Into the Wild with Stylemaker — Fall 2020

There is a “wild pond” in my little coastal town. It’s down a dirt road and accessible only by a walking trail. There are no camps (There’s a little swimming platform), no boats, no sounds of the human world. Kind of a secret place. It seems like the perfect setting for my Stylemaker Blog Tour photo shoot.

The Maine woods are calling. Come along with me!

Before we get lost, I want to thank Stylemaker Fabrics for inviting me to participate in this project. It’s been an amazing experience, and the fabrics I chose to work with were nothing short of extraordinary. What exactly does one pick when presented with almost 100 new fabrics!? The selection was mind-blowing. I eventually settled on three, to coordinate with a pair of olive green “Jeds” that I’d just completed.

Waistcoat fabric — Cotton corduroy shirting in camel

Waistcoat lining and piping — Cozy cotton flannel tartan in chocolate

Shirt — Paisley rayon twill shirting in rust

Anyone who follows my blog knows that I frequently work from vintage patterns. For this project, however, I felt it was important to work from current menswear patterns. After all, the purpose of being invited on this blog tour is to encourage sewists to get cracking on some new Fall clothes. If this look inspires you it can be recreated with Thread Theory’s Fairfield shirt, Jedediah pants and Belvedere waistcoat. Stylemaker Fabrics is ready to supply you with the fabrics and the patterns, so let’s make some menswear!

I’m a huge fan of Thread Theory Designs, and this opportunity gave me a good reason to give their Belvedere Waistcoat a try. As I expected, it didn’t disappoint.

Just a few observations before we dig in. Like several of the Thread Theory patterns I think it’s safe to say that this waistcoat is designed for a fit man. It has darts on both the front and back. If, like me, you don’t have that perfect athletic physique, be prepared to grade out from the chest to the waist. I think I went from a Medium to the Extra Large. I also wanted a more “outdoorsy” vest as opposed to a “dressy” look, so I lengthened the body by 1 inch. This provides a little more coverage at the back. In the future I might go just a tad longer.

I love that this pattern can be changed in multiple ways. It can be made with welt pockets (standard for the PDF or print version), or there are downloadable patterns on the Thread Theory website for two styles of patch pockets and back belt / tab options. In short, you can have the waistcoat that meets your vision. What’s not to love about that!

My vision is for an outdoor vest with patch pockets. Fine wale corduroy both front and back, and a warm plaid flannel used for both the lining and a bias piping around the opening edges. Antique brass rivets….oh, hell yes!

Have it YOUR way!

Waistcoats don’t need to be fancy. I skipped the usual satin back and used corduroy all around. I added a belt which can cinch things in if I want a closer fit. But I’m really liking the looser, more outerwear vibe, that I’ve created. Some extra length provides more coverage in the back. I wanted it to cover my belt, which it does (just barely). In the future I might go longer.

The waistcoat is lined for warmth with a beefy cotton tartan flannel, which would make an outstanding shirt. I’ll be going back for some of the other flannel plaids because they’re just too good to pass up. The opening edges of the waistcoat are piped with bias flannel. I’ll talk about this in a future blog post. I love the look, but it was a special kind of hell to accomplish!

I absolutely adore little print shirts! When I saw the swatch for this rayon twill it was an instant “done deal”. Rayon shirts are a luxurious treat, and I think every guy should have at least one. I was worried that being a twill weave, this fabric might fray like crazy, but it didn’t. It’s deliciously drapey and weighty. It does require a more deliberate and controlled approach to construction. But the extra care is all worth it in the end.

This shirt is from a vintage Butterick pattern from the 60’s, it’s my TNT. If baggy button downs aren’t your style, I’d suggest the Fairfield shirt from Thread Theory.

A huge thank you to Michelle at Stylemaker Fabrics for inviting me to participate this year. Her new Fall offering is full of great menswear appropriate fabrics, so please check them out before they disappear! For all my tailoring geek friends, I’ll be doing a more in depth post on the construction of this look soon. The highs, and the very lows!


Tomorrow Lindsey of @insidethehem will unveil her look. ( She shared her chosen fabrics with the group and they were stunning, so I can’t wait to see what she created). She’s also reviewed all the new fabrics on her YouTube channel, so be sure to check it out.

As always, I’m so grateful for all the encouragement and support I get from the sewing community. Be well, please be safe, and happy sewing.

26 thoughts on “Into the Wild with Stylemaker — Fall 2020

  1. This might be my favourite mainelymenswear blog post ever! The warm colours, the fabrics, autumn scenery, rivets & patch pockets, paisley/tartan/corduroy combo, the outdoorsy vibe – all wonderful and a great outfit 🙂


    1. Love the piping detail on the waistcoat – actually the whole waistcoat is pretty impressive.
      And the shirt is so stylish. And the backdrop is gorgeous.


  2. fantastic fabric choices for that outfit, it all looks great. the bias piping is such a nice touch. Love the photos.


    1. Stylish, as ever. Love the care and detail you put into your sewing and fashion sense. Lovely setting. I am a fan of Thread Theory patterns, too.


  3. Handsome outfit you made for yourself, sir!

    I’m eager to read about the patch pocket application. It looks like they were topstitched, then somehow fastened to the vest — hand sewing?

    And what a wonderful spot you have to wear it in, your secret pond.


    Carol Stoner


  4. Another great look (woods included), and I always enjoy the thinking behind the mods for each garment. Thanks indeed to Stylemaker as well. Looking forward to seeing the construction details.


  5. All I could imagine is that there is a naked mannequin in some upscale haberdashery – of course I know it’s all of your own creation. Your fabric choices work so well together, they heighten the entire ensemble. The wilds of Maine…you and those Stylemaker fabrics fit perfectly. I have to check out their collection.


    1. Yes! I used the vintage buttonhole attachment. I have a 5/8″ keyhole cam for it which turned out to be the perfect size. I cut them open with a chisel and a keyhole punch.


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