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Feb 4, 2010

Fabric find of the week!

I just found these used vintage 70s sheets yesterday in the newspaper recycling bin in my apartment building.  These will make great summer shirts.  After they're washed, of course.

All my early shirt projects were made with trashed vintage sheets, including the contest-winning flowered sheet in my blog header (that sheet was a prize find at the Salvation Army).

Making shirts out of potentially bed-bug infested vintage sheets is a great way to practice your skills, a lot more fun than working in muslin and a whole lot cheaper.  And if it turns out really nice, then you have a unique addition to your wardrobe, albeit one that someone slept on and Lord knows what else.

The operative word here is unique.


True pattern boldness!

Here are two more sheet shirts I made last summer.

In this one I combined two sheets: one for the torso and sleeves and another for the collar.

From Butterick 4712 - Blue sheet version

From Butterick 4712 - Blue sheet version

I used this vintage Western shirt pattern for the flowered shirt below. It has one of those one-piece collar and collar band combos I'm not wild about, but it's fine for a casual summer shirt.

From Simplicity 5048 - short sleeve Western shirt

From Simplicity 5048 - short sleeve Western shirt

Of course, the master of the sheet shirt is Brian of BrianSews, who sent me the sheet (he had two) I used to make the shirt above.   Check these out!  Have you ever?

I hope I've inspired you to hunt for some chucked-for-a-reason vintage sheets soon.

Or at least do some laundry.

14 comments:

  1. The first home-sewn outerwear my DDP (Dear Domestic Partner, aka Cathy's cousin) made for me was a sheet shirt. I will treasure it always, with its counterpoint of masculine cut and dainty rose pattern, though its unbreathable poly-rich fabric leaves me smelling like a construction worker after 5 minutes of wearing.

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  2. I admire your resourcefulness, but seriously: wash those things in scalding water! And store them in plastic bags first! Sorry, do I sound like a crazy lady who had a bed bug problem a couple years ago? And still has nightmares about it?

    Michael: DDP! I love it!

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  3. I regularly use old sheets given to me by friends and family. Sadly, these all seem to be really fugly sheets that are only good for mockups, though DH did just find on that he thinks would be a great casual vest...we shall see. So glad I found your blog :)

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  4. Hi Peter,
    I think the shirt will be lovely. If your interested, another place to look for 70's stuff and sewing machines is www.shopgoodwill. Some stuff gets bid on alot, but the 70's stuff seems to be passed over. Your the best and I can't wait to see the shirt you make.

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  5. Those prints are so funky and cool - I cannot believe you found them in a recycling bin!

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  6. How cool! Makes me want to run home and dig thru my linen closet.

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  7. Those sheets are AMAZING -- what a find! My 70s childhood is flashing before me in full Technicolor!

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  8. I love the shirts! The floral patterns are awesome!

    I bought a flat cotton jersey sheet for a PJ pant pattern I made in a sewing class recently. I'd never sewn pants before and the sheet was inexpensive for a practice run.

    I share your sentiment about the sheet being vintage (used). It was a little creepy for me also. So I washed it in HOT water and cooked it in the dyer!

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  9. AHHHHH!!!! I love these! They are so stunning and your creations from these vintage sheets are unreal Peter! Really, you sew like you've sewn for years and years. I simply can not believe your beautiful and fabulous top stitching. And the fit on you is perfect! I love these finds and will be searching soon for some sheets to make a few creations of my own. I love that you pilfered these from a recycle bin. That is the best thing I've heard in awhile! You are fantastic!

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  10. Oh, Goddess, you do go on! Keep it coming.

    Jonathan: CONGRATULATIONS! You win my "First Male Member of the Week" award!

    Oh, dear, that doesn't sound right...

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  11. "Oh, dear, that doesn't sound right..."

    Why, do you have a problem with male members? Sorry, I couldn't resist. ;-)

    I'm really envying Brian's collection of vintage sheets. Wow! They really are a perfect fabric for retro style men's shirts. Yours are a perfectly fab example!

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  12. I love these sheet/shirts. I'm off to hunt around in the sheet section at my local op shops. My bloke would love a shirt like this.

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  13. Fabulous shirts! I am sure I used to sleep on some sheets similar to those when I was growing up.

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  14. Maybe I used your childhood sheets!

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