So this past weekend was a bittersweet one for me as my husband and I dropped off our son at his new home for the next few years, UC Berkeley.
We got him settled in and took him out for a nice sushi dinner and stayed in a nearby hotel. The Hotel Durant is a great place to stay if you are ever in Berkeley. I spent the evening tossing and turning and worrying that my son had forgotten about a million things. A random guilt provoking thought popped into my head that night as I tossed and turned. I had never sewn for him in the past few years since I started sewing clothing……or for my poor husband who pretty much pays for this passion. Did I mention I’m Catholic? We feel guilty about things a lot.
The next morning we had a farewell breakfast with Oliver and I steeled myself because I was taking my husband fabric shopping at Britex fabrics in San Francisco! I worried about him sighing heavily the whole time as I shopped for fabric….you probably know that feeling if you have ever taken someone fabric shopping who doesn’t sew.
I had heard from lots of bloggers about how fabulous Britex Fabrics is and they weren’t wrong. For someone used to shopping in the Los Angeles garment district like myself and haggling with foreign shopkeepers to buy fabric, this type of luxury retail fabric shopping was a new experience. There were clerks who actually wanted to help and knew where everything was and had knowledge about all of the fabrics, like where they came from.
My husband was with me and it was the first time he showed any interest in the whole business. Looking through the woolens sale, he found a wool fabric he fell in love with and we decided right then and there that I would make him a FABULOUS PEA COAT.
We walked out with three yards of boiled wool , some flannel backed coat lining and fifty dollars worth of beautiful English horn buttons to make him the pea coat he has always wanted…..
But as soon as I got home I started Googling mens sewing patterns and you know what? THEY STINK! I could not find one single pea coat pattern and I looked through ALL of the modern pattern companies , the big ones AND the smaller indie ones. Nada Zilch. Not even the historical pattern companies had a pattern for the traditional naval style pea coat as pictured below. I did find a seventies pattern, however, but ithe huge lapels and fit and flared shape weren’t what Richard had in mind…….
He wants a classic, traditional pea coat. While Burda style seems to have hundreds of womens coat patterns, guess how many there are for men? Two!
After searching for a couple of hours I ran across a blog written by a fellow who has been sewing his own classic and elegant clothes from a Japanese Pattern Book. His blog is called The Japanese Pattern Challenge.
I had to have that book he was using! I finally found one on E bay and can’t wait for it to arrive from Japan. Here are a few shots of some of the style it has patterns for:
If you are interested in learning about some other blogs bymen who sew you can check out a few more I like.
Male Pattern Boldness.
That’s a short list but I’d love to learn of a few more.
If any of you know of any others let me know.