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Digital Ambassador Peter Lappin Moves On—but Doesn’t Move Away

Peter Lappin. Photo: Jack Deutsch.

Digital Ambassador Peter Lappin has shared his sewing journey and expertise through posts at ThreadsMagazine.com for the last three years. He also joined Sewing With Threads podcasts, answered questions from the Threads audience, and continually inspired us to sew. Now, he’s stepping away from his Threads digital ambassador role. He says he wants to recharge creatively and figure out where he’ll focus his energy next.

Sewing will surely be part of his next phase, and his creative pause won’t last long. He’s already delving further into shirtmaking. This time, he’s investigating the Cooper collar, popularized by Hollywood screen star Gary Cooper (1901–1961). It combines the collar and collar stand in one piece, Peter explains. Keep up with this collar and Peter’s future stitching adventures on his blog, Male Pattern Boldness and via Instagram, @PeterLappin.

Shirtmaking expert

In 2020, Peter authored and modeled for his Threads magazine feature, “Foolproof Collar Buttonholes.”

Digital Ambassador Peter Lappin wearing a shirt and vest he made
Photo: Jack Deutsch

It’s just one of the shirtmaking topics he addressed in his Threads pieces. Previously, he explained how to create a professional shirt collar and shirt hem, how to add style lines to a men’s shirt, and offered ways to update the look of a men’s shirt.

Peter says he learned a lot while writing his most recent post on how to create channels for collar stays in a men’s dress shirt. He calls the stays a good alternative to adding heavy interfacing to a dress shirt collar for shape and stability.

Collar Stay Channel created by Peter Lappin
Peter Lappin shows how to create channels for collar stays in one of his posts.


Vintage machine aficionado

Peter’s posts also fed our appreciation for vintage sewing machines and tools. He wrote about the treadle machine, the straight-stitch machine, and vintage buttonhole attachments, in addition to using vintage garment patterns.

“Almost everybody has a connection to a vintage sewing machine, even if they sew on a modern machine,” Peter says. “They are beautiful and reflect the time they were built.”

Close-up of Peter Lappin's treadle machine
Peter Lappin says his treadle machine gets lots of compliments for its good looks, but it also produces beautiful stitches.

Mechanical machines simply don’t go out of style. “There are people who still own them and use them and recognize how good they still are,” he adds.

Vintage pattern lover

In an occasional “Patterns of the Past” series, he walked through using, and sometimes modifying, patterns to make an Italian collar shirt, men’s vest, and classic newsboy cap.

Peter Lappin wears a classic newsboy cap he made
Peter Lappin wrote a post on sewing a newsboy cap from a commercial pattern. He shares sewing tips and construction improvements he made along the way.

A sewing challenge

Perhaps the military parka pattern he tried out last year influenced his decision to take a break. The pattern, detailed in a Japanese pattern book from his collection, “was really fun” and “it really felt like an adventure,” he says. It was complicated, though.

“I had no idea where it was going,” he says, but he remained committed to completing the project. The hood on this parka took three days of focused work to finish, he says. See more about the parka in his post, “The Creative Possibilities of Panel Prints,” and on his blog.

Even after the parka challenge, Peter is excited about sewing. “I think the most fun part is when you have made your choice of pattern and you’ve got the fabric and you have committed to the project,” he says. “It’s really fun just to get going.”

Photos: courtesy of Peter Lappin, except where noted.



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