Wednesday 9 March 2011

A Tale of Two Shirts

Hello Lovelies,

Last week the boys came home from school with a note to say that next Friday would be  non-uniform for Red-nose day and the children should dress up in a "Beach Party " theme. So I made these Hawaiian shirts ....

O.K. I'll come clean that's not quite true ......... I did indeed make these shirts , but it wasn't quite so recently :0)
Not recently at all in fact. These were made by my 20year old self way back in the 80's !( not the most tasteful decade )

Back then I was due to go on my first "couple holiday" just the two of us for two whole weeks . We booked to travel to what was then Yugoslavia . It was only the second time I had been abroad and the first time I had ever flown.
Being a student money was pretty tight so I made and borrowed quite a few items of clothing for myself.
In this picture , taken on that holiday, I'm wearing a borrowed top and some shorts I made from a white bed sheet ! ( please excuse the perm , it was my first and last )......

My then boyfriend decided he would like a Hawaiian shirt to wear on this holiday , and as he couldn't find one , I volunteered to make him one. Trouble was the first one turned out too short , so I made him another ( young love !)

I think he only wore it a couple of times and somehow they both ended up in my fabric stash..... in case the fabric came in useful . Now I'm soooooooooo glad it didn't .

When I look at the sewing on these I'm impressed with the skill I had then . Anyone who makes clothes will know that a shirt is a pretty tricky garment , there's a collar to to set in ......

Interfacing and a yolk......

Here you can see I've hand sewn the button holes ......

And I did a good job with the pocket.......

The whole idea of pattern cutting , notches , tailor tacks , and other stuff I can't even remember seems pretty daunting these days , let alone the sewing.
That's what I meant when I referred to my rusty sewing skills in my Russian doll post.

So......after all these years they will get to see the light of day once more .The boys think they are perfect and I'll have a big smile when they put them on ......

Oh, about that holiday, it didn't totally live up to my dreams ! Yugoslavia was stunning but I spent most of the first week in the bathroom and by the end of the holiday the boyfriend and I were bearly speaking !

Jacquie x


  1. Wow Jacquie love the pics! My grandparents (mom side) came over to the U.S. from Yugoslavia (croatia) back in the late 1930s. What a gorgeous view! Thanks for sharing a piece of my history. By the way, the shirts look great! You did a fantastic job! Cheers!

  2. Hey Hey! Very Club tropicana! You clever thing, see you keep things for 20 years and they come in useful one day! We went to Yugoslavia in 1990 our daughter was 1 and it was the first time I'd flown, or even been abroad! I sported a perm too,bleached ash blonde too, what was I thinking! Must dig out the photos!
    Rachel x

  3. Hi Jacquie, I love the fabric, such vibrant and cheerful colours. It's fantastic you are able to use shirts after all these years. It's funny how you end up keeping some things. I have two ball dresses I made before hubby and also a dress he made me when he was my boyfriend. (Sadly, I've outgrown it.) :( Gotta love a man who makes you a dress! :)
    Anne xx

  4. Beautiful fabric.. and so clever keeping them.. :))
    The eighty's were a fab time, Yes I had a wonderful perm ,Lol What were they called?? Wash and wear ??
    Love the shorts :))
    best wishes Pat in tas :))

  5. Oh yes! Totally agree with Rubyred. I can just see George Michael and Andrew Ridgley (whatever happened to Andrew??)in them :))

    I reckon your boys will be a big hit at school. Fabby fabric, cool colours ;)

    Ruby x

  6. I remember making a dressing gown for my boyfriend(now husband) that I took such trouble over to make sure it was perfect. He kept it for years.
    hope we see photos of the boys in the remakes.

  7. How lucky you kept them - it just goes to prove you never know when something might come in useful. Although my attic is heaving with such items!
    Jo x

  8. Aaah, sweet memories! Loved your story and these shirts are just perfect for the occacion.

  9. Wow your sewing skills were great im sure you could do it again. And those white shorts looked smashing on you. Isn't it nice to think they will be used again. Dee x

  10. I got married at the end of the 80's - the wedding photos show my amazing perm!
    This perfectly illustrates why you should never throw things away, I must show my husband as he thinks I'm the only one to hoard stuff for decades. Brilliant dressmaking skills too.

  11. What a fab post, really made me smile about the 80's :0) I remember those hawai type shirts and am really impressed at you making these! great sewing skills, I sewed my way al the way through univerisity in suth africa as fabric was defnitely cheaper than clothes and I was a bit of a hippy ... so nothing much took my fancy in the modern shops xox

  12. Jacquie, those shirts are amazing. I'm in awe of your sewing skills.

  13. Oh the 80s!! I seem to remember buying somewhat garish shirts for my husband and that he very bravely wore them... he has said since that he hated them but wore them because he loved me...ahhhhhhh!!!!!


  14. Wow, you clearly are one talented lady! I can only dream of sewing skills like that (still only going in a straight line, and I still haven't started the curtain yet!).

    I love the story of your holiday and you seem to pull off the borrowed t-shirt, bed-sheet-shorts look rather well!!

    Hope your boys have fun for comic relief,
    Jones x

  15. We must be very similar ages! I have almost an identical picture of me in the Canaries, circa 1985-6, in stripy Tshirt, very short white shorts and similar perm! Can't say I ever made the hawaiian shirts but they are fab and great that your boys could use them!

  16. The shirts will certainly do the trick! A blast from the past...reminds me of a certain trip I took to Bermuda long ago.

  17. Hello Jacquie! Thank you for a funny post! I have some where the same photo of me from Ibiza. I loved my permanent!? I made for both of us khaki bermudas/shorts! Your boys will look so cool with their great shirts! You have made them so well!
    Have a lovely weekend! xxx Teje

  18. Wow Jacquie those buttonholes are gorgeous, hand sewn too! Cool shirts your boys will look very dashing in them.

  19. Thanks for your comments over at mine - the colours in Morocco were so beautiful and you are right, although it wasn't especially hot the sky was the bluest blue. Definitely good for the soul! x

  20. Lovely story! hilarious. Glad the shirts lasted longer than your speaking terms! Hope they enjoy a comic relief day. whitwoo on your legs in bedsheet shorts btw! Jacs x


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