Comfortable Cool (Simplicity 8528)

Alex dresses well and pretty simply--he has few pairs of chinos and a few pairs of jeans, a bunch of button down shirts, and a few cardigans, and that's what he wears most days. Guys wardrobes are so natural capsule-y, right? Despite the fact that I could make his whole wardrobe with about 5 patterns, men's patterns are so hard to come by! I have a few big 4 patterns and a few from Thread Theory, and I just got the new Liesl + Co. All Day shirt (I think this one has real potential!), and my general rule is to snap up any decent men's patterns I see, since they are few and far between!

There was obviously no question if I was going to buy Simplicity 8528--omg just look at that cover! It's amazing! When I showed it to Alex he was equally enthused. I thiiiink this is supposed to be used as a David S. Pumpkins thing (I have not seen that, so I'm not sure?) since it came out with the Halloween patterns and is called "Crazy Suit" but if you look past the wild prints it's a really decent unlined blazer pattern. I recently picked up a knit blazer pattern for myself and so the idea was already in my head; since there's basically no way a men's knit blazer pattern exists (correct me if I'm wrong) I decided to use this one! In this thick dot ponte instead of the suggested linens and poplins, the trickiest part was getting my stitches not to skip (a heavyweight ballpoint needle did the trick). I love the way the insides look since the wrong side has little stripes--it looks really cute with the sleeves rolled up and pushed up a little, don't you think?

I think Alex was a little unclear about the concept at first--is it a blazer? is it a sweater?--but I think he'll end up wearing it a lot in his regular rotation of cardigans, if only because he doesn't have a navy one. Personally, I think it looks really sharp! I used his regular blazer size (38) and the only change I made was to sew the back pleats/vent shut instead of finishing each side of the vent and pressing--this rayon/poly ponte was not about to hold a permanent press and I think sewn-shut pleats look fine for this casual style. It's pretty slim fitting even in a (stable, but still) knit and I would consider sizing up one if I made it in a woven. The lapels are slim, too--slimmer than the collar which I think looks a little funny if you notice but also, I don't know much about men's fashion, so maybe this is normal in slim lapeled suits? (You can't see this in the line drawings but you can tell if you look closely at the models.) Sadly, the pants and shorts don't have any front or back pockets--although they may have side seam pockets, it's hard to tell) so I think they're best relegated to costume pants unless you're confident adding your own!

Would y'all be interested in a men's pattern roundup? They're so hard to find! I've also just ordered some Japanese sewing books for men--the women's styles aren't for me but I'm hoping the men's stuff will be great since it's all very classic. Have you used a Japanese pattern book? So stylish!


ps: he's such a ham :)

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Leopard Mini (Sewaholic Rae)

skirt: Sewaholic Rae (also seen here and here, pattern here) | jacket: Deer and Doe Luzerne (also seen here, pattern here)

When I had such success with my first Rae a few weeks ago and then successfully used the pattern as the skirt portion of my girly trench dress, I immediately wanted to try it one more way, as a flat waistband skirt!

I've had this leopard print twill in my stash for a few months having ordered it thinking it would be light enough to make a dress, but it's really more of a denim weight--perfect to try this new variation on the Rae! The twill would be much too heavy to gather into a waistband at my usual 2 or 3:1 skirt:waistband ratio, but the flare along with the light gathering of the Rae at the waist means I get all the poof and none of the struggle to gather too-thick fabric. (ps: If you want all the fullness of a dirndl skirt but down want all that poof right at your waistline, a gored skirt like this one is perfect.) I only made a few slight changes to the pattern itself and I mostly just guessed at what I should do. I ended up taking a little bit off of the top of each pattern piece because the waistband is built into the elastic-waisted Rae, but not into this skirt. Luckily it was a success!

I love the girly silhouette of this shorter-length full skirt in a fabric with a lot of body; I think it looks really great with matching tights and heels to give the illusion of long long legs. It would be really cute with over the knee boots, too--I don't have any of those because they don't really seem work-appropriate for me, but I like the look on other people.

I wont be giving up my dirndl skirts any time soon (after all, I have a whole class on making them) but I do love this modified version of the Rae for a lower-volume skirt, and it takes a lot less fabric, too!


ps: if you follow the @mccallpatterncompany instagram, you may see a familiar face over there this week!

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