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Nov 25, 2014

Keep or Return? or "The Unbearable Cheapness of Bean"

Is it me or have men's cotton turtlenecks nearly vanished from mainstream fashion?

I know you can still find them here and there (Ralph Lauren, L.L. Bean, Lands End), but they used to be everywhere.  How are men keeping their necks warm these days?

I was looking for a good quality cotton turtleneck last week and finally ordered one from L.L. Bean: $22.95 with no tax and free shipping.  When it arrived, however, I was disappointed.  While the cotton is soft, the fit is way off.  I'd ordered a size Small.  The torso is narrow enough, but the sleeves are wide enough for a pair of legs - make that two pair -- and the armholes hang down to mid-chest.  I mean, I know different brands use different fit models, but this is weird and nothing like the size Small turtlenecks I remember from the past.

Also, the cuffs and collar aren't particularly elastic -- not much stretchier than the regular jersey.   A look inside shows that the side/sleeve seam is serged, and I could easily tailor the shirt for a better fit.  I pinned a bit -- though not nearly enough -- to get a sense of how it might look if I took it in.

Here you can see the slightly tailored sleeve on my right.

I hate the idea of having to re-do RTW, but I know many people do this as a matter of course.  The shirt was cheap, and I could probably do a good job without too much of a time investment, but still, it irks me to have to restitch a brand new shirt.  The alternative would be to return it.

What would you do?

In other news, today I started tracing my coat pattern and boy, is it a chore.  I don't mind tracing per se, but seam allowances have to be added and this pattern calls for different seam allowances on different pattern pieces -- the lining pieces in particular are hard to figure out.

I'm hoping in the morning, when I'm fresher, I'll be able to make sense of all these numbers.

And that's it!  I hope to have everything traced by tomorrow so I can spend the rest of the week on the muslin.

This pocket alone (below) may take an afternoon!

In closing, aside from hemming a pair of pants, do you often have to tailor your RTW (ready-to-wear) clothing purchases?

Have a great day, everybody!

Nov 24, 2014

On With the Sew

Readers, thank you so much for your many words of support regarding my mother's injury.

She asked me to send along her thanks as well.  My mom's doing somewhat better: eating (not enough but some), pushing through her exercises with her physical therapists, and even -- this is a big one -- accepting phone calls and visits from a few friends.  I see her most days and I'm actually enjoying the trips, believe it or not.  Being able to bicycle to the hospital (well, near it) helps too.

Nov 21, 2014

A Difficult Week

Not great news that could have been much, much worse.

Nov 19, 2014

Down the Rabbit Hole of Japanese Men's Style Magazines!

I've been aware of the fascinating world of Japanese men's style magazines for a few years now.

Nov 17, 2014


Friends, I am delighted to announce the latest version of MPB's exclusive pattern-naming game: NAME THAT PATTERN, 100% Gluten-Free.  Now you can indulge in the revelry without worry of tummy upset.  Bean-based, it's more digestible and more nutritious too!  

Nov 16, 2014

Pantone Guide to Communicating with Color UPDATE

A few weeks ago I mentioned that I had purchased a used copy of the Pantone Guide to Communicating with Color.

Nov 14, 2014

My Wild Wool Challis Shirt!

Readers, my internet service is back AND my shirt is done!  You can view me modeling it here.

Nov 13, 2014

Treadling a Shirt VIDEO + Live From the Coffee Bar!

Readers, tragedy struck yesterday: an explosion in the West Village knocked out RCN Cable service to the entire West Side of Manhattan.  I have been without Internet for nearly 36 hours.  I feel, frankly, a little desperate and Michael is worse.  I'm writing this from a local coffee bar, so please excuse all food stains.

Nov 11, 2014

Nov 10, 2014

Re-visiting (and Improving) an Old Project

Do you ever re-work old projects?  I do occasionally: I'll change a shirt collar or narrow a pants leg, things like that.

Nov 8, 2014

PARTY PICS: Pattern Review's 13th Bday!

I wasn't feeling my best yesterday, but I managed to stencil on my party smile and hightail it to the Pattern Review event at Elliot Berman Textiles last night.  (You may recognize the woman in teal on my right as Kyle from Vacuuming the Lawn.) 

Nov 7, 2014

Panel Print Shirt Collar + I'M DONE!

The big job today was making a collar for my shirt.

Nov 6, 2014

Panel Print Shirt Progress -- One Day to Go!

Speedy sewing has no special value in my book -- better to take your time and do a first-rate job.

Nov 5, 2014

A Panel Print Shirt by Friday, Nov. 7th?

Friends, do you remember this panel print fabric I purchased last summer at Elliot Berman Textiles?  (I was with Laura Mae, who was emptying out the store so I had to buy something.)

Nov 3, 2014

Color Combining with Confidence -- Your Favorite Resources!

Readers, if there's one area where I would like to improve in my sewing, it's actually one that has nothing to do with sewing itself, but rather with color.
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