Not A White Shirt

 My September white shirt was planned way back in February when Threads presented the Digital Ambassadors with the 2021 Challenge Project.  Just a little hint...we were asked to pick a designer to use as inspiration for a garment/ensemble.  Stay tuned and once the challenge has been posted on the Threads website, I will share my September white shirt.  

For now, I did make an 'almost white shirt' at the end of August.  So maybe it can be the "late summer" white shirt.  I say 'almost' because it does have a few colorful accents that keeps it from being a totally white shirt.

I started with a square linen (I think, it could be a cotton linen blend) tablecloth with cute little yellow tulips embroidered in the corners.  I can't remember where it came from.  It could have been another piece from the things I got from my mother-in-law. Or I could have picked it up while trolling around in an antique shop at some point.  Regardless, it is probably 1950ish vintage and has a nice open stitched hem around the edges along with the tulips.  

I have played around with it forever.  I thought about a skirt, I tried several patterns using the tulips in strategic ways as pockets or collars, I even thought about pillow cases at some point.  I would pull it out at the beginning of the summer and put it back in the stash in September...until now.....

While I was packing up my sewing room at the end of May I came across several 1940/50ish cotton prints.  They were in those wonderful colors that I remember from my grandma's kitchen.  Just a bit off primary with pink added in for fun.  I was making piles for different quilting friends and I just couldn't figure out where they should go.   When I pulled out the tablecloth...again...this year those prints popped right to the front of my mind.  The yellows in the prints were perfect with the tulips so I started once again to play around with ideas.  It took the whole summer but I finally came up with something that I really like.  It ended up being really, really simple and kept the tablecloth mainly intact.  Maybe the simplicity is why I like so much.  Anyway, I used the prints and the tablecloth and made a "white-ish shirt."

I cut the tablecloth into thirds and used the pieces with the finished edges for the sides/sleeves of my shirt and the middle third for a vee shaped inset to hold them together.  I used the cotton quilting prints to bind the cut edges of the 'sleeve' pieces and that's it!  No hemming, no fitting, loose and flow-y, perfect for end of summer heat...I love it!

The binding on this shirt is just enough 'quilting' to remind me why I run for the hills when someone asks if I make quilts.  I love that there are people out there who do amazing, gorgeous quilts that I can admire and fawn over, but I am pretty much a one square and out gal.  Real quilters should not look too closely at my wobbly seams it will illicit scoffing and tutting!

Tablecloths from the middle of the last century are so lovely and drapey.  They seem to form around whatever you put them on...a table...shoulders!  I really enjoy reimagining them for my tablecloth-free life style.  It will get much more wear on me than it would on a table!