The I Must Confess Shirt

There are a lot of confessions to be had with this shirt.

First of all, I must say that given that my school was cancelled all week because of the hurricane and subsequent power outages and the shutdown of the subway, I’ve been going a bit crazy.

I am, by the way, extremely lucky and so grateful to have survived the hurricane with my power intact and my apartment and life untouched, and I’m so happy for that. And so I recognize that my problems are literally the pettiest ones possible in the face of this major event, I truly do, there are real things happening and if you want to donate your money or your time, please visit this website.

At any rate, while keeping in mind how privileged and lucky I am and was, I also went a little stir crazy hanging out in my apartment for a week. So one night, when I told myself I should start this project, I just straight up stitched it from start to finish, because sometimes it’s important to stay up until 2am sewing a shirt. It just is. I couldn’t tell you WHY in the cold light of day, but at 2am after some wine it just NEEDS. TO. BE. DONE.

So I made this:

I’m so ashamed, I can’t even look at the camera.

BUT, I really love this shirt. Really really really. It’s a sewaholic Renfrew (couldn’t you tell?), long-sleeved scoop-necked version. I still have yet to make a cowl-necked one….

The fabric is, sadly, some completely unnatural fiber I got at Paron Fabrics. I had bought a living social deal for the store over a year ago, and two days before it expired I thought, oh, better go! And I scored two yards of this amazing neon pink, and a bunch of another knit. And because I bought it so long ago, it’s almost like I didn’t spend any money at all, right? RIGHT?

So I have some of the pink left, so I might make a short-sleeved shirt, too. I love this shade of pink. It’s vaguely radioactive looking, but I love it! Oh, and I made those pants too.

Where on earth am I, is a question you might be asking yourself. Well, I’m in front of Manhattan Theatre Club, where my friend Victoria is acting in Enemy of the People, an Ibsen play, in which she is magnificent. Victoria, who is marvelous as a human as well, snapped these photos before her call for her Sunday show today. She’s a rockstar. Just see for yourself:

This is where she goes to work every day. Jealous? Yeah, you should be.

But I actually have another confession. And that is…I haven’t bought a piece of new ready-to-wear clothing (with the exception of underwear, two swimsuits and work-out pants) in just under a year. What? Yes. It’s a bit of a unoffical challenge I gave myself, sort of, can you do this? Well, it turns out, I could! I’ve bought a handful of second-hand things, most of which I re-fashioned, and the exceptions I listed above, but other than that I haven’t bought a new item in just under 12 months. Black Friday will be a year. And what makes me bring this up now? Well, actually, the back of this shirt:

See the seam down the back? That’s a change I made to be more efficient with the fabric, because it frees you from cutting both front and back on the fold. But also, the last piece of new ready-to-wear clothing I bought was a Gap knit top with a seam down the back, and I thought, I like that! So I have finally duplicated it, and you know what? I like this EVEN MORE.

That face does not adequately convey my joy. But this was in midtown Manhattan. I don’t honestly think anyone can be truly happy there.

So, yeah, that’s my big confession. And honestly, I haven’t missed buying new clothing at all. So I don’t know if I’m going to keep to this as strictly as I have this past year, but, honestly, most of me thinks I will. It really was not hard, which is an interesting revelation in and of itself. Making this bubblegum pink top, simple as it was, was so much more satisfying than just buying one from Forever 21 or Target. I’m sure I could have gotten something similar at a store. But I don’t really desire that, anymore. Curious.

What about you? And shocking confessions?




Filed under Challenge, Clothing, knit, Sewaholic Patterns

10 responses to “The I Must Confess Shirt

  1. I don’t have any shocking confessions but it’s 6AM over here, I might come back to you on that 🙂
    I like the bright pink against your skin tone, and sometimes I have to stay up a whole evening finishing a project, with wine. We should totally hang out together, I even have two sewing machines! There is nothing like telling people I’m tired because I was up most of the night sewing. Rock’n’rol!
    Well done on buying any clothes too 🙂

    • Oh, thank you! And yes, we should, are you in New York? I know, I’m always like, oh my god, I was up soooooo late last night, and then they get all interested, like, WHAT were you DOING? And I’m like, FRENCH SEAMS.

      • Ah, sadly I am in the North of England, but if you are ever this way the invitation is absolutely there!
        My housemate and my colleagues always ask about current projects and have perfected the “aaaahhhh, yes, interesting” look 😀

  2. Love the centre back seam! And I haven’t bought any new clothes for 11 months now, aside from some knitted jerseys – my promise to myself was that if I could reasonably make it, then do so. If not, then buy it. And now I just find shops depressing, and full of boring shapes. That’s why you’re CB seam is so cool! It’s not a common thing!

    • Right? This is my vow, I got to this point where I thought, why am I buying things when I could just as easily make them, and appreciate them so much more because I made them and didn’t buy them from some huge horrible corporation.

  3. I can’t even remember the last time I bought new clothing (that wasn’t a bathing suit or a bra, anyway). It’s been at least a couple of years, and closer to 4-5 if we’re talking full price, not off the clearance rack. Kinda crazy! I still thrift & buy vintage (oh yes, oh yes), but that stuff obviously doesn’t count :B And you know – the longer I go without buying new, the more I find myself at the mall sneering at the insides of the sweaters at Macy’s 😛

    • Oh, thrifted and vintage totally does not count. Duh. That’s just a life rule. And now I can’t shop, it’s bad, I can’t go with friends, I just murder the experience being like, I could make that, I could make that, that’s going to fall apart in five days, I could make that….

  4. Heh…I totally know the must-stay-up-sewing feeling, although nights where that’s actually carried out are much, much more infrequent now that I’ve got a man who likes sleeping at normal hours. I kind of miss it? I’m not sure. Anyway, I’m with you on the not buying RTW anymore…although I have bought a heck of a lot of shoes to make up for it. Gotta support the economy, right? :\

  5. I love this top! What a great color!

    I actually stopped myself from staying up crazy late last night to try to pump out a dress that I “need” for this weekend. I found myself starting to figure out shortcuts to get it done faster, and abandoning my original plan so much that I don’t think I would have even liked the finished results very much! But it can be so fun to power through and finish a project (especially if it’s pretty straightforward and won’t result in you unpicking a set-in sleeve three times at 2am after you’ve had 4 beers)!

  6. Awesome! The last time I bought anything new RTW was years ago, it just kind of happened that way, but I love feeling like I don’t need to shop for anything. My goal right now is to sew (not thrift) what I really need.

    I love talking about sewing “bread” or “rice and beans” ha ha, I was thinking the same thing! I’d like to sew bread, but the really lovely fresh local bakery kind with a crunchy golden crust and chewy insides . . .

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