I know I’m biased, but come on. How cute is this guy?
He’s a good sport too. Happily wore his “southern gentleman” costume – no complaints all night.
What a little dude. He performed his duties with aplomb. Liam marched up the aisle all by himself, wiped out and went flying then hopped up, grabbed his pillow and his hat and continued to his spot at the front. No fear. Nada.
There are many, many times that I wonder, “Who is this kid?” Seriously, he’s got his own thing going on. We are just taking up space in his world.
On to the details…
The hat is a re-blocked girl’s straw hat that I picked up at a thrift store. Aside: I snagged some hat blocks on Ebay. You know, ’cause I need a new hobby. I pulled off all the ribbon and trim, soaked the straw until it softened then stretched over the 19″ oval and sailor brim. Once dry, I sewed some bias tape around the brim (did a terrible job, but what can you do?) and sewed ribbon trim to the outside and folded ribbon as a hatband on the inside. Voila!
The suit is made from medium weight linen purchased at Hancock’s following Burda 9781 (here’s my pattern review). This was far and away the most challenging sewing project I’ve tackled to date. It’s a miniature European cut suit. The jacket had over 30 pieces. Yikes! The pattern pieces were perfect and the instructions were ok. Burda assumes you’ll work out some of the basics and so skips some steps, such as sewing the jacket center back seam. I was a nervous wreck sewing this thing so freaked out over every skipped step. I made a few modifications, specifically changing the pants to cuffed shorts, omitting the lining in favor of hong kong finishing and replacing the jacket pocket flaps with double welts. I’d probably have lost my marbles and given up on the whole thing if not for my Singer Tailoring book.
Overall I’m really pleased with the results. I think the sleeves are a little short, but our fitting sessions were limited to about 45 seconds so… Linen is a joy to sew. I pre-washed it twice in hot water and hot air dryed it to prevent (hopefully) any future shrinkage then ironed it with lots of spray starch before cutting out the pattern pieces. I LOVE STARCH! The fabric was so crisp and easy to work with. Plus, when sewing it had the perfect amount of stretch to make any eased seams painless.
The jacket’s hong kong finish looks pretty good, though I wish I’d decided on it earlier in the game. I couldn’t decide whether to line it or not and so did all the finishing after the whole jacket was constructed. Made for a lot of extra hand sewing. Speaking (typing) of hand sewing. The jacket has a hand finished blind hem (on the sleeves too). That was yet another first for me. It was not nearly as tedious as feared, was actually pretty calming.
I love the shorts. Something about shorts and a jacket is just too cute. I messed up the waistband somehow. The buttonhole side extends much to far past the center front, but I just couldn’t bring myself to redo it. I didn’t like the pattern instructions for the center back seam. Instructions had you attach the waistband then sew the CB seam, leaving a big, bulky exposed seam. It really bugged me, so I ripped it out and seamed the CB first, then folded the waistband down to enclose the seam. Little tweak, big difference in appearance that no one but I will ever notice.
The bow tie and suspenders really make this for me. They were so quick to make – like less that an hour total and looked fantastic. I followed the instructions for the David Bow Tie, but cut it a little smaller. The finished width is about 2″ instead of the standard men’s 2-1/2″, but the collar width is the same as a full sized tie, so the standard hardware fits. The suspenders are just 2-1/2″ strips sewed into tubes using 1/4″ seam allowance, turned and pressed to 1″ wide and criss-crossed in back. Hancock’s had suspender clips and bow tie hardware, but no 1″ strap adjusters, so I just fit the suspenders and left extra length in the back to and an adjuster later.
More fashion news tomorrow…