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?  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.