You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Sewing’ category.

Last year I visited blogger buddies Will and Laurent who live on a faraway enchanted island, which, in the native tongue, translates as Prince Edward. It is ruled by Her Austere Majesty The Childlike Empress Anne. The dreamy and fanastical island has many lovely things, but one of its best is their lobster. I had a marvelous lobster feast there one evening.

I try to get souvenir fabric wherever I travel and PEI was no exception.

IMG_5185

This  whimsical shirt (just finished!) reminds me of my trip. I usually don’t hesitate to wear my wares in public, but I worry I will be mistaken for a waiter in a seafood restaurant and people will ask me for buns and things. On the other hand mio camsio es muy bonito for future PEI lobster dinners. I won’t have to wear a bib.

IMG_5150

Sean Breen (the dear!) is crackers for giraffes. He requested a Spo-shirt ‘with lots of giraffes” so here it is and just in time for his birthday. The shirt went relatively quick. Normally I make a shirt in bits and pieces in a stop-and-go time span, but this on was created in one weekend. Sean sent an email today to say the garment arrived safe and sound and he is pleased as punch with it. Another successful endeavor.

He’s now in debt to buy me a beer or bear my first child or something.

Giraffe 1.jpg

It seems only yesterday I made a similar shirt for Ron (another dear!).  I don’t understand this mania for giraffes but hey whatever floats your boat.

Spo-fans can vote on which shirt best captures the ur-text of giraffe-ness.

I draw the line at aardvarks.

IMG_4790.jpg

The annual winter holiday is only a week away and there is work to be done! The first task is always make a new shirt. Imagine showing up in Palm Springs with last year’s creations! Oh the scandal; there would be talk.*

I completed sewing on the buttons of this lovely, shirt #102 or something, which I christened ‘Turtle Shirt”.  It was suggested to me to create a camisa using warm colours, pastels, and subtle earth-tones. Ha. Fat chance of that. I go for color, bold, loud, and cool – like my men.  I think this is one of my ‘loudest’ shirts. I just hope it doesn’t cause too many headaches.

This year’s drama personae include DougT and Leon AKA the Wild One, with Larry H. and Tim C. They are all fine fellows, many of them ex-bloggers, and all well over four feet. Larry and Tim have never been to CA, so they should be dazzled by the chatoyance of Palm Springs.
Other fine fellows, also well over four feet but who are blogging still, will make cameo appearances: Ron T and his intrepid sidekick Pat, and (the dear!) Fearsome Beard will appear to provide dignity and gravitas to an otherwise party of depravity.

Throughout the week I will slowly gather items vital for a proper and successful winter holiday.  The bricolage of ragtags include:

Books and Kindle

Shirts for days

Bottles of proper gin and scotch (no rubbish)

Cryptic Crossword puzzles and a sharpened pencil
Whatever my angst about preparing for the debacle, I need not worry about the wardrobe. The last time I looked I have approximately fifty Spo-shirts from which to choose. I need only bring these and a bathing suit. Come to think of it I don’t really need the bathing suit.  That’s one less thing to bring and makes room for another bottle of bourbon.

 

*Actually there is always talk. Lots of it. A week in Palm Springs with chums is quite the chinwag.

img_4727

Behold! Shirt #101 is concluded! 

I bought this fabric some years ago when I was visiting Honolulu. The pattern looked fabulous and it captured the ur-text of the place. The fabric sat on the shelf for years until I finally got around to tackling the ticklish task of how to properly line up the front.

It turned out well; the front lines up well enough. I fear the shirt is a bit small. On the positive, I have a new frock for February’s winter holiday. On the negative I need to lose some weight pronto to fit into it. Imagine showing up in Palm Springs looking pudgy! Oh, the horror! Oh, the talk!

The red matches my eyes.

 

IMG_4606.jpg

Behold! I have made another shirt. 

This awful thing is a Christmas gift; it is certainly not for me. Sooner I’d eat rats in Tewkesbury than wear this monstrosity. But it is a very special shirt:

MSU Shirt is #100: I have made one hundred shirts. 

