Falling for Foulard

I haven’t posted anything for well over a month, but it doesn’t mean there hasn’t been any sewing going on in my world. These two projects, a foulard shirt and a pair of velvet Jeds have been finished for well over two weeks now. The weather just hasn’t cooperated for an outdoor photo shoot. Finally, we had a partly sunny day, so I quickly set up the camera and shot these pics in my deer ravaged yard.


First up, the shirt.



This is a French viscose foulard from Elliot Berman, my favorite NYC fabric stop. I believe it was almost 60″ wide, so I was easily able to get a shirt out of just two yards with plenty to spare. It’s a soft olive green with little teal bits, both colors I love and that work well with my expanding “me made” wardrobe. But the real attraction is the positively delicious drape of this fabric. I wish you could feel how hefty, luxurious and fluid it is.


That fluidity, however, made for a challenging shirtmaking project. Not that it was difficult to sew…. The challenge was in the matching required for the fronts. There’s an underlying grid to the pattern that really requires careful matching both horizontally and vertically. My “cutting table” is a glass topped Ikea desk, and the fabric was slip sliding all over the place. I really couldn’t tell what was happening under the pattern pieces.



My solution was to illuminate the fabric from behind with a small desk lamp. This way I could accurately pin on the pattern and maintain the grid in both directions. Time consuming, yes, but ultimately worth the effort in the end.


The pay off!


This shirt has a spread collar interfaced with Shirt Crisp fusible interfacing from Fashion Sewing Supply.


A shirt is a shirt, is a shirt…. So I decided to make a little matching bow tie with the leftover scraps. I own some real bow ties, so I used them as a guide for the overall size. One of my favorites has pointed ends, so I tried to replicate that look. Essentially, I just made it up as I worked along. No rocket science required!



It just attaches with a snap at the back. Simple.




I’ve also banged out a pair of velvet Jeds. Sadly, the fabric here isn’t really anything to write home about. It’s been in my stash for a long time. It was a bargain fabric purchased online from Denver Fabrics. I might have paid $6 a yard for it, and, to tell the truth, it looks it. There’s no way to sugar coat it, it’s cheap fabric. Certainly nothing like the velvet I picked up at Britex last year. But, then again, that fabric was originally something like $75 a yard!

If there’s one positive thing I can say about cheap stretch velvet, it’s easy to work with. No velvet pin boards required for this stuff. I was able to press this stuff with reckless abandon!

So these may not be the velvet pants of my dreams, but they’re serviceable and easy to care for. So I plan to just wear the hell out of them this fall and winter.



I think the pocketing fabric might be nicer than the pants fabric! This is the fourth pair of Jeds that I’ve made. I never tire of the way they finish up.



Using the tutorial on the Thread Theory website, I redrafted the back and made welt pockets instead of patch pockets. It’s surprisingly easy to do, and makes for a slightly dressier look.


My next project will be a little more complex and involve uncharted territory for me….. Namely, knits!

Wishing you all happy sewing!


11 thoughts on “Falling for Foulard

  1. So very well done! I love the colors in the shirt and the matching bow tie is a great accessory. Can't tell the velvet is cheap from here. All I see is a pair of nicely made and wonderfully fitting pants.


  2. Men's clothing has always been of interest to me because I sewed all sorts of menswear for my son as he was growing up. I just love your posts and updates no matter how far apart they are. You have become quite an accomplished tailor; your work is impeccable and your courage unending.
    Don't forget to include updates on your boat and (I would love to hear) how far your kilt project has come. I am absorbing it all…!


  3. You must be channeling me. I made a muslin bowtie for my son. Now just to find the material, he wants me to make it one piece. I hope to make a shirt too! Eventually I will make him pants. Your tailoring skills are the bomb!!


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