Hot! Oscar’s Descendants Dashiki

The Facts:
Fabric: thrifted cotton print = $3?
Pattern: None
Year: Contemporary
Notions: None
Time to complete: 2 hours
First worn: To get a haircut and run around like a maniac at home.
Wear again? Yes, next week and probably all summer
Total price: $3?

That’s not a misplaced apostrophe in the title:  my son’s name is Oscar and this is his dashiki, inspired by George Clooney’s blue Hawaiian shirts worn in The Descendants.  I admit that I have yet to watch the whole film, but I don’t think that was a requirement for this challenge, hunh?

I made Oscar a dashiki last summer in the midst of a heatwave, when we couldn’t even tolerate T-shirts. (Montreal gets up to about 40C with the humidex, and without air conditioning, it can be quite stifling.)  He wore it as often as it was clean, and it was an easy enough top to sew, so I decided to make him another one.  I used another great thrift store find, a short piece of cotton souvenir fabric from the island of Guadeloupe.  It was a quick job to trace around the existing one and add a bit of width and length for a growing boy.

This is the 4th or 5th time I’ve made a split front top, and it’s still not perfect, but I’m improving.  I can’t get that bottom point to lay flat; it may have to do with my hesitancy to clip right to the very last thread before turning inside.  I always leave a few threads, which makes it a bit bunchy and wrinkly.  You’d think I’d have learned my lesson by now.

Either way, he loves it and once I got him to try it on for fit, he refused to take it off, even after it was full of itchy hair from the barber.  He spent the whole appointment telling the barber about how his Mama made his shirt and how he was going to fly for two days to Africa and get to sleep in a mud hut and see elephants.  I don’t think she believed a word of it.

I tried to get some photos of him before the haircut, but anyone with one of these critters living in their house will know how difficult they are to photograph.  Here’s a general idea of how the photoshoot progressed:

Perhaps Rango would have been a more appropriate inspiration:

BTW, I made this red apron for my daughter last week from the left overs of my Down Under Sundress, but then I didn’t end up posting.  I guess I didn’t consider that a free-hand, lopsided  wabi-sabi apron with purchased bias trim warranted a post unto itself.  And frankly, a two year old is an even more difficult model than a 6 year old!




















Vicki used to sew when she was young and free, but then raising young'uns and bringing home (some of) the bacon took up all her time. Now her closet is full of skinny clothes, maternity clothes and post-partum clothes, none of which fit properly. Maybe that's why she started sewing again in 2010.


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  1. what fun photos and a great make

  2. What a cutie. Its nice to see another little one on SewWeekly

    • He wants to start using my sewing machine, and I hesitantly agreed that 6 is probably old enough. You never know, I may end up posting something of HIS here!

  3. Adorable! I love the Rango comparison.

    • The only way I got him to stand still for that shot was to tell him, “Make a Kylie face” (Fantastic Mr. Fox reference), and even then, I was one shot out of probably 40!

  4. Adorable! And I like the “action” shots… good to see how clothing is going to be “lived” in!

  5. FABULOUS! And definitely loving the action shots :)

  6. Such a great light shirt, perfect for the extreme heat.

  7. That’s such a practical use of a very cool fabric. Lucky oscar!

  8. Great idea and the action shots show a lot more of the top than you would think heehee

  9. The Rambo pic is priceless.