It’s a strange time that we are in and upon reflection, you realise the important things in life (family, friends and good health).
I don’t think I’ve ever stayed at home for such a long period of time before and to be perfectly honest with you, I’m enjoying it. Having so much time to spare has allowed me to reorganise my things at home but also catch up on all the projects that I have been meaning to work on but just couldn’t find time (updating this blog, for instance).
I look outside my window and see an abundance of wildlife and in particular cats in the neighbourhood that I have never seen before. I love cats but the closest I ever came to owning a cat was when I picked up a stray when I was 8. My mom promptly let it go as she has a phobia of them. Since then, it’s always been someone else’s cat and I think that’s the best. It means that I can still enjoy the presence of a cat without having to clean up after it. But I’m still in awe of owners that can get their cat to curl up next to them or sometimes, sit on their shoulders.
So instead of having to be subjected to the whims of a cat sitting on my shoulder, I thought I’d make a shirt with a cat around my shoulders. Random? Yes! Why not?
Initially I wanted to buy silk satin and silk paints but it meant putting more stress on the delivery companies during this troubling time for something that is not essential. Instead, I found some voile and used my leftover fabric paint. No doubt everyone is doing the same and with the Great British Sewing Bee coming back to the screens this month, it’s more motivation to get creative.
This project started with a sketch on a shirt pattern I had traced out earlier. Initially I wanted a tiger and when I finished the sketch, it looked like a tattoo on a member of the Yakuza. Scary! Then I went for cutesy cats and it looked too childish. Eventually I settled for a cat that is about to jump at you. No colour, just simple lines.
Does the cat look angry? Maybe it doesn’t like to be on the shoulder!
Anyway, with the sketch finalised, I traced it on the fabric before proceeding to painting the lines and fixing the paint with an iron.
It took me a while to finish this project. About a week I would say because there was no rush. I concentrated on a professional finish. It’s not like I am going to be wearing it out anytime soon.
Neat top stitching!
Thin French seams!
Hand sewn buttons!
As with everything that I make, the vision of how I would wear it is there before I make it. After all, if I can’t see myself wearing it, then there is no point in making it.
I still would have preferred it in silk but this shirt will be perfect for warm summers when this lockdown is eventually lifted.
Until then, I’m going to continue with more projects at home. After all, staying at home saves lives!