Sunday, February 17, 2019

Weekend Review: The Gentleman's Wardrobe

The Gentleman's Wardrobe: Vintage-Style Projects to Make for the Modern Man / Vanessa Mooncie
Lewes, East Sussex: Guild of Master Craftsmen Publications, c2017.
174 p.

This month it's also a celebration of Menswear for Everyone over at the Sewcialists blog. I am fully intending to finish the Vogue 8987 waistcoat I muslined for my husband a year ago now...really! But I keep getting distracted by new ideas -- like the Thread Theory Belvedere Waistcoat, which pattern I bought on Black Friday -- or the ideas in this book!

Author Vanessa Mooncie is better known for her books on crochet and children's design, so at first I thought it was a bit odd that she has put together this book on traditional menswear. But she says that she was inspired by pictures of family members in the past, all so nicely dressed for all occasions. And this book claims to give you everything you need to create a full classic wardrobe for the man in your life -- or for yourself, if you are a male sewist.

I think it lives up to that claim. There are 14 projects in here, and if you made them all, you'd have a man dressed from head to (nearly) foot -- no sock pattern, although there a slipper one ;) There are the basics like a waistcoat (my fave), suit jacket, trousers, button down shirt, and accessories like a flat cap, bag, ties or wallet, as well as lounging items like boxers, slippers, pyjamas and a gown. The only one that doesn't really work is the wallet -- it's a little too artsy craftsy for my taste, and I think a dapper gentleman would prefer a fine leather wallet look over this one.

The book is nicely put together, organized in sections for daywear, nightwear and accessories, and has lots of well styled photos to entice you, though the models are all young white modelly types. There is a small section of techniques at the back, and some added resources for supplies.

I haven't made anything from it yet but have a couple of patterns earmarked and am hoping to get them traced out soon. I think it's a nice addition to the limited number of men's patterns out there, and it completely fits in with my husband's more traditional aesthetic, which is why I bought it. No need for jeans or hoodie patterns around here ;)

It comes with three double sided pattern sheets that you'll need to trace, but there are only 3 sizes, S-M-L so the lines aren't too confusing. The limited sizes might be a problem for many sewists -- neck goes from 15 - 16", chest 36 - 42", while waist runs 30 - 36". Luckily for me this works, but heads up if you have a differently sized model.

In any case, it's an interesting book to explore with many quick projects (like a bow tie or cravat) and many more complex ones (suit jacket anyone?) I think you could get a lot of wardrobe pieces out of this.

You can see 7 of the 14 projects in this picture from the book

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