Shirts and why I can now identify people by their laundry powder.

In some ways I’ll remember 2016 as The Year I Learned What Other People’s Laundry Powder Smells Like. I’m pretty confident I can recognise a number of people by their laundry powder smell, give me a shirt to sniff, I’ll tell you who’s been washing it. In fact, I’ve got a costume that’s here for some repairs and every time I come into the room, I keep thinking Glyn’s here. This talent has become one of my sewing-side-effect Super Powers. But, rather than 2016 being the year I went round sniffing everyone, this came about because I’ve done quite a bit of using basing garments off existing ones. Very, very clean and freshly washed garments too, it seems.

It started with Jono. He’d been given some fantastic fabric and by the magic of mathematics (and making the shorts short) I squeezed a shirt and shorts out of it. (I then took a pic with my phone at Jono’s leaving do. He’s now it Barcalona and (amongst other choreo and dance work) running a club night, Pluma.

Yes, it’s blurry but on the plus side, you get Jono’s lovely face).


No Jono but at least this one’s in focus.


They turned out very cute and it also sparked my obsession with print matching, something I’ve really got stuck into in 2017.

Another fun set of shirts and shirts came via these I made for Scottee752

The print matches better than the pic shows, honestly! I should have pulled the shirt inot alignment but who has the time?!


Being able to work with woven and with ease was a nice change from the lycra and sequins that have dominated the last few years but I’m nowhere near being done with all that.

Shirts kind of intimidated me for a while because of the precision they involve; sharp corners on collars, lining up collar stands and the annoying burrito-ing necessary to attach the collar…it’s the collars really, the idea of collars used to get on my tits. But, you only get better by doing so I just did it. Maybe they aren’t perfect but, from here, they look fine. Besides, with all that amazing print, who’s scrutinising my top-stitching? And even if they were? Meh, get a hobby.

About Vanessa

Sewing and assorted nonsense. For reasons that escape me, I left the sunshine and beaches of Australia for the crisps and glitter of London in 2001. I now live in the middle of some kind of feline drop-in centre in East London battling for space to make costumes and clothes. Over on twitter and instagram as @smittenness Email over here ------>
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3 Responses to Shirts and why I can now identify people by their laundry powder.

  1. That first fabric is EXTRAORDINARY. I adore it. Great work—I see zero flaws!

  2. The fabric with the faces on is fabulous. Good show on the pattern matching too. What a lovely job on all the shirt/shorts sets. Do you follow Peter Lappin’s blog “Male Pattern Boldness”? He has some really useful tips on shirt making and on finishing collars. I think that yours look great. Xx

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