I want horsehair braid.

In real life, this is another muted purple. Apparently my lighting completely fails to capture this colour.

I think this is the fabric that will become my first skirt for the petticoat. It’s a thrift-store find, yummy purple herringbone wool (I seem to be on a purple kick here.) But now, ah, now I am torn. So many decisions. Do I want to cut the skirt in a single piece? Do I want to try and have front and back seams on the bias, matching the herringbone? How will I mark the hem before I hem it? How do I want to hem it? Narrow hem, hem facings… horsehair braid. Sigh. I want horsehair braid. I haven’t seen it at Fabricland but it’s certainly possible I missed it.  I *really* love the look and hang of the skirts I’ve seen (pictured) using this. Second best, I guess, would be a hem facing, but it always seems like that would just take up an obscene amount of additional fabric. And then there’s a lining. I really don’t have anything on hand that would work. Do I need a lining for a skirt I’m going to put a petticoat underneath? Maybe I don’t.  Will I ever want to wear the skirt without the petticoat? Doubtful. I much prefer how they look with some pouf. Grum, grum.

On the Men’s Shirt Sewalong front,

Left, woven-stripe cotton; right, black flannel.

I have two fabrics picked out and pre-washed, though I suspect the flannel, at least, should be washed a couple more times to make sure all that pesky shrinking is taken care of (I hear flannel’s a progressive shrinker.) Both of these fabrics are black*, and by some miracle I managed to capture the texture, if not the colour, of both. The woven-stripe stuff on the left would appear much smoother if it were ironed, but to be honest, my inclination to iron my hubby’s shirts is about on par with my inclination to run a marathon. I keep thinking that it would be a worthy goal, but there are far too many more immediate and rewarding things to spend my time on. Fortunately his work supplies his uniforms, so any clothing I make will just be worn to and from work and around the house, so a slouchy, casual shirt is fine (Yes, I will press while sewing, I promise. Just maybe not ever again, after). I will make my first try from the black flannel, as it was significantly cheaper.

Butterick 3364

I’m thinking I will go with view A for the first shirt after all, as I think the seaming would spice up an otherwise terribly plain shirt. Also I noticed some hand-topstitching on a male co-worker’s shirt (anyone else in this sewalong, are you ogling menswear around you as badly as I am?) today that looked really nice. If it turns out well I might consider something like that—again, it could be a subtle way to jazz up the flannel without trying to appear formal.

I guess I should really get on, y’know, tracing the darned pattern before I get too far ahead of myself, eh?

And on that note, what I thought was going to be a super-quick fabrics post turned into half a book, so I’ll end it here.

*here’s the problem. My hubby, the light of my life, a funny, insane, delightfully stylish man, wears only three colours. Black, white, and denim**. Occasionally a small amount of red or purple, as an accent, is tolerable. Although he really doesn’t like red. He doesn’t even wear grey.

**for him, this is a colour.

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10 Comments

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10 responses to “I want horsehair braid.

  1. Fabricland has hh braid. I had to ask but didn’t buy cause I was too scared. It was near the bias binding, elastic by the metre area.
    My guy loves colour. But he’s Italian so sometimes I actually have to reign him in. “Only 1 gold chain!!”. :) I’m curious to see what he picks out for fabric.
    Did you buy your mens shirt fabric at the fabland?

    • Cool! That’s great to know.

      Yeah, I got it there. It’s the only fabric store that’s even halfway close to me (other than VV ;) ). I still haven’t managed the trek out to the NE to find that non-Fabricland one ;).

  2. CGCouture

    I feel your pain. My hubby has one color….blue. And I think believing that “denim” is a color is a man thing–my hubby is the same way. ;-)

  3. Loved your petticoat by the way! I must get around to making one for my dress, they are a nightmare and I’m putting it off.
    Two thoughts from me re lining: When I use horsehair braid I usually slot it in between the fabric and interlining so it is concealed (or semi-concealed in the case of organza!), so that might be a consideration when deciding whether to line or not. Also a bit of lining between skirt and petticoat prevents the tulle clinging to the fabric, which could be a problem with wool.
    It sounds good whatever it is!

    • I had been wondering about underlining, too, but worried that might be overkill (I love underlining so). But you think it wouldn’t be (overkill, that is)? That’s a good point about the petticoat catching…

      I find I don’t mind the tiered skirts as long as I can mechanically gather the bottom tier… If I can get through that, the rest is a cinch. I did the entire petticoat on Saturday, so it didn’t take too long. ;)

  4. Horsehair braid is super fun. Not that I have a ton of experience, but I think it makes hemming a circle skirt much easier than narrow hemming or ease stitching. My husband is super picky and every shirt he owns is some shade of green. I’m only about one for ten when it comes to picking out clothes for him.

  5. Marie-Christine

    There’s absolutely no reason to line a skirt you intend to wear with a petticoat. And none to throw even more fabric at a project that you know you won’t be wearing a lot. So don’t stress. And yes, I can see how horsehair braid would make the kind of hem you like. See if you can find it online somewhere??

  6. Hm, There might be hope on the ‘sewing for the man in your life’ front. When I started making shirts for my boyfriend there was really only one colour in his wardrobe. Black. He literally lived in black Levi’s 501 and band t-shirts or black shirts. I started sewing in black, but spiced things up a bit with subtle pin stripes or contrast stitching. Then, I moved to muted colours like grey, grey-blue, grey-brown and brown. Last summer, when discussing upcoming shirts while viewing the available cottons in my stash, he surprised me by picking out (not quoted by me!) a burgundy red and a purple.

    • Well, he will do a muted pinstripe… No grey so far. A bit of colour is sometimes allowable in the form of vests, he has asked for a blue one but I haven’t found the perfect fabric yet. I will continue to hold out hope ;)

  7. Sewista Fashionista

    My husband wears tweedy earthy colors, the type I usually pass by in the store. Sometimes I see horsehair braid at fabric stores. Could a local store special order some for you? Would this save you shipping costs?

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