The Perfect Hawaiian Shirt

My father has style.  He had a serious role in my fashion sense growing up and could always dress me better than I could dress myself.   His personal wardrobe is very uniform- he sticks with what works.  Lands End white tee, khaki shorts and dark brown boat shoes paired with a Hawaiian shirt.  If it is chilly he switches to pants.  The Hawaiian shirt, however, must be 100% cotton, beige, and not have any flowers on it.  This makes shopping a bit difficult- the nicer shirts are usually silk and the cotton versions often much louder than his muted taste.

He always makes me the coolest Christmas presents and really appreciates things that are "one of a kind" so I decided to make him a custom shirt to his measurements!  This also would be a great time to try out some more advanced textile techniques as well as some men's ready to wear experience.

I started by tinting some high quality 100% cotton shirting with tea.   I made a screen with six sea creatures from scientific sketches from the 1850s and marked my pattern out on the fabric.   Next I mixed up a muted forest green and got screenprinting.  Thirty six pulls and a few hours later, I had about two yards of the perfect material!

I sewed the shirt with as carefully as I could, with flat fell seams so the edges would all be finished.  My biggest mistake was putting the buttons on the wrong side- I don't wear many men's shirts, so I didn't even think about it.  I noticed after button holes were in so we just rolled with it.  I pulled an all-nighter before leaving for Christmas to get it done in time... totally worth it.

He really liked it!  It fit him perfectly and the crazy fish were right up his alley.  I really enjoyed making it and am looking forward to working on more ready-to-wear this year.  :-)

 

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