What an achievement; what a milestone.

What started as a dare many years ago (“Why don’t you make your own shirts?”) evolved into a pleasurable hobby. In time I’ve taught myself how to do my own trousers, makes quilts, and alter clothing. I have the quiet satisfaction of an autodidact.  Mastery makes a man feel good about himself.

By wearing my creations when I travel – and to The Spo-shirt charity tour- I have made international friends, some of them are now dear blogger buddies. I am so grateful for this.

My shirt list tells me I have possess 48 of the 100 made, and the other 52 were given to others. Many of the recipients are well over four feet. Only a few shirts have ‘disappeared’; I don’t know the whereabouts of the recipients. Happily nearly all Spo-shirt owners remain in touch. It gives me a myriad of warm fuzzies knowing they have a piece of me.

I hope the MSU horror is well received at Christmas. I think it will be. It is one of a kind. I will put away the sewing machine for awhile, but only for a little while. I have a lot of projects waiting in 2017.

I wish could don every Spo-fan with one, for the delight it would give me to see everyone in bright bold colours of my industry. Perhaps in time I will.

The Board of Directors Here at Spo-Reflections – or so I am told – sent a text message telling me my recent posts were ‘too doleful and disconsolate”; please write something more cheerful. I am dubious as The Board a) doesn’t know how to text and b) couldn’t spell doleful or disconsolate to save their life.  I suspect they got The Norns to send the message for them. Whoever it was, they have a point. It’s time to lighten things up.

I have a lot of Spo-shirts in various stages. Todd sent his back for alterations and I have several in various stages:

img_4382

I’ve promised Kelly this rainbow shirt for what seems like ages. It should be completed by this weekend. I like the yoke and pocket combination; I hope he does as well. 

 

img_4383

This one is for Urs Truly; it will be done soon after I finish Kelly’s shirt. The fabric has irregular bars and stripes. I am particular proud of the pocket for the bars line up with the ones on the front. It reminds me of Crate&Barrel furniture. 

 

img_4384

This one is actually finished ! I need to pop it in the post for the man who requested it. I made it extra long, apropos for giraffe types.

 

img_4386

Every year friend Doug debuts a new shirt at his bug convention- except this year when he wore a repeat. There was talk. I better get cracking lest that fashion faux repeat itself next summer.  He recently sent me this moth-eaten fabric. I suspect the moths are genuine. He will be the toast of town. Think of an actress on the red carpet with a designer dress on her back with the press in hot pursuit. 

 

img_4387

Here are three fabulous fabrics for future features. 

Unfortunately the nephew ended up going to That Other School in Michigan; I better get another three yards more apropos. 

The lobster and blue striped fabrics were bought in Prince Edward Island.

Laurent wants the blue one.

I don’t know who gets the lobster but I may keep it for myself. The red matches my eyes.

IMG_4149

Last February in celebration of the tenth anniversary of Spo-reflections I had a lottery to make some lucky Spo-fan a shirt.  Todd G. (the dear!) was the winner.  He wanted a ‘train shirt’. He sent me some fabric and I got going – sort of. The shirt took a long time.

You could say I got off track.

I was challenged as it was ‘custom made’: I combined a few patterns to make it so. Halfway through I changed directions. The project was a stop-and-go endeavor, not unlike a slow moving train.

At one point I fancied making the shirt backwards thus putting the cow-catchers on the back end, for at the rate I was going I wasn’t going to catch any cows. But there wasn’t anything to prevent them from climbing on board at the rear.

However it is finally concluded. Someone popped it in the post earlier this week and by now Todd has it. I sure hope the shirt fits and he is satisfied.

 

IMG_4157

One reason the train shirt was so slow to leave the station was I was making another shirt at the same time. A few years ago I bought some orange/yellow batik fabric. I tucked it away only to lose interest. As is sometimes the case, the finished project looks better than the fabric. This one compliments my collection for I don’t one of this colour.

