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

Hello from the faraway kingdom of Palm Springs. 

Now that I am here I can disclose I made for DougT a shirt for his next bug convention. By now the attendees expect him to so up each August in a new one. If he arrives in last season’s, there will be talk and my reputation will be ruined.*


This one has cicadas all over it. I think it is rather nasty looking but Someone and DougT disagree. DougT likes it, which is the point.  Notice how the bugs ‘line up’ on the front; I am pleased as punch.

We arrived safe and sound to our resort to find all’s well here. It is ‘bears’ weekend apparently so the town is full up with big burly types.  We were happy to see Leon AKA The Wild One made it in, for last year he was sickly and had to cancel. We had some drinks and gabs before dinner which was a hole in the wall Indian restaurant.

I am certain to disappoint to relate despite it being the first night of a week’s holiday – and a Saturday night at that – we all imploded after the naan and vindaloos were done. We sank like rocks; we were exhausted from travel etc. Some of us were on Eastern Time Zone. So we all went to bed at 8PM. Really.  I slept nearly 10 hours. I had awful dreams sort like being in a Japanese monster movie although there was no Godzilla types.  I shall avoid curried snacks from now on.



*No one bothers about his; his was ruined decades ago.


Ta da! Here is my latest Spo-shirt. Batik fabric is easy to work with as there is no need to precisely line up patterns or keep careful watch on the ‘right side’ up.  I’ve had the fabric for some time. I christened it “Sunflower”. It is probably better for the fall time; I will place it among the Autumn Collection. At 5C it is certainly too cold to wear now.

It is a relief to have a ‘new shirt’ made in time for Palm Springs. I think by now all my holiday-chums know my wardrobe and can spot repeats at a thousand paces. “I so like your blue; I never get tired of seeing it” type remarks.  As you can see I daren’t show up wearing last season’s lest there is talk. 


Last weekend when I wasn’t sleeping or loafing I was sewing. I can not remember when I last touched the sewing machine – months I suppose. I have several shirts projects I should be doing. However, I’ve learned I lose my touch and make mistakes if I don’t keep it up. So I decided to make one as a ‘practice’ prior to hitting the proper ones.


I was pleased as punch to discover not only had I not lost my skill but this one turned out very well. It has almost not ‘glitches’ or bungles. I really like the colors.

Each of my shirts gets a nickname. Will H. of “Willy or Won’t he?” commented it looks like something Marc Chagall would have done. So, it has been christened “The Chagall Shirt”.

I didn’t draw a male name in the annual Spo-family Secret Santa draw.  Too bad no Spo-brother will get it.

On the positive, I can keep it for a Palm Springs debut next February. 🙂


Here is my latest shirt, just completed this morning :


When Someone’s sister died I got several rolls of fabric. We were puzzled why Judy had them for she was not a sewer.  The maroon fabric with its golden leaves sat on the ‘to do someday’ shelf for over a decade – until now. It may be October but it is still warm enough to wear Spo-shirts outdoors. I figured I better get this one done before Halloween when it may be too cold to wear.

It turned out OK. I will think of his sister whenever I wear it. 

I have a few shirts I call ‘The fall collection’:


The “Maple leaf’ Shirt

Orange Batik 1

The “Autumn Sunshine” Shirt


Halloween Yoke.jpg

The Hallow’een Shirt. Its yoke is made from scarps of past projects. 


Now that the Judy Memorial Shirt is complete, I need to get cracking on my Halloween costume. I started to write about it, but it looks to be a good blog-entry by itself. More on this anon. 




Last year I visited PEI, Canada. Thems who live there were well over four feet. I had a splendid time.  No summer holiday is complete without a look-see at a local fabric store. I got myself some whimsical and crustaceous fabric to commemorate my lobster dinner. One of the fine fellows who were the hosts purchased another sort of fabric, light as gossamer, striped blue and white.

Making this shirt was a bitch. The lightness of the fabric and my Viking machine did not get along. Stripes do not allow errors gently, but I persevered. I spend this weekend getting it done; I want him to get the shirt before the summer ends – which in Canada could be any week now.

Despite the tedious trepidations I think it turned out OK-enough. I hope he likes it.

I am saddened I am not returning in August to the faraway Kingdom of Anne of Green Gables for me to deliver it in person. I will have to trust Postes Canada to trek it toot-suite and sans trouble (that means without).

I hope next year to return to PEI and see mon ami happy with his Spo-shirt.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.



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.

Blog Stats

  • 1,770,077 Visitors and droppers-by


September 2020

Spo-Reflections 2006-2018