The “Andrew Wyeth” Shirt
There are so many lovely pieces of art one might choose to inspire an item of clothing. I’ve no doubt this week will be filled with colorful clothes for most of us. But it is late winter and the artist that most epitomizes that to me is the mid- to late-twentieth-century American painter Andrew Wyeth. For those of you unfamiliar with Wyeth, here are a few of his paintings as reference.
As you can see, he works largely in grays, browns, creams, tans, and whites. In other words, February and March in the Midwest, though his landscapes are of Maine. I happened to have in the stash a length of sturdy cotton in an odd gray that I knew I wanted to turn into a casual buttondown shirt that would go with jeans, a straight black skirt (which I guess I will have to make at some point since I don’t have one), black pants, or, if I want to get a little more vibrant than a Wyeth painting, bottoms in colors like red, pink, orange, or ivory.
I had to buy thread and buttons (oh my, it is not easy to match this gray!) and I’m quite pleased that among the only three or four syles of buttons Jo-Ann’s had in gray, there were these little sweeties that more or less matched. Sort of. Well, less in the photo than in real life. I swear.
The shirt came together very easily and I know I will make it again. The pattern has three different lengths and four different sleeve options and could be made with any number of fabric types and patterns, making it very versatile.
Here I am striking a portraity pose by a window, an homage to Wyeth’s wonderful ability to render natural light in his paintings.
And when it came to pictures, I just couldn’t resist trying to recreate one of Wyeth’s famous portraits of Helga Testorf, painted in 1979.
- Fabric: 2 yards heavy cotton
- Pattern: McCall’s 5433
- Year: 2007
- Notions: 8 buttons
- Time to complete: best guess is 5-6 hours
- First worn: February 11, 2012
- Wear again?: Yes. This is already getting a lot of wear.
- Total price: $13 ($5 fabric, $1 pattern, $5 buttons, $2 thread)