Nearly Hawaiian

I confess I dearly love Hawaiian shirts.

Not the incredibly kitschy, garishly coloured jobs, but the more ‘authentic’ ones in monochrome traditional prints, either solid bright or preferably soft and muted. I love the comfortable style of the shirt, with open neck, short sleeves and usually a patch pocket on the front. They are just formal enough to be presentable, and just casual enough to be comfortable. George Clooney rocked his in the movie The Descendants (play the trailer and you’ll see what I mean). I have a page book-marked for a supplier who has a seemingly unending variety of both shirts and fabrics in beautiful, subtle, delicate prints. But he’s in Hawaii, and the cost is prohibitive.

So when I spotted this fabric I thought, well, why not?ย  It’s not authentic, or traditional, but it does have something of the same flavour.

And blue is one of my favourite colours.

I went hunting for a suitable pattern, and found it in New Look 6197, which comes in both male and female styles and sizes, so I could maybe persuade the Husband to give it a try too. It’s an easy pattern; the hardest part is the buttonholes, and even they aren’t hard if you have one of those weird buttonhole feet for your sewing machine and a program that lets you just press the pedal and sit back. I did of course fiddle about with the pattern to suit myself, and put the collar on the other way around, because I wanted a certain side to go on top.

I’m very pleased with it. It’s comfortable, roomy without being baggy, the shirt went together without fuss and the pattern is easy to follow so there were no nasty moments or ambiguities to hold me up. I’m planning to use the same pattern for a pyjama top in a lighter fabric, together with a pair of elastic-waisted shorts from another pattern entirely.

But that’s a project for another day.

52 thoughts on “Nearly Hawaiian

  1. nanacathy2 says:

    The shirt is great but look at you, you look FABULOUS!

  2. anne54 says:

    I love your new shirt. However, I love the glasses even more! The options in the pattern look good too. The sleeveless one might be perfect for your steamy summer.

    • katechiconi says:

      I got the glasses from Zenni Optical, in the US. You fill out the order form on their website with your prescription, choose the frames, and a month later, there the glasses are. They have some *fabulous* frames… I have very wide shoulders and tend not to wear sleeveless shirts because of it, but I can see me making this version loads of times in different fabrics.

  3. The print on the material is so lovelyโ€ฆ reminds me of the โ€˜Alpanaโ€™sโ€™ I used to make on the entrances of doorways in India during the Puja Festivals and weddings of my friends. I would probably buy an ocreโ€™ if they had that colour in that print ๐Ÿ˜„
    The pattern is simple and beautiful and you look AMAZING ๐Ÿคฉ

    • katechiconi says:

      I haven’t seen an ochre version, but I’ll keep an eye open. The pattern’s a bit more random than traditional alpana, I think, although the white is very correct! It’s a very comfortable, slightly fitted shirt, not too huge and baggy, but not so fitted that I can’t move freely.

  4. Dayphoto says:

    perfect! Plus it’s very lovely to see YOU!

  5. Beautiful fabric and lovely outcome! Wish my 60 plus year old sewing machine could still make buttonholes. I am totally not into hand stitching them.

  6. You and the shirt are looking spiffing. ๐Ÿ’œ

  7. craftycreeky says:

    You look great in your new shirt, the fabric is beautiful and the shirt is perfect ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Mya says:

    WOW. That came out great!! It makes me want to sew again!!

  9. kymlucas says:

    I agree with the first comment. FABULOUS, darling, SIMPLY FABULOUS! But I also like the shirt, although I must admit Iโ€™m a sucker for Hawaiian shirts. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • katechiconi says:

      Gosh, thanks! There are some really lovely colourful Hawaiians, but I still prefer the monochrome ones – maybe it’s just that the effect is less hit and miss: I’m very picky about my colours and patterns!

  10. Anyone who even attempts to make a shirt like that is a champion in my book – but LOOK AT YOU, you look absolutely fantastic and glowing with health and vitality! R-e-s-p-e-c-t to you on making the effort and sticking with it. xx

  11. claire93 says:

    you and the shirt are looking great!

  12. Going Batty in Wales says:

    Looking good – you and the shirt!

  13. tialys says:

    Look at you slinky malinki and is that a new hairstyle too? 30 kilos is a lot to lose but you look healthy and not as if somebody has let the air out of you ๐Ÿ˜‚. I guess it’s the difference between intending to lose weight and losing it when you’re ill and you obviously went about it the right way.
    The shirt looks great and I love my buttonhole foot (technical term๐Ÿ˜‰) except when I’ve made something with lots of layers like jeans and it messes up on the last few stitches which, as buttonholes are usually the last thing to be done, means the trauma of a possibly ruined garment.

    • katechiconi says:

      Mwahahah! Slinky! I’m still about 15kg off that description, but I’ll take it as encouragement ๐Ÿ˜Š It has taken me 6 months to get this far, and I’m guessing probably another 6 months to get to my long term goal, if I work at it. At some point, my doctor warns me, I may hit equilibrium, after which the loss will stop. It would be nice if that was 2 sizes smaller….
      Buttonhole feet/sewing machines chewing up waistbands is one extremely compelling reason not to make my own jeans in my book… I don’t really wear them enough in this climate to want a really well-fitting pair. anyway.

  14. Love love this! The fabric, the shirt , the look โ™ก

  15. Bear says:

    Beautiful! I love the shirt cloth. The paisley pattern is indicative of India, just in case you’re interested. Love the shirt you made. I love Hawaiian shirts, too… though I tend towards the brightest, most garish I can find. LOL! I find it very difficult to find them small enough for me, though. They’re mostly men’s sizes here. I do pick them up at the thrifty when on sale… makes great scrappy material.

    • katechiconi says:

      It isn’t a true paisley, which would be Kashmiri in origin, nor is it quite alpana from Bengal or rangoli, which is more widespread in India. This fabric is actually from Bali and is based on traditional batik motifs. The fabric is the tightly-woven, high thread count cotton traditional for batik, which means it should last a very long time, and it seems to be completely colourfast too, which is good news.

  16. Thackeroy says:

    It looks great! I love that it’s a detailed pattern on the fabric but it’s subtle at the same time.

  17. I knew it was you but you are unrecognizable from your former photo. That’s a huge change. I’d like to get busy myself on both levels. That would be my color blue as well. It looks terrific on you and you did an excellent job of it. I’m looking for a 3/4 length sleeve pattern but so far not found one just right. I love a collared shirt because the back of my neck likes to be covered. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  18. Emmely says:

    You look great!

  19. Kirsten says:

    Looks great! ๐Ÿ˜

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