As interpreted by Liberty of London no less!
First, a huge apology. This post is WAY overdue. One of my readers generously sent me a length of Liberty tana lawn in this fantastic Hello Kitty print ages ago. She said it was "a bargain", not her colors, and that she wanted me to do something with it. What an amazing gift! I hope she doesn't think I'm a total ingrate for waiting so long to actually cut into it. But special fabric like this takes a lot of consideration. At least it does for me. This is too good to squander. Trust me, I've been thinking long and hard about how best to use this swath of British luxury.
It's a swirling print of flowers, toys, strawberries and apples on an ivory ground, with little kitties hidden throughout. One can't help but smiling. It's very "Where's Waldo". This time the game is finding Hello Kitty, who seems to be hiding everywhere. There's even a Hello Kitty on a motor scooter. And the colors! Nothing subdued here. The printing is, as one would expect, incredibly detailed and sharp. For an informative video of Liberty's printing process click here.
So what the hell has taken me so long? Quite simply, I didn't think there was quite enough fabric to make a shirt. I was going to need some type of a coordinating fabric to pull it off. Which lead me eventually to this pattern....
I was attracted to version B, the white pullover shirt with the bottom panel. I was thinking the bottom could be a contrasting fabric. Some of you may remember that I made the short sleeve version E from a striped linen this past summer. Good thing I made that shirt first, because I found out first hand what a crappy pattern this is! The front placket on version B is completely fake, just a lot of topstitching to give the illusion of a placket. Ugh! Why can't we have real men's clothes? I certainly wasn't going to waste Liberty fabric on "Today's Man"!
New plan..... Hack my existing TNT buttondown shirt pattern. Say hello to a real shirt placket, yoke and collar on a stand.
Next obstacle.... Finding the perfect coordinating fabric.
There seemed no sense in looking anywhere else but here. Beckenstein's on W 39 th St. I usual just drool over what's in the window and keep on walking by. Not this time!
Beckenstein's has by far and away the largest selection of men's shirting in the garment district. Way more than either of these pictures shows. Truly, a shirt maker's dream store. The only caveat.... There are NO bargains to be had here. But a special shirt deserves terrific fabric.
After much deliberation, and help from my patient fabric shopping friend David, I settled on two fabrics.
A lime green, and a lavender 1/16" gingham check. It could have gone so many ways....orange, red, turquoise, pink. Somehow this just seemed to click for me. The scale also seemed to work by not competing with the Liberty print.
Everything is prewashed. Time to make a spring shirt!