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Finally! I finished my latest shirt! I’ve been worried some I would not have it completed for Christmas. It turned out well and I am pleased as Punch. For once there weren’t any hiccups. The fabric is a bit thin so wearing it will be a bit chilly without a heavy T-shirt underneath it.

I have a new piece of clothing in time for Christmas. The Yule Cat won’t make a pounce on me now. What a relief!

I haven’t made a shirt in a while. I’ve been focusing on making masks. Then there is a lack of fabric. A fabric has to be pretty awesome to become a Spo-shirt. I forgot where I found this whimsical one. I have only one Halloween Spo-shirt; it’s quite old and by now everyone has seen it several times. So I made me another.

Halloween II (as I call this one) came off without any major errors. It turned out well although I made it a tad too long. Some of my shirts have shrunk (or I have grown) that they are not long enough.

I took this photo before I had sewn on any buttons as I realized I had none – no black ones anyway. I had to go to Joanne’s in the middle of the day to get some. Last week when I walked in the front door I was greeted by Halloween items. Yesterday I walked in and saw- you guessed it – Christmas trimmings. Oh the pain. The only defense I will give them is craft stores usually put out seasonal things early to give folks time to buy and build. Halloween things come out in August, so I should not complain.

The temperature is still warm enough to wear short-sleeve shirt. This year All Hallow’s Eve is on a Sunday, which is not a work day. I will wear the shirt to work a few times between now and the thirty-first. The APA Secret Police will disapprove but I’m now too old or too wise to care tuppence what others think. If the new patients want to write a negative (fashion) review on line, so be it.

I made a shirt.

This one was a commission by Good Mr. Glenn, who hosts a Christmas podcast. If you haven’t heard it, I very much recommend it. He does a charming job telling about Christmas eats and traditions.

This one came out OK. It has a few minor hiccups as all my shirts have, but only a few minor ones; overall it is a fine job. The fabric was a tad heavy, but I think is will be a good thing. Glenn lives in Canada. Short-sleeve Spo-shirts aren’t too insulated.

It is six months to Christmas. Some folks do something called ‘Christmas in July’. As a boy, I was horrified at the notion. Holidays had strict rules. One didn’t do Halloween in spring or Easter the autumn. I am not clear what one does for Christmas in July, if there is anything different about it other than all the trimmings come out albeit six months too early.

Do you do Christmas in July?

I made another Spo-shirt; I call this one ‘Colorful Ferns’.

When I saw the fabric I knew right away it would be make a good shirt. Sometimes a fabulous fabric turns into a less than stellar shirt, but not this time. It is colorful, but not too wild (like my men. The photo doesn’t quite capture the brilliant bold colors. It isn’t so loud I can wear it to work on Fridays without frightening the new patients too much.

I am getting better at getting these done. It was madd in fewer stop-and-go sittings. Although it’s the newest, the shirt is already one of my favorites.

Using the leftover fabric, I made me a mask. Now I have shirt and mask to match.

Alas, Babylon! All dressed up and nowhere to go. The Other Michael is coming in a month’s time and we will see the sights around southern Arizona. The shirt can debut in the far off kingdom of Bisbee.

I made a Spo-shirt! I have not made one since January 2020. Usually I make a few every year, but last year put all my efforts into making masks. Besides, there was nowhere to go to debut the shirts; “All dressed up and nowhere to go”.  With pending warmer weather and some hints of going out this spring, I felt it was time to get back to sewing shirts. 

I forget when and where I got this fabric. Perhaps it was a gift? I grew disinterested in it; this sometimes happens. A fabric seems a good idea at the time but then my moods change. It’s been sitting in a drawer for years until now.

I spent a good part of yesterday trying to figure out what number it is. After reviewing my journals and notes I’ve deduced it is Shirt #114.* Patience above!  I have kept fifty-four of them; the remaining ones were given to friends and relations. 

I am pleased as Punch to report ‘green hibiscus’ turned out well. It has only some minor errors. I was thinking of giving it away after it was made. I would gather names of thems interested into a lottery. Now I am having selfish second doubts, for it fits me quite well. Maybe I will wear it at least once before it goes out. 



*Shirt #1 was made in 2002. Some of the earlier ones have been ‘retired’ as they are rawther worn-out. I cannot get myself to throw them out. 



There is a sub-set category of Spo-shirts called ‘The Yoke” Collection’. They are plain-colored garments (if you want to call bright primary colors ‘plain’) with quilted yokes and pockets. The yokes are made from scraps of previous projects; they are an encyclopedia of my industry. I can look at them and remember what shirt or quilt was made for whom.

Last March I started a purple one only to put it away in a drawer for six months to focus on making masks.

