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Jul 11, 2018

Michael Models His Octopus-print Shirt


Friends, Michael's octopus-print shirt is finished!

Here are some photos of him wearing it.  There was a bit of last-minute drama related to the collar: I realized only after looking at photos that I hadn't sewn the right-back portion on as evenly as I would have liked, so I ripped open the seam between the collar and the collar band and re-set the collar. 

If you're interested, you can see photos of the process on Instagram here.  It's the sort of thing that, once I noticed it, I couldn't stop seeing it.  You know that feeling?

Here are the pics.  This was not intended to be a fitted shirt but rather something loose and comfortable for summer.  Neither of us is partial to back darts or an exaggerated "V" shape.  You might say this is a vintage fit though it's still popular today.



My buttons are genuine mother-of-pearl, which seems fitting for a shirt with octopi all over it.  I don't always use real shell buttons but there is something luxurious about them.

CONFESSION: I always sew my shirt buttons on with my Bernina 930 and a button foot.  I leave the threads long both before and after zigzagging them in place and then, with the aid of a Japanese self-threading needle, pull the front threads to the back where they all get knotted together and  neatly trimmed.  I suppose I really should be doing this by hand, but I just don't have the patience.


A few more shots.



I really love how this shirt turned out and I am even considering making the reverse shirt: mint-green linen on the outside and octopus-print cotton on the inside collar band.  Of course, that shirt would be for me.  We'll see if I can squeeze it in this summer.  As you may have already guessed, I am the owner of a lot of summer shirts!

And that's it -- have a great day, everybody, and happy sewing!

30 comments:

  1. ........looking very handsome in your beautiful custom shirt......

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  2. You're killing me with this shirt! I live on the northern edge of civilization (rural Alberta, Canada) and the only way I would ever know that such an amazing print exists is from this blog. My ability to actually access this kind of thing is nil!

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    1. There are some great-looking quilting cottons out there, many (all?) of which can be purchased online and shipping just about anywhere. I can't recommend any one place but if you Google, say "Tara Pink Octogarden" you should come up with some sources.

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    2. Peter, I'm pleased to see you are using quilting cotton. I finally started using them myself and they make great shirts for men. My husband loves the batiks, my son just funky prints. Tula Pink has gorgeous prints.

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    3. Peter, I'd discourage anyone from Googling "Tara Pink Octogarden". I tried to find the fabric using those search terms and got some rather crude results.

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  3. By hand on a shirt?? High expectations!
    Great shirt!
    On another note, you’ve probably said somewhere, but what do you use for interfacing cotton shirts?
    I have something against fusable in most cases, but curious. I struggle with interfacing decisions.

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    1. Cynthia, lately I've been using a lightweight knit fusible interfacing; I buy mine from Steinlauf & Stoller. I don't really like stiff collars and/or cuffs but I find I am the exception.

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  4. Sigh... I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to be involved in a sew-along with you. I am in awe of the precision of your sewing!

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  5. Peter, This shirt is becoming one of the most popular things you have ever made. It really is a head turner for several reasons. I like the topstitching because it is not the conventional white.

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    1. The shirt is a 2018 all-star (and it's only July!).

      The head turner is his house model - you can't fake joy and love, either ya got it, or ya don't.

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  6. What a lovely shirt and neat sewing! Wish I could learn to do it so well.

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  7. This shirt and the mermaid one are splendid. I am radically rethinking my novelty print process, at the very least will purchase more fabric to spend more quality time placing the pattern on the fabric to really feature the larger repeats to show them off. While avoiding headlights, certainly. ;)

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  8. It looks amazing! I love it. He must love it too!

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  9. "Nice" it's blinkin' fabulous! And food for thought, I've never bothered with the sew buttons on foot - it seemed more trouble to set it up than sew them on by hand whilst watching some old film. But maybe I'll give it a whirl

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    1. I guess it all depends on what you're most comfortable with.

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  10. Perfection on a very happy man...who needs more? Love the pattern matching!

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  11. Your collars are exceptional! Years ago you recommended David Coffin's method (I bought the book and recently accomplished the process on a shirt for my son), but, then you your changed collar/stand process to one where you can stand the entire unit alone on a table. Where did you learn that process, or would you be willing to share the process and explain why you prefer it? Thanx!

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  12. The shirt looks great. I am curious about the "Japanese self-threading needles" though. I have two types of self threading needles but I have never heard either called "Japanese."

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    1. They're Clover brand, so I just assumed they were Japanese.

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  13. Try Hawthorne Fabrics. Hawthorne also has a very nice mermaid print. Peter, I'm on a fabric fast but for this pattern I bought. You are an enabler.
    Theresa in Tucson

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  14. Beautifully-made shirt out of gorgeous fabric and colours and suits Michael so well. I just feel cooler looking at it – that's what I want in my summer clothes when it's sweltering.

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  15. Yes, definitely an enabler, Peter! I, too, was on a fabric fast until I saw this fabric. Immediately I went online, found it in the same colours, and ordered 3 yards. Arrrrgh.
    It just so suits where I live and what I do on and in the ocean - West Coast of Canada. Sad to say I have actually caught and eaten fresh octopus, so I will dedicate this shirt to that soul. Thank you!

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  16. This shirt is peerless. Great work!

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  17. Your pattern matching is stellar! Love the shirt.

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  18. The shirt is fabulous and looks wonderful on Michael. Superb sewing as usual.

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  19. Love the print and the color is amazing on Michael. Love it.

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  20. Peter, Instead of going through Google to find Michael's octopus fabric, I would an online fabric store. Fabric.com carries thousands of quilting fabrics. Tula Pink is listed under Free Spirit,a group of several designers. I don't know about the octopus, but I found other great and small creatures among Tula Pink fabrics. And no "inappropriate content"!

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