The surprise seaside shirt

I first saw this fabric on a sale day at Lady Sew n Sew in Henley. Needless to say, true to style it was not actually IN the sale (as was nothing else that I bought that day) but I loved it on sight. I did look at all the fabrics in the sale but sadly none of them ‘sang’ to me and so I couldn’t resist buying non sale stuff. I think my genetic code veers towards expensive. Obviously my chromosomes have tastes waaay beyond my means. I am learning to live with it!

Anyway, I bought three metres of this lovely off white cotton with a print of tiny seaside houses and a lighthouse … as for once I knew immediately what it was destined to be.

After much deliberation on the pattern front (I am still desperately seeking the perfect men’s shirt without too much hand stitching but with a collar stand) I settled on McCalls 6044 … a pretty standard men’s shirt with stand collar but controversially no yoke! Hmm, I’m not sure I’d make this version again … the sleeve line is lovely but the collar for some reason was a total pain. There was a lot of swearing in the making process I can tell you.


Now, on to the recipient. It was Dad’s birthday this month and he loves being by the seaside so I thought this was the perfect thing. It will amaze you to know that my Dad is not normally at home in prints. A few years ago he would only ever wear white short sleeve shirts. Not even a colour!! I know, how can it be that I, queen of the novelty print, share DNA with someone who prefers a plain white shirt you ask?! Well, here’s the thing (having checked the milkman’s alibi … it was fine) I decided that Dad was just a bit reluctant, and that with a bit of gentle guidance he might begin to see the error of his colourless and patternless ways. So I started buying him coloured shirts. Just the odd one or two here and there for a birthday or Christmas or Father’s Day … but nothing to arouse suspicion.

When he seemed comfortable in blues or a cream or grey I started to buy them with a tiny pattern … nothing elaborate you understand (ooh, no, nothing to scare the horses) just some feint stripes or a tiny check. The odd eyebrow was raised, but he wore them, and started to get compliments on his shirts. A more major milestone occurred two years ago when I bought him a striped shirt for Father’s Day. A bold stripe in blues and greys and … pink!! He laughed when he saw it but wore it nontheless, and all the ladies at Church complimented him again on his choice and told him that “It really brought out his blue eyes…” (Thank you ladies, your assistance is appreciated). It became a mainstay of his weekend wardrobe.

So, when I saw this novelty print I knew it was destined for my Dad. A pinnacle of his colour and pattern shirt aversion therapy and something he would never have dreamed of wearing in the old plain white shirt days. I did have moments of panic during the making process “What was I thinking? Dad actually wearing a novelty print?!” but then convinced myself it was subtle enough to get away with it. I pinned, sewed, cursed and stabbed my finger a lot (yes, Dad, that is my actual blood in a tiny red dot on the inside button band of the shirt. Hopefully, it’ll come out in the wash!)

I pressed it and wrapped it in a big blue ribbon and took it to Dad’s house this weekend. He did laugh when he saw it (I think he thinks I am a little bit crazy.)

So, ladeeze and gentlemens, here, without further ado is my cool Dad, rocking it out in a novelty print shirt. My, how far you have come. *sniff* (wipes a tear). So very proud. 🙂


Published by t@uandmii

Colour mad designer rampages gleefully through the world of plus size sewing! Oh, and there may be shoes … and cats.

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