Shirty saturday

There is something very bleargh about January and February that seems to make me incapable of doing anything really creative.

So instead I made shirts!

i cut my way through the fabric mountain that somehow accumulated in my room( there are still about twenty bundles of cut shirts on my desk) and allowed myself some brainless sewing machine time. I’m three Christmas presents up on next Christmas already and I can’t decide if that’s totally sad or a little bit awesome.


Hes getting this one for valentines so he’s got time to wear it for Easter. I wanted to make Gareth an Easter shirt last year but just couldn’t find the right fabrics, then I ran across this in summer. I love the brown and teal combination, and that it’s hares rather than bunnies. Hares are just manlier than bunnies, and they’re posing in a manly heraldic fashion.

I’m just hoping the buttons, which are vintage ones from ebay, survive the washing machine- they were a lot more expensive the the real daffies I got him at the start of January when the garden centre reduced massive ten kilo sacks to two quid.


He needed a science shirt, that will be for valentines too. Plus, I learnt about loads of new elements that have appeared on the periodic table since I did o level chemistry. Who says sewing isn’t educational?


This is his third kitty shirt. Because a man cannot have to many kitty shirts there’s a fourth one cut out as well, with grey kitties.

this fabric was a market find. He likes these shirts made from heavy upholstery canvas for when he’s outdoors as they hold back the wind. I’m sometimes not sure about the visually heavy black collars ( this is a pair of his old black jeans cut to fray over time, if anyone knows where to get proper black denim by the metre please tell) but he loves them. They look a bit 1950s to me.

it has plain black cat buttons that were impossible to photograph.


This one almost didn’t happen. I’d seen the fabric in leeds market several times and loved it, but I thought it would be too flowery for him. Then fir some reason he came with me one day, picked it off the rack and went potty for it.

its got old jeans for the collar again, and I couldn’t find tulip buttons so he picked the mackintosh roses. I had to finish this one because he wants to wear it for the spring flower show.


He hasn’t worn the walking dead one with cast pewter skulls yet ( his birthday was last Thursday) but he’s already had fun with it. A lot of the nerds on the carnivorous plant forum are extremely jealous of the photo he posted. I had to explain that just because he’s the cool one amongst the plant nerds that doesn’t mean he’s actually cool by normal standards.


I really just bought this fabric because I like it so much. A lot of the Star Wars fabrics are a bit gaudy, but I love how subtle this one is- I have a thing about maps and blueprints.


We both love this fabric, which is meant to be for Halloween. I think the fact it’s a digital print makes it look a bit edgier. Gareth has insisted I make an identical shirt for someone else for Christmas though, and I had a devil of a time tracking down more fabric because it seems to have gone out of print. I stopped in Whitby on my way home from working in Scarborough because I’d seen some on the market there, but Whitby was pretty much closed whilst the swing bridge was being maintained. Luckily  I found the market manager and left a note for the fabric lady, who rang me up and then sent out her last piece.


He chose his new steampunk shirt to wear on his birthday because he liked the two fabrics striped together on the sleeves and back.

the clock buttons down the front are the same ones I used on the doctor who shirts last year, but because they were the last that duttons had I used two larger ones on the cuffs. I really liked the vintage cuff link look of them.

i also bought him a spotty cat rug. The boys have been taking turns to claim it.



~ by opusanglicanum on February 13, 2016.

23 Responses to “Shirty saturday”

  1. I would consider that amount of sewing enormously creative! I can manage about 2 hours before I start making mistakes and have to go and do something else.
    Signed up for the opus course. I want to do a panel rather than a purse, and am thinking about what I might want to do. What proportion of the whole would you recommend in gold?

    • I never work for more than an hour on one thing at a time, which is why I normally have a machine project and some hand sewing or embroidery on the go at the same time so I can swap between the two.

      We are going to spend the first session focusing on design, but if you’re thinking in advance I’d say no more than 25% as the goldwork can get tedious. I’m going to set a tiny split stitch kit as practice/homework between the first two sessions so you can play a bit

  2. Oh, lovely daffy buttons. Gareth is one lucky bloke!

  3. You have done an incredible amount of sewing! And I love all those shirts- you are so lucky to have a gent who will wear things like that. Mine won’t wear anything but a bloody t-shirt.

    • It’s actually surprising how many men like the shirts. When I first made Gareth a Mötley Christmas shirt I thought all the men in my family were going to tease him rotten about wearing it, but instead they all put in orders for one, even my extremely conservative uncle demanded one

  4. And if you have moments of smug when the Christmas crazies hit and you contemplate the present accomplished pile you will be entirely justified – and an object of envy by the harassed multitudes.
    I love the Tulip shirt. Makes me think of the 17th century Dutch still life paintings -if you ever find a butterfly pin -or a caterpillar ….

    • There’s always something I forget though.

      They are exactly the right kind of broken tulips for the whole tulip madness thing, you probably can’t see it but there’s a very subtle black/ grey rococo pattern on the background as well

  5. I love the spotty cat rug! Where did you find it?

    >I’m three Christmas presents up on next Christmas already and I can’t decide if that’s totally sad or a little bit awesome.

    Definitely awesome – imagine the lack of stress you will feel in November/December if you keep this up.

  6. Wow, and that’s not creative how…? Roses fabric is my favourite – I think it’s the subtle botanical text book text behind that makes it a bit more edgy.

  7. What a fabulous pile of shirts! Gareth is a lucky boy!

  8. For me it’s awesome to even think about Christmas presents before it’s summer, so you’re definitely awesome for having finished three Christmas presents in February.

    I agree with you, the Star Wars fabric you used is great because it’s so subtle and doesn’t scream “fandom stuff” all over the place.

  9. That Gareth is one lucky dog. These are amazing and beautiful!! Great job on finding those special fabrics.

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