A Shirt for Andy Paulson

comments: 141


PATTERN: McCall's M6044
FABRIC: Some sort of homespun plaid, from Fabric Depot

Thank you ever and oh so much for all the book love!!! That made me very happy! I received an advance copy of the book yesterday and it is always so magical to see it all actually printed and put together. I am very excited about it. It is so good to be at this point!

In honor of embroidery, I started and finished embroidering a teensy patch I had planned for this shirt I made for Andy for his birthday. You might have noticed him wearing the shirt on his birthday and last weekend. (It's so dark out again today that these photos are a little soft, I'm afraid.) I am so glad that he likes it, and it fits him perfectly. I made it a little large because I didn't take the time to pre-shrink the fabric before I cut and stitched it up (yikes!). So the original shirt was quite large. After washing and drying it shrank (sp?) quite a bit, and came out just the way he likes it (phew — though it would have been easy to take it in, as the underarm seam and the side seam are the same, and continuous).

Remember that one time when we counted up how many different plaid shirts Andy had? He is still wearing all the same shirts, and has maybe branched out a little (Wilco t-shirt, OCMS t-shirt, I think the Dinosaur Jr. t-shirt finally fell apart, Pickathon sweatshirt) but not much. To be honest, I wasn't sure I could actually make a shirt that he would like. I knew it would have to have snaps and not buttons, for one thing, and I had never actually seen snaps at the fabric store. Turns out, I'd just never looked — they are there (back by the other snaps, of course!) and they are AWESOME. Soooooooooo much easier than making all of those button holes and sewing on buttons. Fun, too, because you use a hammer. (Make sure you get the snap-setting "kit," though, and don't try to line them up yourself with a spool and all that — well, at least this is what the fabric-store lady told me and I believe — worked for me, at least.)


Anyway, shirts can be kind of fiddly, I've always thought. I've made Andy a few, but hadn't done one in a very long time (though I kept promising). I think my sewing has improved with all the baby-clothes sewing I've been doing. This came together so easily I kept being amazed — but honestly, I think it was just kind of a relief to work with pieces that weren't Lilliputian, for once. A lot easier! I was so happy with how it came out, and I think he really likes it, because he wears it on all his days off, so that makes me very happy. He's out golfing in it right now.

To make the tag, I resized a photo from our birthday-day in the Gorge and added some text in a font (called Cursive Standard) that actually looks a little bit like my handwriting (on a good day). I printed it out on my ink-jet printer on printer-ready fabric. The photo will definitely fade as it gets washed, but oh well. He knows what it is a picture of. I embroidered the words with one strand of embroidery floss and the teensiest tiniest stitches I have ever done. I will admit that this took almost as long as making the entire shirt from start to finish. But so worth it. 'Cause the tag is my favorite part.


Happy birthday, my love. xo 


You guys are the sweetest love story!

Kathy McDonald says: June 11, 2010 at 09:59 AM

Wow, Alica, you did a beautiful job! I'm so impressed! No wonder he loves it - it's perfect!

TOTALLY FRIGGING AMAZING!! What a labor of love! Beautiful!

I agree with all the comments above. I love everything from the embroidered label to the fabric for the shirt. He's going to love it.

Collette says: June 11, 2010 at 10:02 AM

Is it weird if I love the tag more than the shirt? Not that I don't love the shirt, but I think I might marry the tag.

Happy Birthday Andy Paulson!

THIS is one of the sweetest things ever. You are so talented!

Kelly K. says: June 11, 2010 at 10:06 AM

You rock! The label you made is so crazy good!! It's such perfect stitching, love it! What a sweet gift!

You're so cute it's ridiculous. ;)

You guys are too cute. I love it! Man, I don't think you could find a Dinosaur Jr. t-shirt these days... but I'm sure there are plenty of Wilco ones on the market.

The shirt looks great! Putting in the snaps sounds like great fun. Very cathartic.

No wonder he wears it all the time! It is beautiful, and made with love - who could ask for more??
Seriously, that shirt is FABULOUS!!
I've never made a shirt, but my sister Lori has. Back in high school, she made western-style patchwork shirts for her boyfriend and herself to wear to the Sadie Hawkins dance. They were awesome, just like yours for Andy.
Very special, indeed.

puglette says: June 11, 2010 at 10:22 AM

that is a lovely shirt, and i know andy feels your love every time he puts it on. my husband is the same with some goofy sweat pants i made for him.

my sister makes shirts like this for her husband. it looks like the same pattern too.

what a gift sewing is, fun for the maker and the warm feeling of love for the receiver.


You are amazing. Ann

Oh, my heavens. What love. Like wearing a hug, I'm sure. And that tag? No words.

This is so cool. You are so cool. I love this!

When my husband and I were dating, I embroidered a short love note and the date on the inside of a button down shirt, behind the pocket. It was sweet.

this shirt is crazy good....it is such a labor of love to be appreciated, worn and loved for a long long time...kudos for such a job well-done...what a good wife you are!

That is the most gorgeous shirt! You are one talented little lady! The tag is my favorite part too, your stitches are so neat and pretty.

The label, crocheted hanger and the snaps are all my favorites! Beautiful job. It inspires me to try and make a shirt for my husband. Many of his are getting long in the tooth.

I can't believe you made that shirt - holy cow! It looks so worn/comfy/loved that I want it!

What a perfect gift!

Troy Louise says: June 11, 2010 at 10:48 AM

That's a fantastic shirt. What an amazing job. And, I can't wait to get my hands on your new book! Congrats on that & your cool shirt.

That shirt is amazing and the tag is super amazing. The best gift ever I am sure.

Happy Birthday Andy!

This is seriously unbelievable. I didn't really think it was possible to sew a normal looking mens shirt at home but I guess it is. Great job!

LOVE it!!! The tag just kills me - what a thoughtful & special detail. You two are *sew* cute! (Ha!)

Adorable, Alicia.

So doggone sweet (had to get in a plug for Clover!) that it almost makes me weepy.

Just love the tag AND the love that went into the whole shebang!


Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


post a comment

About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at aliciapaulson.com