23 maart 2018

The Lengths I Go To For A Pun

Some time ago, I tried to find fabric with a hand print. As in, not necessarily hand printed, but with actual hands printed on it. TRY FINDING THAT. So in the end I decided to just do it myself, and go through a great deal of effort to be able to point at my shirt and say 'It's hand printed. Get it? Heh.'

It was also below freezing the day we took these pictures so it's a miracle not all of them look like this:

First things first: the fabric! I picked up this lightweight grey denim in Paris with Hanne last August (don't go to Paris in August btw, everything is closed). In hindsight it was maybe a smidge too heavy for a shirt, but this does make it warmer and I suspect it will soften up in the wash. I carved two hand stamps (a right and left one) and got printing one evening. It didn't take too long to cover the entire length of fabric because I went for a kind of random placement, not even trying to create a repeat. I also left a part of the fabric blank because I thought the smaller parts of the shirt would look better being solid (since the hands were bigger than those parts anyway and would be cut off).

Printing fabric like this really isn't that hard and you don't need a lot of materials. I do make my life easier by using a block printing ink for textiles that fixates by drying for a week at room temperature. Nothing worse than ironing each printed section of a few yards of fabric for five minutes straight.

(If you are interested, I wrote a pretty detailed post about block printing fabric here!)

Now for the actual shirt! I used the Grainline Archer again, but sized down a bit after remeasuring myself and measuring the pattern pieces. My previous plaid version still gets worn loads but I wanted a slightly slimmer fit on this one.

I cut the entire pattern on a single layer to have more control over the print placement. The body, sleeves and pocket have hands on them, but the cuffs, button band and collar are solid. I had plenty of fabric for once so this was smooth sailing!

There's not much I can say about the construction of this shirt that I haven't said before. The only time I looked at the instructions was for the sleeve placket, and I used this method for the collar and cuffs (which I always do by the way, it just seems both easier and more accurate in a way). The yoke was sewn using the burrito method and the side seams are flat-felled, but I have to admit I didn't topstitch the sleeve seam. This was already tricky on my previous version, which is two sizes larger, and this fabric was a lot less flexible. I decided to let that fight pass.

The hem was finished with bias tape to reduce bulk, and then my shirt and I were ready to go hang around with friends and watch them roll their eyes at my joke. Another friend also said it looked like the hand of Saruman, which can only mean that I... Secretly wish I was an Uruk-Hai? No idea.

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