Monday, June 22, 2015

The Shirtmaking Workbook: Pattern, Design, and Construction Resources, by David Page Coffin. Creative Publishing International, 2015




This is an exceptional book on designing and creating shirts. It assumes you know basic sewing; this is not a book about sewing. Coffin deconstructs shirts into five different ‘blocks’ or basic shapes: dress shirt, sport shirt, knit shirt, folk shirt, and shirt jacket. He also shows various collars-so many collars!-, cuffs and pockets with glorious details. By adding these collars & cuffs to the various blocks, you have nearly limitless options in your shirt- any of which, of course, can be used in a women’s blouse just as well.

He does show some sewing tips: sewing without pins (wow), stitching seams, how to fold and put together a placket, and the best way to turn a point- essential for nice looking collars. Along the way are example shirts, designer pages and what they’ve made, how to copy an existing shirt, and pages of helpful resources: books, classes, software, and websites. There is also bonus material- mainly patterns- that will be available online but as of today (6/22/2015) only some of it seems to be working.

This is one of those books that I know I’ll turn to again and again. While not a tailoring book, the author does give a lot of tips. One thing that fascinated me was how the Duke of Windsor’s collars were made- obviously of the highest quality but a method that looks incomplete from the wrong side! It has a purpose, of course- to reduce bulk. It’s things like that that make this book so interesting. 

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I received this book free from the Amazon Vine program. 

Neither of these things influenced my review.  

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Still sunny with no rain. The soil at my jobs has already turned into concrete, which makes it lovely to try and pry weeds out of it. But all the hummingbirds (we get three species of them here) seem to be back already, both males and females. Perhaps they got a discount for all traveling here at once.

The sunflowers and zinnias I seeded a couple of days ago are already germinating. Any day now we should be able to start leaving young plants outside at night- of course there will be at least one surprise late frost, but hopefully not a really bad one. I'm going to risk the young perennials I grew from seed by leaving them out tonight. They are hardy when grown and they look fairly mature.

The bergenia is blooming; I love the sharp, hot, pink of it's blooms. It badly needs renovating but I'll wait until it's done flowering. The miniature iris are also blooming, except for the blue/purple ones under the dappled willow. They are always behind because of the shade.

The peas are up (barely) and Tim just started the corn last night. The greens are suddenly expanding exponentially rather than just sitting there. In a few days they'll be going out into their large containers- must remember to get slug bait and put it in the pots right from the start this year. Heaven only knows how much slug slime we ate last year before I came out at the right time and caught the gross devils on the lettuce!

Thursday, May 7, 2015



Sunny with a few fluffy clouds. Reseeded the greens that didn’t come up the first time; don’t know if they didn’t come up because the seeds are bad (they shouldn’t be; they are new) or if I let them dry out at some point. We shall see. Also seeded three kinds of sunflowers and some Pinwheel zinnias. Did some heavy duty weeding- grass in the perennials and roses- and some pruning. Started a few weeping willow and dappled willow cuttings. The blue Arctic willow cuttings seem to be doing well; at any rate, they are leafing out and not dying. Even though I didn’t really get that much done, it feels more rewarding than a lot of days.

Little Banshee was out for quite a while; he wasn’t up to really walking around so he got tethered to things and laid in the grass. He didn’t want to be too far from me; every time I’d walk off to empty a bucket or something he tried to get up and follow me. He ate this morning but is very droopy. I wish he didn’t need such a high dose of meds, but droopy is safer than status epilepticus.

Now to make the bed (also did laundry), make out some bills, and package up a few things for the post office tomorrow!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

I'm sick as hell. Have some primrose pictures.



Tuesday, March 17, 2015

A little late for pi day, but still. This pie slice container with pi emblem is older than I am; I've no idea where or when my parents got it.


Happy 110th birthday, Dad.