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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Aloha Aloha: New Shirt From Old

Aloha, my dear vintage shirt, until we meet again. I have worn and loved you till you were holey, faded, and threadbare. Buttons are missing and you are patched with at least five colors of thread. Thank you for being a good gardening and barbecue companion.

An evening date with the seam ripper taught me a lot about you. There was no consistency of seam. There were at least three different widths of seam. I wouldn't call you well made. Who was your maker? You looked homemade, but you had a tag that said, La Rosa San Francisco.

I made a pattern by tracing your pieces onto pattern paper. The grid really helped make straight lines. I wrote notes to myself on the pieces about the random seam widths.

I cut out pieces from vintage red fabric that just happens to be the same brand, VHY Hawaiian. What serendipity! I didn't know about the coincidence until I started looking at your seams. This new old fabric was a gift from Kathy who was cleaning out her 80-something mom's house. Thanks, Kathy!!

Here is your replacement, your clone — that *RED* one in the front. It's not all the way finished, but is taking on more and more of your look with each detail. I will use your remaining buttons intermixed with some that I have. I can already tell that it won't be the same, not so soft and comfy, too bright. Maybe after a couple hundred washings it will feel like you. Aloha old friend.

P.S. Thanks for all the empathy on the last post. We're feeling much better around here. Actually, for someone who leans towards depression, I'm surprised how rarely it makes an appearance now that I'm a mom. I guess I'm too busy. ;)

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Blogger AmberCake said...

That's really super amazing. No, really. Those sorts of things we all mean to, intend to, think about... There you are, with a (new, not yet quite soft enough) replica of your favorite shirt. Awesome.

Tue Apr 03, 01:12:00 PM PDT  
Blogger capello said...

aloha and aloha.

can't believe you are making clothes. i'm impressed with myself when i sew in a straight line.

Tue Apr 03, 02:19:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Angelina said...

Have you done this before? You have been making some great garments! It's wonderful that you were able to copy this old favorite shirt of yours. Your replica looks great.

Have you been making clothes for a long time or is this pretty new for you? Because not too many people make muslins, that's such a pro move.

Tue Apr 03, 05:20:00 PM PDT  
Blogger futuregirl said...

Oh, I can't imagine having to keep all the random seam widths straight (so to speak). I'm impressed. What a sweet goodbye to a well-loved garment. :)

Tue Apr 03, 05:34:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Green Kitchen said...

Thank you gals. It was/is a fun project, though I'm still scared of buttonholes. Angelina, I haven't done this before, except for kid pants. The muslin thing came from fear of ruining fabric. I did it once and now I wonder if I will ever do it again, because it sort of sucks that it isn't a dress she will wear -- too bland. It's actually not muslin, but cheap thriftstore fabric that has small brown polka-dots. It's OK, but makes her look washed out. We're thinking of dying it fuschia! :)

Tue Apr 03, 06:17:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Blaize said...

I am pleased, but not all that surprised, that you don't get depressed that often. Not surprised, because I think you are tough. I, on the other hand, was so strangely sad today that I (get this) didn't go to therapy. I was too sad to go talk about it and feel better. Snort.

Tue Apr 03, 07:10:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Stacie said...

sewing is too cool! makes me wish i didn't have such a bad-ass attitude in school, i may have taken home-ec and learned to sew!

Tue Apr 03, 07:29:00 PM PDT  
Blogger chardgirl said...

I love all your posts, but I really love this one. A project! My dream is to learn how to sew. Maybe in 10 years. I'm glad you sneak sewing into your day sometimes.

BUT this post makes me want to keep a few favored, tattered old pieces. yikes! Will I learn to sew in time to save them?? Or should I just get rid of stuff....


Tue Apr 03, 08:57:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Sonya said...

Wow you are a sewing goddess, you and Bethany are just going crazy with the machine. Love what you are doing. Maybe someday.

Tue Apr 03, 09:05:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous helle said...

What a great result. I'll have to try this with my favourite pyjama pants.
Good to know you are well and happy.

Tue Apr 03, 09:15:00 PM PDT  
Blogger June said...

This is a really helpful post. Just like probably everyone, I have a favorite clothing item here and there and am so sad when I have to let them go when they're worn out. Your process of making a pattern from the old is a great idea. It's hard enough to find clothes that fit well that you love so making it from the old item is brilliant. Thank you!

Wed Apr 04, 08:23:00 AM PDT  
Blogger LeeAnn said...

You can tell you really loved that shirt!

Thu Apr 05, 05:15:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Bitterbetty said...

Very lovely post.. you'll get that shirt broken in!

Thu Apr 05, 05:58:00 AM PDT  
Blogger carolyn said...

Great "new" shirt. I'm glad you were able to remake it. sometimes the tried and true are just my devil's food cake. It's always right no matter if it's plain or with whipped cream. Well, I do digress from sewing...glad your slump is on the upward swing too. Life is just normal that way:)

Thu Apr 05, 08:35:00 PM PDT  
Blogger chez shoes said...

La Rosa is a vintage store on Haight in San Francisco - I'll bet it was handmade, but they put the store's label on it?

You make the deconstruction and reconstruction of a garment seem deceptively simple!

Thu Apr 05, 09:10:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Project Pink Suitcase said...

Great project!
Yep, I try to sneak in projects too. Usually it is late at night like right now or during my son's naptime.
You are so multi-talented. It's awesome!

Fri Apr 06, 11:21:00 PM PDT  

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