Hot! The North Western Shirt | Diane

Because I'm not a total unreasonable taskmaster, the ladies who contribute to the Sew Weekly are allowed to sit out challenges from time to time. Adey's on vacation this week and instead of picking someone to replace her, I decided to ask the community for volunteers. The community, always thinking about each other, nominated Diane to fill in. She's been a Sewing Circle member since the beginning and has been such a welcoming and inspirational personality! I'm so happy to have Diane show us how to do Western, UK style this week.

Sewweekly 239

The Facts

Fabric: 2 Metres Cotton Chino and 1 Metre Cotton Handwoven
Pattern: Simplicity 9689
Notions: 12 Metal and Pearlised Buttons
Time: Around 12 hours sewing
First Worn: In these pictures
Wear Again: Yes, makes a great jacket
Total Cost: About £25 sterling, including everything

Firstly, a big thank you to The Sew Weekly community who enabled me to be here – particularly Charlotte Tilley, who set the ball rolling and who, like me, has been here from the very start. Also Cathe, Judi, Rachel, Paloma and Kat – Kat also deserves to be in this spot and I'm sure she will be very soon, with her own original take on the challenges. I hope I can make you all proud of me this week.

Western is the perfect theme for me because I already had most of the materials and the inspiration which is probably what swung it for me to be here! Here is my 'North Western Shirt' (all will be revealed why), which also doubles as a light jacket. There's always a story behind my fabric and patterns …. I bought the pattern after being on holiday on the west coast of the USA many years ago.   My Dad had retired and wanted to take the family somewhere memorable.  We did the whole works, starting in Los Angeles and touring round the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Yosemite and cities including San Diego, Las Vegas and San Diego, together with the Pacific coastline – all in two weeks!
Sewweekly 191 

We had a fabulous time.  See the photo of me in fabric heaven at the Bazaar Del Mundo in San Diego!

Sewweekly 207 

Sewweekly 213 

One of my souvenirs included the little red cowboy print bandana I'm wearing with the shirt, from Pier 39 in San Francisco – I did want a shirt at the time but never found one, which is why I bought the pattern on my return – it's been unused, as I've been so busy in the intervening years with work and study.   I've combined it with inspiration from another pattern I found a couple of weeks ago – I used it to make the cuffs and collar 'rounded' and more feminine.  

My shirt fabric also has it's own story.  The green check is a hand woven souvenir from Quarry Bank Mill, a working spinning and weaving mill in the North West of England at Styal, Cheshire, owned by The National Trust. I am originally from Manchester, in this area.  I visited on one of my trips 'back home'.  At the mill, there are daily demonstrations of working machinery and tours are a feature.  It's heyday was during the Industrial Revolution.  I bought the fabric length during a talk on the earliest beginnings of spinning and weaving - the North West was perfect for manufacture of cotton cloths because of the damp climate there.  My fabric has lots of irregularities in the weave, which I like.

Quarry bank mill 041 
Quarry bank mill 1 041

The main fabric in my shirt is from my local fabric store in Norfolk, East Anglia, where I now live. They happened to stock the perfect contrast and proper metal and pearl effect western shirt buttons.  Which brings me neatly round to the location for my shirt in action!  There's plenty of livestock in the fields around this area, the horses are just a short walk from my house – I hope I don't look too out of place, as sometimes I feel a bit 'town in country' – nice horsey!

Sewweekly 237 

Sewweekly 239 

Western 008 




Comments are closed.

  1. it’s lovely- with fabulous details! Well done!

  2. Such fine attention to detail, as always. The pearl buttons are spot on and I do like the green check.

  3. Diane, you have managed to look Western in Norfolk, a great achievement and I love the shirt and bandana combo – really good for the theme, lovely check fabric, goes great withe the stone one and the buttons.
    Your holiday with your Dad looks amazing, I have really enjoyed reading your article and your story, makes it all so interesting.
    You are right, I am very proud of you! xx

  4. Dianne, great work! What a lovely informative piece you wrote. One of my ancestors in the UK was a weaver – what a rotten job, they just had to escapte to New Zealand!
    I do like your boots too!

  5. Great job! The shirt looks fantastic, and I love the details and the story behind it. Well done! :-)

  6. I LOVE this shirt so much! It’s absolutely fabulous! I loved seeing the photos of your West Coast trip (you covered a lot of ground in two weeks!!) I especially loved the story of the fabric’s beginnings in a working mill. One of my goals is to get to know some of the working mills in the UK–it’s such a great tradition and I’m glad to know some have open doors to the public!
    I love your pearl buttons and the matching bandana! Very country and so much fun!! Great job!!

