Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Careful Execution of B's Birthday Shirt

I am presently working on a shirt for B for his 34th birthday. I found some awesome vintage Asian print fabric at the local Habitat for Humanity (where I find tons of good vintage patterns, notions, fabric, and even my $10 machine!), and I knew it was destined to be fashioned into a gift for my husband. When I met him, he had kimonos and Asian art adorning the walls of his home, and he ate often with chopsticks, which he deemed "more efficient" than other utensils. The fabric, which was probably less than a yard and not so very wide, presented a problem as to what I could reasonably expect to make with it. At first I thought I would make some boxers, but I didn't even know if I would have enough fabric to sew skivvies, and it seemed a waste of a fabric that should be seen by others. I decided to try and make a shirt, and I figured that I would have enough fabric for at least the front panels. I ordered a vintage pattern online, and in the meantime on one of my frequent thrifting trips I found a vintage western style pattern for a men's shirt, and a new idea was born. Here is what it looks like so far:

The shirt as modeled by my fly duct tape dress form
Here is the back view:

I know the back looks funny at the yoke border on the top, but I made it my priority to get these attractive Asian folks on the back panel, so I didn't worry about that. I'm sure it'll be fine. One exciting thing about making this shirt is that the pattern calls for moderately nice finishing on the inside, so I will be learning how to do flat felled seams, and I have already slip stitched the panel that holds the buttons along the back edge. I am going slowly and working carefully to make this a quality garment. I will be posting more photos as I make progress and upon completion.
    On a side note, I started thinking about garment construction, sewing, and quality, and how they apply to and effect the importance of one's wardrobe in the modern era. To translate my spaced out thoughts, what I mean is that I think clothing is made (in general) so crappily now, and it is so generic, that many of us have little care for our clothing- we buy it, we use it as it suits, and we donate it without a second thought. In days past, people used to maintain a wardrobe, care for items and clean, mend and store them properly. Then when they were finished with these things, they were often passed down the line to a waiting family member who was perhaps even thrilled to receive them. I have at least one special article of clothing that belonged to my mother when she was young, and I have gloves that belonged to my grandmother-in-law as well as many of her linens. I value them as they were valued by their former owners, and though I try to actually use these items, I try to keep them in good shape as well. End of tangent!
   In other farm news, our peppers seem to be the thing this year as they were last year. In a totally untended garden, the peppers are beautiful, crisp and colorful. Everything around them has died or gone to seed.
   Well, I need to get going- there is always so much to do! I wish I had back all that time that I wasted as a teenager (not to be a teenager again though, UGH!). Oh, and I have 15 of 24 dresses completed (4 more are in progress), with about 10 days left to work. Wish me the stamina to finish them! So long!


Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping at Farmhouse Garden! I love to hear from you...