I wanted to take things up a few notches from the apron for my next project. It’s not that the apron was necessarily easy for a beginner, but let’s face it, there are really only three main pieces, which all lay flat on each other. I needed something complicated, something with armholes! I knew my limits and wasn’t about to try making sleeves for the first time. Since I’m not really a toga kind of guy, I decided to try making a vest. I used McCalls pattern 2447. I feel that the style of the pattern is a little dated, which is the case for almost all patterns for men’s clothing. Trying to find patterns for garments that I would actually wear is frustrating and next to impossible, but eventually I want to be designing/making my own patterns anyway.
Unless you count the polar fleece version I wore in middle school, (yikes…!) I’ve never worn a vest. And come to think of it, I definitely won’t be wearing this one either (note the masculine floral lining [with a hint of sarcasm] among other problems). I left off the buttons for now. We misplaced the manual for the sewing machine, which has the instructions for the button hole settings.
My wife had the fabric for the lining laying around and I figured that this was just for practice anyway, so why not use it. This stuff was REALLY hard to work with. I think it is some sort of polyester blend that makes it difficult to mark, fold, sew, and look at for that matter. The front of the vest is muslin of course.
I had to learn how to hand sew a slip stitch to close up the side.
Now that the vest battle is over, I think I’m ready to tackle sleeves. I have a pattern for a men’s long sleeve button down shirt that is next on the chopping block.
Originally, I had the wild idea that my first “real” project would be a tailored suit jacket. How hard can it be right…? Let’s just say that after taking one look at the pattern pieces for the jacket, I decided that I would need to attempt something much simpler for my first project. Basically I needed a pattern with mostly straight lines and a relatively small number of pieces.
Luckily my wife had a pattern for an apron that she made a while back. A muslin apron is definitely a long way from a jacket, but you got to start somewhere.
I was getting ready to cut my very first pattern in this picture. Could they make pattern paper any thinner? I thought it would disintegrate in my hands.
This is Kalypso, otherwise known as “The Kittaih!,” and she wants to learn how to make an apron too.
Pinning my first pocket.
The finished pocket and neck strap.
Tada! Finished apron. I couldn’t be happier with the way this turned out. Granted, it was a pretty easy project, but I literally went straight from the practice stitching here: Day One to the apron.
I’m still not ready to attempt anything close to a jacket yet, but look forward to whatever is next.
Photo of my first stitches.
So really, I didn’t know anything about sewing when I took this picture of my very first attempt at some basic stitching. My wife, who is a phenomenal sewer, decided she would teach me some basics about the sewing machine. My first “lesson” went something like this:
Wife: “Taylor, let me show you how to wind the bobbin and thread the machine.”
Me: “Wind the what?” “You have to thread the machine?” Then I got distracted by the stitching diagram, “Oooh, it can do a zig zag, whoa that’s cool.”
Needless to say, she is a great teacher. Once I finally got the bobbin wound and the machine threaded, I played around a bit with some different types of stitches.
Next up, my first real project.
At the end of 2009 in a loft far, far away…
There was a guy who wanted to learn how to make his own clothes. Why? Let’s just say that he knew absolutely nothing about it and wanted a challenge. He also liked the idea of learning a new and useful skill. In moments of over caffeinated day dreaming he even thought about launching a clothing line.
My name is Taylor and this is my blog. A place where I will document my attempt at learning how to sew and make clothing.