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The 2014 journal informs me I made ten shirts last year.* Eight of them were made for a specific somebody or given away on impulse. I wonder if Mr. Lauren or Mr. Hilfiger feels like I do about their design-wear: there is a simple satisfaction men are out and about in ‘my label’. I need to verify this, but I believe I’ve made eighty shirts in total, most of them for people well over four feet. Last night I took inventory of shelf o’fabrics to see what trends lies ahead for the 2015 Spo collection.



Friend Joel is coming to town in March for his annual go-out-of-Chicago spring holiday. He requested this fabric; it has whimsical ersatz Tarot cards on it.  As he asked for it last March I better get it done!



Another request comes from blogger buddy Sandy. He has an appentence for orange. He sent me this orange lovely. When finished, it goes to Australia. I will have the honor of having my first shirt ‘down under’.



Lurking in the back of the fabric shelf is this lovely item. I recall I bought it for a Canadian but then he lost interest in the thing. So it is an ‘orphan’ fabric. Once made I will give it to someone north of the border, if I can find a willing recipient. It is slightly indecorous for Canuck-wear.



Doris (the dear!) sent me this fabric some time ago. I’ve been stalling on it as its pattern is quite large. I think an XL-XXL shirt is warranted to do the pattern half justice. It will probably be made into a shirt first and then I will figure out for whom.



Sometime I buy something only to lose interest in it. This green hibiscus pattern is a good example. It’s not a bad. I think it is just outgoing enough for my taste. I like them bright, bold, and wild – like my men.



Finally, these geckos are jolly good fun. I may keep this one for my own.  Or not. I’ve learned some of the fun in shirt making is discovering what happens to them. Ya never know!


*Not bad, either !


Spo-fans know when I complete a shirt I like to post its photo; I like to display my industry.

This ‘retro-style’ colorful cloth made a nifty shirt indeed. In it, I have a fancy to smoke a pipe, grill red meat, and vote for Eisenhower.

I was going to make it for “somebody” –  I didn’t know who, but (alas) it has a few errors.  One was blatant enough (to me anyway) I don’t want to give it to anyone, lest they spot the blemishes – and there goes my good Henley Street name.  So I will keep it myself, although it is a tad too big in the shoulders.
I am relieved to have a new frock for Someone reminds me  we go to Palm Springs this Friday.

Imagine showing up in PS in last year’s outfits?  How gauche.





I made this shirt for a chum who has a couple of dachshunds. Dachshunds are curious curs, low and long, with very short legs, sort of like parentheses turned the wrong way. Owners of the breed are very fond of them. I worry though; I fear they are structurally weak. I’ve had enough engineering training to think badger-hounds would be more sturdy if between the bow and stern legs they had installed a third set amid-ship.

I am pleased the dachshunds on the shirt ‘line up’ when the fronts are buttoned. I hope the recipient enjoys the shirt. He is a proper gentleman; I fear a silly shirt like this may be not his style. Perhaps he will sense a loss of dignity to appear in public looking so. I may have to persuade him going on dog-walks while wearing this shirt will make him the talk of the town.


Here’s another one. It’s mandatory I post a picture, for it keeps a catalog of my industry.  This one is a pastiche of Japanese prints. It has cranes, flowers, fans – even a tsunami – but (alas!) no Godzilla or ramen.  I won’t keep this one; it is destined for a chum whom we will see next month when we are in Canada.  As usual, I fret a little it’s too small or too short (the shirt, not the chum). But the worst case scenario is merely I have to make another one.

Soup update:  Yesterday I made gazpacho (thanks Damienscot!!)  I will find out today if it is any good.  I realized I am ‘out of practice’ in my cooking skills. I need a ‘refresher course’ on how to chop vegetables quickly and efficaciously.  Perhaps I merely need practice. Anyway it was jolly good fun being in the kitchen preparing something special. I hope the soup turns out well, for I will be eating it for a week there is so much of it.  Someone won’t touch it, for he is not fond of gazpacho. Gazpacho always makes me smile thanks to the movie “Women on the verge of a nervous breakdown“.  See it if you haven’t; you won’t ever eat gazpacho again without grinning.


