The John Deere shirt

So following on from my high class, designer escapades last week, I’ve now got something a little more, err, salt of the earth to show you. I’ve taken to calling this the “Appalachian Wedding Shirt” (and being from Perry County, PA, I’m allowed to say that!), but it’s also a gift of a gift, and I love when I can do that.

The (officially licensed!) John Deere quilting cotton was a gift from my friend Sharon, who bought it at her local Amish fabric store and presented it as a gag gift in my stack of fabrics that made up our wedding gift. John Deere is a completely unknown brand amongst my circle of friends in central London, but we knew our friend Simon would love this, and he travels all around the world on business so we knew it’d get seen a lot, too.

I paired this with Simplicity 5273 (now Out Of Print), which I’ve made many, many times for James in various guises and it’s my go-to pattern for a quick and easy button-down casual shirt for him.

You may remember Simon from the quickest pirate coat ever (and yes, he still wears it!). But this shirt has been a mental project for almost a year now, since Simon was overheard at our wedding complaining to other friends how “it’s not fair that James just picks out any fabric he wants and Melissa makes it into a shirt for him!”. ha! So we thought this would be perfect for him…

James’s first reaction when he saw the finished shirt was “It’s horrible! Simon will love it!”.

(Apologies for the mobile phone photos!)

The day after we gave him his surprise gift, he tweeted a photo of himself wearing it to work on Casual Friday, teamed with a Facebook teeshirt, ha! I’m proud to say that the Facebook shirt won the informal poll in his office for “worst taste” over the John Deere!


Having decidedly October weather in August means I’m itching for Fall sewing already, so I’ve started mentally pulling together my next few projects. First up is a new handbag for me since my mustard one is finally starting to fall apart. I’m making one in the leftover red leather, so it’ll be a near-twin to Pip’s handbag. I finished the lining with all its myriad of pockets yesterday, so the leather exterior should be a breeze in comparison. Having made this pattern 8(?) times now, I honestly could do it blindfolded.

After that, I’m in need of jeans and I also want to make my trenchcoat in time for some wear before it turns cold. With my 2.5 yards of waterproof gabardine as a limiting factor, I’ve narrowed down my patterns to either this Burda Petite jacket or this Burda cape jacket. Both have their pros and cons, but I’m kinda leaning towards the former right now. And then I’d also like to make a transitional coat, too, from the purple coating Claire gave me, but I don’t want to get too ahead of myself!

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