Tuesday, February 04, 2020

The $70 Shirt aka The Purple Reign Shirt

This shirt was another journey and a change from my original version due to fabric and cutting challenges. 

I originally bought 3 yards of an ombre purple polka dot quilting cotton back in December from Gotham Quilts.  Then I prewashed and pressed it and noticed this...

...a nice faded line through the center of the fabric which made me toss my original shirt vision out the window. I did some creative cutting and thought that maybe the shirt would work with the ombre going from side to side. Ummmm no...

This cut was just bad. Primarily because the dark to light didn't merge well and looked silly. This sent me back to the store for an additional two yards of fabric which I should have done in the first place instead of the weird cut out. I had visions of how this dress turned out bouncing around in my head. I didn't want to experience that again! In all honesty, I learned so much from making that dress, as well as, from the derision expressed on other internet sites.

That's how I came up with the title of this post.  See I've become spoiled. Most of the quilting cottons I've used in shirtmaking have been purchased from Zooks in Lancaster, PA.  The Amish have some amazing quilt stores filled with bright & vibrant fabrics but with Amish prices. The most I've spent on a quilting cotton was $9.99 per yard. I bought three yards and then another two yards from Gotham Quilts with NYC prices and tax because quilt fabric is taxed in NYC, thus a $70 shirt.

Supplies ~
5 yards quilting cotton from Gotham Quilts in NYC
11 1/2" gold dome buttons from Pacific Trimmings
Gold piping from Joyce Trimmings
Interfacing from Steinlauf & Stoeller

Construction ~
After I recut the shirt there were no additional construction changes.  There were however some design changes that added to the construction time of the shirt.

o  The shirt has been gathered into the cuff instead of using the button/buttonhole closure.  

o  Gold piping was added to the bottom of the cuff and to the collar.

o  To make the piping work best at the collar I rounded the ends slightly - so no sharp collar points on this version.

o  To get the full gathered back I had to cut the piece in half and seam it.  It uses the ombre to full effect and is a little smaller than my normal gathered back.

A Few Pictures ~

This is the fourth shirt in the series. I'm a little over half way done with the series of shirts and the cut pile. So I'm taking a break from shirtmaking here. I started a new project and that's what I'm working on now. There are a couple of cardigans that are finished plus the project referenced above coming to the blog sooner rather than later. 

...as always more later!


  1. Always enjoy your posts, and really appreciate your sense of humor. Keep on.

  2. I love everything on this, from the print placement to the sleeve gathers to the gold piping and buttons. It's a complete triumph!

    Your tenacity is amazing and inspiring. When I run into a problem like that I just can't seem to push myself over the hump of disappointment and move on to finsih the project. This is a shining example of why I need to do it.

  3. Really love the shirt and the way you used the print, piping makes it even more special.

  4. I have the same fabric in blue with the same "faded" strip at the fold. Still not sure what to do with it. Your shirt looks lovely.

  5. I LOVE IT! The use of the print is phenomenal and I love the effect of the gold buttons. Love. Love. LOVE!

  6. You did a fantastic job with this. Did you say anything to the store about the fade marks? It's one thing when it's our own fault. But to buy them at the store like that- it shows they aren't taking care of their fabrics.

    1. Nope. I noticed it during my Holiday Break which was a good 3 weeks after I bought the fabric AND after I prewashed it. I didn't notice that streak before prewashing so it could be from my fabric manipulation. Anyway, I didn't necessarily think the store sold me a faulty product especially since that didn't happen with the second yardage when I washed it.

  7. Well worth the extra yardage, it turned out beautifully. Too bad the first cut was damaged.

  8. That shirt looks amazing and you look very beautiful in it. Purple is my favourite colour so I’m in love with that shirt.

  9. Very pretty, Carolyn, and you whipped that border challenge right into shape!

  10. I love this shirt on you! I like all the design adds like gold piping and gathering the sleeves to the cuff! Glad you were able to make this fabric work!

  11. That shirt is so beautiful 💜

  12. I love the color! Great work in using the faded part of the fabric for the sleeves.


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