Yesterday I finally finished it:

It turned out well – but there are two problems:

#1 – All dressed up and nowhere to go! I debut a new shirt at ‘Happy Hour’ or while on holiday. I make an ingress while channeling my inner-Musetta only to make everyone turn their heads my way and be mad-jealous by my ensemble which of course never happens. I should put it away for the time it is safe to go somewhere.

#2 – Dammit it doesn’t fit well! My present physique is nothing like it was last March.Oh the embarrassment! Oh the shame! It needs a lot of work before I feel comfortable wearing it.


For newer Spo-fans, here are photos of the previous Yoke shirts.


I haven’t posted in awhile but I’ve been a busy buster. At work I’ve had a few ‘firsts’: Thursday last I saw no at-office patients but did them all via telephone and video. On Friday I worked from home. I have never done either. The experience is worth a blog entry but not right now.

Yesterday the CDC announced when have to go out we should all wear a mask. There are no proper masks to be found of course and what is available ought to go to folks who really need them like medical personnel and grocery store employees. So what’s a person to do under these circumstances?  It was suggested to ‘make your own’. Who knew my mania for shirt making – and a big bag of scraps – not only would come in handy but be life saving? * Last night when I should have been sleeping I downloaded a pattern for the New York Times and got to work…..



The initial one is rather crude but it is a run through to get me aquatinted with what do and how to adjust them to fit etc.  I usually am a stickler for detail but I’ve decided to literally cut corners to speed up production. 

I have lots of fabric in all sorts of fabulous colours and pattens; we are going to be in the height of fashion.


Who else can boast having shirts and masks to match? Suffer Gucci !


Someone and I have a basic set of two each: one for wearing and the one for the wash. I am on a mission now to make as many masks as possible. I plan to start with the folks who need them the most: thems who are elderly and out in the public like my parents and our favorite cashier at Uncle Albertsons.  Then – make as many as who wants one. 

After this all ends the masks can be used as impromptu jock straps. 


*I am a big believer in throwing out useless and rubbish items but I haven’t had the heart to discard my bags of fabric scraps. Over the years several large black trash bags have accumulated in the closest.  Sometimes hoarding pays off. 

Blue yoke II c

It has been a while since I last made a shirt. Well, here’s one.  Blue Yoke II.  I looked it up: this is Shirt #110 ! 50% are made for others; the other 50% I keep as my pride and joy hoard.

Once upon a time I made a navy blue shirt whose yoke was a quilt of scrapes from previous shirts and projects. A photo of it is today’s header. It was sort of an encyclopedia of my industry; I could look at the various bits and remember where it came from. Alas Babylon! I lost it! It is the only shirt I’ve lost.  I believe I left it in a hotel room when attending a conference in New Orleans. I’ve been meaning to make another. A yoke shirt requires more thought and more work. Indeed after I made the quilt I couldn’t remember how to sew it into the shirt! I had to look up an old pattern I haven’t used in ages.  But it was finally done and not too bad either. Like its predecessor the back is a quilt of project remnants.

Blue yoke II e


For thems interested: starting at the upper row and going left to right:

Flies: Doug T.

Yellow retro ;  Larry H.

Palm tree on pink: Scott J.

Brown bits: George M.

Butterfly: the late Cajun from Delaware

Parrot: Tim C.

Dr. Who: Erik R.

Astronomy: Ron T.

Grawlix : Larry H. (again)

Tsunami wave: Laurence B.

Dachshunds: William H.

Red/green frond bit: Richard S.

The other squares are from shirts I kept for myself. 🙂


Hope I don’t lose this one !




Well! I made a shirt last weekend and I forget to post it!  This one is made from a fabric that had blue and green colors looking like they were applied by a paint roller. I got me a few yards and cut away the white edges; I made the pieces into this hodge-podge design. It is like no other Spo-shirt I’ve made so far. I like it. I wore it to work today and it got several compliments. I will take it to Santa Fe tomorrow. Perhaps I will wear it to the Santa Fe Opera’s production of “La Boheme”. Suffer, Musetta! 


One of my pending holiday companions wants to make his Palm Springs ingress dressed in the height of Spo-fashion; he asked me to make for him a new shirt. ‘Send me three yards of fabulous fabric’ I instructed him. He sent some – and this is the end product.

I’m pleased as punch it turned out well Usually there is a hiccup or blemish but this one did not have such. It is shirt #109 – can you imagine?

The pattern was peculiar to me. I thought to enter it as “The punctuation shirt”.  A few Facebook comments got me to connect the dots and have a revelation: it is a grawlix shirt!

Grawlix (n.) : a series of typographical symbols used in text as a replacement for profanity. Example:  @#$%&! 

I don’t know if this is my friend’s intent; he is not known for his salty lexicon. I merely hope it fits and he likes it.

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June 2022

Spo-Reflections 2006-2018