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Jan 17, 2018

How Do You Feel About Polka Dots?


Friends, I generally avoid polka dots.

I find them hard to look at, especially if they're evenly spaced.  But even if they aren't (George Clooney, up top), they can overwhelm.

I've sewn only a few polka dotted projects with mixed results.  I liked this polka dotted shirt I made a number of years ago (below).  Thankfully the dots were teeny, which helped, but it still photographs funny.


Remember my polka dot man skirt?  (Not a miss, perhaps, but close.)

This week I decided to give polka dots another try.  I found a silky cotton polka dot print at Mood in a palette I loved -- very Fifties retro, don't you think?  It reminds me of formica countertops.



The uneven dots and the mix of colors make it easier on the eyes, imo.  I thought it would make a great short-sleeve convertible-collar shirt for an upcoming warm-weather vacation.  I used a favorite pattern, McCall's 3995, which dates from the late Fifties.


 Here are some progress shots: it's almost finished.

The back has a center pleat.


Instead of interfacing my shirt facings the usual way, I used a technique called "facing the facings."  I stitched my interfacing to the edge of my facings, right sides together, folded the interfacing over the edge and then fused it to my facing with my iron, leaving roughly 1/8" of fabric at the inside edge.  The result is a nice clean finish that doesn't require serging the edge or folding the raw edge under and stitching, which can look bulky.


Here's what it looks like with the facing folded into place.

I made my buttonholes with my vintage Singer buttonholer (model 121795 -- easy to find on eBay).  Here's a short video of the process.  Naturally, I reinforce my buttonholes with Fray Check.  Did you know Fray Check is actually liquid nylon?


Below, you can see me topstitching the cuffs of my sleeves.  I've been making this shirt on my Singer 15-91, which I've been using for nearly all my sewing projects these days, along with my Bernina 930.  Nothing wrong with my other machines, but these two have been operating flawlessly.  The 15-91 is one of my earliest vintage straight stitcher acquisitions.


As soon as the shirt is finished, I'll show it to you -- hopefully this week.

In closing, are you a polka-dot person or do you generally avoid them (as I used to).  Why are they so hard to look at?

Have a great day, everybody!


The "Polka Dot Polka" -- must be seen to be believed!


Jan 12, 2018

Meet the Misses, PART 2 (including the Cathy outfit YOU NEVER SAW!)


Oh, readers, once I started excavating the sewing atrocities, I realized that there were many, many more fashion fiascos than I had originally thought.

Jan 10, 2018

Meet the Misses!


Friends, when you sew as much as I do -- which is almost daily -- inevitably you're going to sew some things that just don't work.

Jan 6, 2018

Things I Don't Get, Vol. 19 -- Cosplay


Friends, as someone whose relationship with comic books starts and ends with Millie the Model, I'm not likely to have any profound insights into the world of cosplay.

Dec 30, 2017

Oct 29, 2017

Christina's Completed Wedding Dress


Christina's wedding was yesterday and, readers, it was lovely.

Sep 28, 2017

Back to Work on Wedding Dress #2


With Val's wedding dress finished (I'll be posting some formal photographs shortly), it's time to return to Christina's dress; her wedding takes place at the end of October.

Sep 17, 2017

Val's Completed Wedding Dress


Friends, if you've been following along this summer (actually we started last May), you know I'd been commissioned to make two wedding dresses for this fall.

Sep 12, 2017

Some Like It Haute


Friends, I'm thrilled to be taking a class this semester at FIT called "Haute Couture Sewing Techniques."

Sep 5, 2017

New Shirt, New Class, and Another Vintage Sewing Machine


Readers, I recently completed this summer shirt, made with floral shirting from Mood Fabrics.

Aug 27, 2017

Two New Sewing Machines!


Readers, great news: yesterday at the Chelsea Flea Market, I acquired not one, but two new sewing machines.

Aug 20, 2017

A New Shirt for Michael


Friends, for me shirtmaking never gets old -- I love it!

Aug 17, 2017

Bridal Update + August Shirtmaking


Friends, with all the MPB Day excitement, you may have forgotten about my wedding gown projects.

Aug 13, 2017

MPB Day 2017 -- It Just Gets Awesomer!



Friends, it's hard to believe that yesterday was the seventh annual MPB Day -- we all just get younger and younger!
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