  7. Thats great Diane , I kwew it would be amazing !

  8. Great work, Diana! Love the contrast of the two selected fabrics and beautiful pearl buttons. And love your valuable information from your trip, everything is so beautiful there … sigh …

  9. It turned out so wonderfully! I can’t believe you made a jacket! That just blows my mind I hope to have that skill set some day. Thanks for all the inspiration.

  10. Diane, Super awesome post and shirt! You look as western authentic as can be! I love that you rounded your collar points and cuffs, giving it a more sweet vintage touch. I love the tour you take us on and the stop at the mill. I feel like I just had a mini vacation.
    I was so excited to get on the computer this morning and see your post, so very well done! You look fantastic!

  11. diane! that shirt is PERFECT. i’m beginning to suspect you are a sewing robot. i love your story, and as always your tours, takes you right there :)))

  12. What a fantastic shirt! well done Diane.

  13. Diane,
    I was so excited ,when I turned on SW and saw your post. I love your shirt and adding the bandana and white shirt..Just really worked well.Your pictures are awsome and I loved getting to share your wonderful vaccation pictures , and seeing where your fabric and patterns came from.. So proud you held on to them all this time.
    As we know…some things are just meant to be.. and I think this challenge was just meant to be for you.. Congraduations on a job well done..So proud of you.

  14. I love that you have a story about each part of your shirt/jacket! It truly makes it a fabulous creation :) It looks fantastic – well done!!!

  15. Congratulations Diane – a lovely story and great shirt. You are amazing!!

  16. Your finer details and finishing are always so beautiful and professional! It’s so lovely seeing your creation this week and your gorgeous back story and fabric explanation!

  17. I love the plaid detail! Your shirt/ jacket turned out so well. I think that I will start looking for fabric when I travel!

  18. Well done Diane! your fabric and button choices are spot on!… and you sewing looks so professional!!!! you’re one talented lady.

  19. Yay Diane great story and photo layout. Fabulous fabric and button match up well done on every level. Loves it

  20. Thanks Kazz – flattered you like it – I love what you do too!

  21. That’s praise indeed Casey! I always admire how you lay out your storyboards and you have such professional sewing skills.

  22. It’s good fun Melissa! Gives another dimension to travelling and it’s something to remember places by.

  23. Thanks Veronica :-)) I’ve really been inspired by you and the other Sew Weekly ladies.

  24. Thanks Debbie, glad you liked it all :-))

  25. Whenever I’m out anywhere, I always seem to be on the lookout for things I can use in ‘makes’ – there’s a lot more to come! Thanks!

  26. It’s down to you and the others Judy that I got here! Glad you loved the pictures, I so enjoyed putting it all together. Thanks!

  27. Thanks Farah, I think you make some amazing things.

  28. I’m flattered Oona! I do seem to be hooked on this sewing thing at the moment – just love it and all the fun I’ve had on this site!

  29. Aww, thanks Cathe – you set such a high standard the week before and you just seem to be getting better and better ….

  30. Thanks Jessie – I can’t believe I made a jacket either! It just came out that way – I think it’s the thickness of the chino fabric that makes it look jacket-like.

  31. Thank you Rosy – I really love your work and all the fine details you put in. Very inspirational and continental looking, I always look to see what you’ve made each week.

  32. Thanks Rachel. Hope you feel better soon – you’ve really been productive lately and made some lovely things.

  33. Thanks and I love the sizzling colours in your dress Debi! I hope to be re-visiting some of the mills in Wales soon – will let you know how I get on.

  34. Thanks Kat – I think this is my most favourite (and useful) thing I’ve made so far.

  35. Thanks Trish – weaving is such a noisy occupation too! You can’t tell that from the photos, but the machines, in action, make such a clatter. I think I’d want to escape to lovely New Zealand too!

  36. Hi Charlotte – I was glad I could get it all together in a week and try and make a good advert for the UK at the same time!

  37. Thanks Jen – I’ve really enjoyed seeing your jacket and coat recently and your quilts are amazing!

  38. Thanks Rachel – I really enjoyed making this.

  39. margueritedesigns

    And last but not least, BIG thanks to Mena for making it all possible.

  40. Love this!! Way to go!!