Saturday, November 14, 2009

Sewing for a Dude

My husband's birthday is in April. This year, he requested that I make him a jacket based on a beloved navy Urban Outfitters jacket he already owned. He wanted it in black, with skull lining. (He has a thing about skulls.) I made a plan, zipped through most of the construction, and then promptly made a fatal mistake: I tried to set the sleeves in with my serger (WTF was I thinking?) and ended up cutting a whole in the upper sleeve. So then, naturally, I shoved the whole project into a bag and it hasn't seen the light of day since.

Well, now hubby has been begging for his skull-lined jacket, and I decided to be a big girl and come up with a solution. It was actually very easy: I ended up setting the sleeves a bit higher in, which hid the hole. Luckily, the fit was still good. (Actually, my client ended up preferring the more fitted look it provided.)

Here's the original inspiration:

And here's the pattern I ended up using:

I had to make some design changes to the pattern, including adding welt pockets in the front and adding a lining. And getting the fit right was challenging: this pattern is quite oversized, so I did a lot of fitting with a muslin. But now I'm in the final stretches of this jacket! It's a perfect sewing day here, kind of chilly and overcast. Wish me luck! Hopefully I'll unveil the results very soon.

And here's a kitteh update! Here's Professor Henry Higgins looking quite handsome:

And Pip, looking like she's having a particularly lovely dream:

We all hope you're having a lovely weekend of sewing!


  1. You did exactly what I would have done, stuff it in a bag for a while. It's very helpful to be able think more clearly, just to get away from it for a while. I'm so glad you found a solution. I don't normally like skulls myself, but those are some cool skulls. That's going to look so awesome as the lining. I can't wait to see it. Do we get to see it on your husband, or is he shy? Good luck with the rest of the construction.

    Henry Higgins is so cute. He should be in the cover of a magazine.

  2. Can't wait to see it finished. I haven't ventured beyond shirts and PJs for my husband (although I was once asked to take apart and copy some very fitted and skimpy retro 60s swimming trunks (with a zip!) for a fashion conscious male friend, which provided many interesting fitting moments...). I never usually see any nice patterns for men (which seems to have been another of your posts) so it's interesting to see that there are some out there. Must start looking harder!

    My husband also has a thing about cool linings and detailing in places only he can see. I indulge him, but find for myself that I can never bothered (although I am quite anal about my seams looking neat and professional even if nobody will ever see them!)

  3. Oh, I forget. I did make a tweed dressing gown for my husband from a vintage pattern (with obligatory pipe on the cover, of course) with a funky purple line running through the cloth (Paul Smith fabric from my favourite local store, which sells past seasons' designer fabrics at ridiculously low prices), with purple piping and purple bias and rose ribbon seams. Looks great on a Sunday morning, even if he fails to complement the look with a pipe...

    And sizing for men is also far more accurate in the vintage patterns than in the new ones that always seem to come out huge unless you take them in from everywhere...

  4. Hi Guys! It's the husband. I'm so excited about my skull jacket! I'm equally excited about the pair of skull sleeping shorts I'm supposedly getting from the leftover fabric.

    Nathalie, I'm now really hoping that when the jacket's finished I can get my talented wifey to make me a tweed dressing gown with purple piping and rose ribbon seams. That sounds rad!

  5. So, no 30/40/50's inspired wardrobe for the husband? ;-)

    I look forward to seeing the final result, interesting!

  6. where'd you find that skull fabric? because it's amazing. wow.

  7. I have done the same - cut a hole in the sleeve with using my serger. Ouch. I'm glad it worked out for you in fixing it!

    Cute kitties!

  8. tweed dressing gown with purple piping and rose ribbon seams. Is that my son?

  9. Look forward to seeing the final product! You are a brave woman to sew something so complicated for your husband!
    It is nice to see your husband commenting now!

  10. I have a very clear's bodies are different from women's bodies...therefore men's clothing is made by a tailor, whereas women's clothing is made by a dressmaker. And believe you me, the dressmaker knows the difference. But you are to get a HUGE pat on the back for even thinking of tackling this project!!

  11. That mexican (i think?) skulls lining is great (matching shorts? clever)! Dashing contrasting lining often seems to be the best way to spice up male garments. I'd love to sew for boys of my entourage, too, for my little brother, especially: he's a punker and I love tartan!
    Sadly, this won't happen soon, as I already lack of time for my own clothes, but I had been ordered a sherlock holmes-ish velvet dressing robe even before I started to sew so, to me, Nathalie, you're really onto something!

  12. I like the inspiration jacket and I ADORE the sugar skulls lining! I can't wait to see it finished. I'm hoping that it will inspire me - as so many of your creations do - to sew for my husband again. Since we retired from cosplaying a couple of years ago, I haven't made him a thing.

  13. I can't wait to see the final jacket! :) The skull lining is so cool--I always find the idea of a patterned lining in a outerwear garment (whether for me or women) to be so fun. It adds a lot of pizazz to any piece--even if few people know it's there!

  14. I love that pattern, I bought it to make napkins out of though. Glad you found a way to fix the tear--that's precisely why I have shied away from sergers!


Thanks for your comments; I read each and every one! xo Gertie

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