Wednesday, 29 May 2013

The Cowboy Comedy Shirt


It may surprise you to learn that there's actually been a fair amount of selfless sewing (i.e. not for me) going on up in here recently. I'll get round to blogging them all eventually, but I'd like to start with showing you this shirt I made for Patty (AKA Mr So Zo) which I finished last week. 

You may or may not know that I endeavour to make Pat one garment each year we're together. First there was the Brokeback Balcony shirt, then came the Book Launch shirt (both of which were made whilst we were living in Barcelona). Third up was a Rockabilly Bowling shirt I made him for Christmas 2011, and last year I made his waistcoat that he wore for our wedding. Seeing as we'll be mighty busy with a new little person in four short months time, I thought I'd get on his fifth item before everything else gets put on the back-burner. 


Pattern:

I picked up this vintage Western shirt pattern (Simplicity 6693) some time ago from eBay (pictured below) with an eye to expanding the Western shirt section of his wardrobe (don't all dudes have a Western shirt section?!). Published in 1974, this pattern is actually a 'teen-boy' pattern, which is handy because Pat is a slender chap. I Frankensteined this Simplicity pattern with the my adapted version of the Burdastyle Jakob shirt pattern that I've been slowly tweaking and perfecting the fit of each time I make Pat a shirt.  


Fabric Choice:

I knew from the offset that contrast yoke sections, pocket flaps and cuff facings had to be made in this awesome Dia de los Muertos dancing skeleton print quilting cotton that I'd bought half a metre of yonks ago. The obvious complimentary colour for the main body of the shirt would have been black, but Pat has quite a few black Western style shirts now, so I thought I'd find something a bit less obvious. In the end the rest of the shirt was made from a fine teal cotton (it's actually more teal and less blue in real life but my camera has a problem accurately depicting jade/teal/emerald/turquoise shades) that I picked up at a fabric swap in Walthamstow towards the beginning of the year. The colour really suits his gingery/browny/peachy colouring. I was a bit concerned about how such a fine cotton would work alongside the thicker quilting fabric, but with the application of fusible interfacing on all relevant parts made the teal fabric suitably stable where it needed to be. 


Detailing:

I had quite a bit of hassle with the topstitching on this shirt because my new-to-me sewing machine hasn't quite got the same secure foot pressure that my last machine had, resulting in a fair bit of slipping about and therefore unpicking! At least I wasn't going for a contrast topstitching effect like with the BrokeBack Balcony shirt, I'm not sure my machine will be up for any of that lark. 

No Western style shirt would be complete without pearly snap fastenings. I bought the four-piece snap things from eBay and messed about with the pliers-like contraption required to fit them that I was surprised to learn I already owned from my uni days. 


The occasion:

My aim was to get this garment finished before Pat's third and final performance at the Brighton Fringe festival last Friday. At this point I should probably explain that Pat has recently taken to being a stand-up comedian having completed a stand-up comedy course I bought him a couple of months ago. The 'look' he is cultivating for his stage persona involves a Western shirt and puffing out his hair into an enviable 'fro! Apologies for the crappy i-phone pictures, but above is him wearing his shirt on stage, and below is in the bar after his performance. If you are interested, you can see his first ever performance on YouTube here

13 comments:

Carolyn said...

Stand up comedy! Well done Pat. That really takes bravery. And a new shirt. I really love dancing skeletons! Brilliant idea.

Tiff said...

This is really awesome! I love it! I was kind of hoping your hubby would pull some of the poses on the pattern envelope though. I can't stop laughing at the mustached red gingham guy.

gingermakes said...

What an awesome shirt! And way to go, Pat-- standup takes so much confidence!

Kelly said...

What a fantastic shirt! My counterpart is also on the small side, and I love those teen boy patterns.

MrsC (Maryanne) said...

Just watched Patty, he is SOOO funny!I watch a lot of stand up and have to review it (erk) and he really is funnier than some of the international acts that have come through. Far more to my taste too - I like Bill Bailey, Toby Hadoke, and that English guy who thinks he is Gollum and doesn't speak much. So of COURSE I love Patty. And woo, Miss Zoe Edwards get a mention!!
Also, he now joins the exclusive club: "Husbands of sewing bloggers who own a wife made 1970's western shirt" along with Mr Oobop and MrC ;-) I feel we need to work on the title of the group, however.

Jacq C said...

Fab shirt - I'm only sorry you didn't get a chance to use the embroidery that came with the pattern! Your husband is very brave, I'm sure the shirt gave him confidence :)

Merche Martinez said...

This one is so good! I´m into trying to sew for the hubby and your shirt is really inspiring. I´m in awe of Pat, stand-up comedy need a lot of courage and a lot of wit!

Bella said...

Zoe! Love it. I'm thinking of doing one, too, but in a surprise fabric. The Roommate desperately needs one, esp after I saw Cracker & they were wearing western shirts, too!

I already have 8 snaps but wonder if that's enough? pockets - 2, cuffs - 2, how many for the placket? thanks!

And the Dia de los Muertos fabric rocks!

Kirsty said...

Such a great shirt and gotta say I'm impressed with those pearly snaps! Everything else of course, but def those pearly snaps. Just watched Patty and he was very funny. Good on him and what a great present.

Stephanie said...

Wow! Pat is super brave and looks great in his shirt. I like Western shirts!

Bella said...

I got my own copy of this pattern--thanks for the inspiration, Zoe. (https://www.etsy.com/transaction/133948677) And go, Patty. I can't believe he has the nerve to do that. Is he still crocheting scary monsters?

tors grantham said...

Oh my god, that is just so brilliant!! Love that Pat does stand-up. And, my goodness, that shirt looks fab on him, bloody well done you it's fantastic!

Bella said...

Zoe, thanks for the inspiration. I got the same pattern, from Etsy & used some fabric we bought in Cote d'Ivoire (Western African shirt!).
http://bellaindustries.blogspot.com/2013/07/western-africa-shirt-finished.html

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