41st anniversary with me this month) dubbed it my Scout uniform. It was adorable.

When skirts couldn't go any higher in the early 1970s, guess what happened? Right. The maxi dress. Hems fell to the ankle or mid-calf. It's refreshing today to go shopping and find skirts of all lengths. You get to choose today. We really didn't back then unless we wanted to look completely dowdy.

You can find this pattern in girls' size 14 in my shop here.