While pursuing the pages of the bow tie club catalog for the must-have-or-perish items, I discovered a new and amazing service: for a modest fee they will convert my long ties into bow ties. I merely have to pop ’em in the post and lo! a few week later they come back after a metamorphisis into a higher and better state of being: a self-tie bow tie. My eyes widened as if I had encountered a brilliant sunrise. What a great notion! Never one to be patient, I immediate went to the closet to see what was available.
I have a half-dozen or so long ties, which are worn on those occasions when my fingers can’t seem to tie a bow.**  Someone has a drawer full of long ties, which he hasn’t worn in ages.  So there are many choices.  Apotheosis tailoring is possible for all of them, but mind! The patterns best for a bow are small, exquisite, and repetitive (like my men).  Long ties have more florid large patterns. Many of them would not make good bows.  In the end I found 6-8 long ones neither one of us ever wear but if translated would be fab and functional. I must consult Someone though for his blessing. People are funny this way: they haven’t used something in a long while but when you confront them to be rid of said white elephant they bristle with possessive ferocity.


Alas, the bow tie club is closed on Saturdays so there was no one to ask the more pressing question if I sent them cuts of cotton cloth, can these be transformed into a tie?  I have a St. Nick size bag of scraps from years of sewing spo-shirts.  Oh! to have a series of spo-ties!

As I write this it strikes me I could probably make my own ties either from the silk long ones or the cotton scraps. Just what I need: another hobby! I will see what the good folks in Vermont say when I call them next week.



If it is a bust, then you may hear from Urs Truly I’ve embarked on a new mission to convert all to bowtieism.


bowties are cool


** I know six knots, which is a skill quite wasted.  Alas there is only one way to tie a bow tie.


Here’s another one

I call this my ‘bear’ shirt, for it has the colours of the bear community/flag.  The fabric is a bit too heavy for summertime; it would make a good shirt for the autumn given the colours.

A FB friend pointed out the red is next to the black, which means apparently I am not a poisonous snake but a harmless one. In a way I am disappointed. 🙂

$(KGrHqJ,!lgFHPLvUVbwBR70H,wnz!~~60_35I won’t be sewing for the next four weeks; the machine is at the repair shop. There is nothing wrong with it.  It dawned on me I’ve been using it continually (more or less) for years, maybe a decade, and it has never been serviced.

A few weeks ago I went to the Viking devision of the local Joanne’s for a consultation.

The lady-in-charge nearly swooned when she heard my tale. Apparently they ought to be cleaned and oiled on a regular basis. If there was a children protection service for abusive or negligent sewing machine owners, I’d be in Tent City by now wearing pink under drawers and being Sheriff Joe’s bitch.


I took the machine in and the lady (a bit dotty) took down my information. Apparently I never knew my machine had a subset name “Daisy”.  I always referred to it as “Viking”. This is like saying you drive a “Honda” but never “an Accord”.  “Daisy”, as the nameless device is now christened, is now in the shop for approximately 5-6 weeks. That seems a long time for a simple “COA” which is sewing code for “Clean, Oil, and Adjust”.  Alas, I am assured that is the waiting period. I thought to explain as a man and doctor at that I was entitled to be “first in line”, but I was prudent and said no such thing.


Soon I was back at home with a bag containing the foot pedal, the plastic slip cover, and the sundry feet and bobbins.  I am bereft of a machine until May.


This doesn’t mean I can’t do anything. I have plenty of fabric to measure and cut. I can get ready any number of shirts for Daisy’s return.

It looks a bit odd, not seeing it there, upon the counter in the family room.  I wonder if I will go through withdrawal or soon wonder why on earth was I sewing shirts in the first place.

This is a short one. By the time this is published I will be leaving on a jet plane due south over the border to the Land of Tequila and crosswords puzzles. 


This one is for Someone. The shirt isn’t loud or bright like my usual ones; he likes warmer quieter colours.  I wanted to make him a shirt, and I figured if I used fabric like this he just might wear it.

Someone doesn’t care for my shirts. He prefers silk to cotton. His aloha style shirts are made by Tommy Bahama.  I have made nearly eighty shirts; Someone has three. He never wears the first two. The first is too plain and I daresay not too well made.  The second is too loud and gaudy for his taste.

I hope this third one (like Goldilocks) is ‘just right’ and he will wear it.



Just a quick post; we have opera tickets this evening.

I promise, promise to get to my blog reads by the end of the weekend.

I finished this shirt today; it is for my trip to PV in two week’s time.   It turned out well-made; I was pleased with some improvements. Mostly I like the colour. I likes them loud, colorful, and attractive – like my men.

Shall I say, I am fishing for a compliment with this one? 



I made a holiday habiliment, and just in time for Christmas.

“I made me shirt, what a great Grinchy trick!
With this hat and this shirt I’ll look just like St. Nick! “

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