I was considering giving it to somebody/anybody, but I decided to keep it for myself after all.

 

 

IMG_3816

I made another shirt. This one is a commission/request from Spo-fan Raven. He and I worked together to find the right fabric, he sent it, and off I went to work. At times the shirt felt cursed; almost everything had an impediment.  At one point I had to make the decision to take it all apart in order to redo the collar.  However it came out OK. The pocket is a little off-center. All my shirts have a ‘quirk’ to them. His texts convey he is happy. Off it goes this week.

DTR3

Yesterday I spent some time frantically looking for a Spo-shirt only to realize I had given it away. Oops. It is an ill wind that blows nobody good, for it prompted me to do an inventory of what’s been made and who has what. If I may be so bold as to compare my sewing to artistry, I know of artists who keep a careful catalog of what they make and where their work goes.  Others make’em and leave it to Fate.  I love a list, so I decided to make one. It was a bit of a treasure hunt and logic puzzle deducing such. In the end it wasn’t really hard to do. I have photos; I have blog and journal entries. Like jigsaw puzzle pieces they were put together into a pastiche.  Actually, it was jolly good fun.

On my bucket list is to make 100 shirts. It turns out I have made 90.  I have 44. The other 46 were given away as gifts. That’s ~ 50% kept and 50% given.  I now know the who has what Shirt. Alas there are five shirts ‘lost’ to me; they were made for friends who have disappeared. (1)

Most keepers of Spo-shirts have one shirt. However, ten have more than one. The ‘record’ is DougT who has six shirts.(2)

My shirt rack is sagging with foudroyant fabric of forty four shirts. In 2016 I plan to be picky as to what I make for myself. Future fabrics must be fabulous – no rubbish.

Perhaps I need to consider throwing old ones out. These oldsters are ‘retired’ as they are faded, dog-eared, and frankly not made well compared to later creations. They are at a proverbial ‘B” table, hanging in the guest room closet. I seldom wear them but neither I can’t get myself to throw them out.  I see them as old and faithful servants who have worked hard and deserve to rest.

I don’t quite recall when I made my first shirt (3) but as a hobby (or artistic expression) I have not lost the joy. Hobbies should be fun, and this one remains so. I hope if/when I grow bored with sewing I will feel guilt-less to put it down. But  hat doesn’t seem to be the case yet.  I have ten shirts to go to reach one hundred.  Maybe there were be one hundred more. Who can say.

3shirts

 

(1) I admit I am more sad about the loss of the contact with shirts than the loss of the friends. But that’s the risk of given things away.

(2) His are all butterflies and bugs. DougT attends an annual convention of bug-nuts. He has to have a new gown each year, lest there is talk.

(3) I recall I was living in Ann Arbor at the time, so the circa is 2000-2005.  I should pull out my journals as figure this out precisely.

Addendum: thank goodness for my journals!  I found this:

9 February 2002  “I started my shirt sewing project with the Key West blue trial pattern. The parts [paper pattern] are cut out; fabric is washed. Ready for pins and cutting. I need someone to show me how to use a sewing machine.”

6 April 2002  “I have finished the shirt – resewing the R sleeve, fixing the collar, sew [sic] on the pocket, cut button holes. It only needs the buttons. It has puckers and wrinkles and crooked seams, but I am so pleased with it. Next shirt will be so much easier and better. How nice to end on Easter. “

 

IMG_3532

This entry isn’t long, profound, or witty’; it is merely another “shirt post”.

I friend of Chinese heritage requested a Spo-shirt for his birthday.  He says cranes are good luck; he wished for a shirt ‘with cranes’. I think this suffices.

I hope he has lots of luck.

IMG_3534

As a thank you he offered me a good bottle of bourbon or to take us to China in 2017.  What a deal.

Blog Stats

  • 1,467,880 Visitors to Spo-land

Categories

May 2017
S M T W T F S
« Apr    
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031  

Spo-Reflections 2006-2016