05 April 2009

127. Style 1001

After feeling overwhelmed by too many possibilities, I decided to let the 16 shirts guide me. I laid them all out on the floor and spent a few moments pondering the graphics and messages on each shirt, and saw some groupings emerge:

This set was first. The black shirt had a little motif on the front:

And on the back, it reads, "There's a fire in me/ A passion so hot/ That if you tapped it/ You'd get burned":

Then some decisions became clear about putting these shirts together, into a new garment:
  • The graphic on the back of the black shirt is very, very literal. I preferred the subtlety and size of the coordinating print on the front chest pocket area of the shirt.
  • The yellow was too, too much. I wanted to ground the color. Seemed to make sense combined with the fire/ hot theme of the black shirt.
  • With the intensity of the yellow, I wanted to keep the shirt sleeveless or short-sleeved to minimize the punch of color.
  • In order to keep this "local", I thought about the challenge many Austinites have in wanting to dress in layers when it gets above 90 degrees for at least 6 months of the year. I went back through my sketchpad to find a sketch of a garment idea that could give the illusion of layering without someone actually putting on two shirts.
A contrast yoke, using the black shirt's smaller motif was the solution. I cut out a muslin from one of the scrap shirts from my husband, measured and cut carefully, and used that as the pattern piece for cutting the motif from the black shirt:

Except that, when I laid the pattern piece on top of the black t-shirt, I found that the black shirt didn't have enough fabric to cut out the yoke as it was. I turned the motif upside down and had more fabric to work with, but it didn't look right. So I cut the top of the yoke piece straight.

Now onto the yellow shirt. I used the back of the largest one, a size 2XL, so that I would have the most available fabric for gathering around the yoke. And it still wasn't quite as much as I wanted! But I like how it turned out:

In this photo you are just looking at the front of the shirt -- no back is attached yet. There's a bit more shimmying and negotiating of the fabric to be done. But I think this is the last you'll see of the top before it is complete. :)

Back I go into the workroom......


  1. Wow, love that top! So creative - now I'm very eager to see where you go with the whole collection!

  2. seriously, it's amazing...I love it.

  3. looking fantastic. Love that bib style top.

  4. Oh, Sales Kickoff 2008, I hardly knew ye.

    Love the inset. This is a fantastic start!!

    I'm also enjoying reading about your creative process.

  5. Personally I would rather wear a black shirt with a yellow insert, just because of my skin tone, but aside from that I think your shirt is beautiful.

  6. Loving watching your process unfold. And it looks great so far!

  7. I feel your pain... sort of... cheering you on!

  8. This is great! Loving what you're doing, from a fellow stitcher~

  9. So cute. I love the bib look. I really need to get on to the pants now...

  10. Agh! Love! The colors, the yoke, it's all awesome! And so inspiring.

  11. How cute is that!!! I love it love it love it. Kick kick kick - Hellen Manning, Licensed Joyologist

  12. Even as half a shirt, it's adorable! I am in love.


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