A Very ‘Gay Red Shirt’

Definition of GAY (via Merriam-Webster)

1
a : happily excited, merry <in a gay mood>
b : keenly alive and exuberant : having or inducing high spirits <a bird’s gay spring song>
2
a : bright, lively <gay sunny meadows>
b : brilliant in color

I decided on a T-shirt for this challenge, because comfortable, casual tops is what my wardrobe needs, especially with summer coming on.

I’d already earmarked this red fabric with navy blue & white stripes for my top when NZ’s Prime Minister stuck his foot in his mouth and told someone they’d never make it because they were wearing ‘a gay red shirt’.  Wow.  Thanks John Key.

Whatever your feelings on homosexuality, using personal descriptors as insults is NOT OK.

Everyone, up to and including Sir Ian McKellan, has come down on Mr Key for his comment.  He tried to defend himself by saying he heard his kids say it, and thought it meant ‘weird’.  I don’t think he’s helping his case at all!

Someone decreed Friday the 9th as ‘Gay Red Shirt Day’ as a protest against his insult, and hey, I was planning to wear this  anyway.

I had an extremely gay time making my shirt (it was so easy), and wearing it on Friday to visit a friend and her four-year-old.  We gaily rambled along the beach, and spent a gay hour in the awesome neighborhood playground, going ’round & ’round on the octowobble, discovering that I am very bad at the ‘mouse house’ (like a hamster wheel for humans), and climbing to the top of the super slide and going down it over and over again.

I liked it so much I threw it in the wash that evening, hung it to dry over the dehumidifier, and wore it again on Sat.

In the afternoon Mr D and I went for an explore in the town belt with my camera.  It’s quite impossible to go on a ramble with me, especially in spring, without things getting very gay indeed.  I start bouncing along the trail and finding things and exclaiming over them “Ooooh…look!  Daisies!”  ”Oh, the first forget-me-nots of the year!  Aren’t they just darling?”, “A meadow!  With clover!  Lets go roll around in it!”, “Oooooh…honeysuckle!  Isn’t it just divine?”.  ”Oh look at that funny little shed with the graffiti!  Take a picture of me in front of it please!”

And I skip.  And frolic.

It’s quite ridiculous, and I just can’t help myself.

Oooh, speaking of getting excited, I really want to show you this picture:

It’s a terrible picture of me (what on earth am I doing with my hands?), but a great view of Wellington – and not the usual one you see on the tourist postcards.  The oval of grass on the far left is The Oval where I did the photoshoot for the Win in Black & White jacket, and the red-shrouded tower that you can see behind it is the War Memorial Campanile, right in front of the old Museum building where I did the True Love Story photoshoot, and somewhere in the green hills behind is the valley from the Rodeo & Wrangle outfit.  Wellington is such a photogenic little city!

Just the facts, Ma’am:

Fabric: 90cm of mid-weight viscose jersey, thrifted

Pattern: 3HoursPast’s Blank Canvas Tee, with a boatneck, and 8″ in length added so there would be a stripe at the hem.

Year: 2012

Notions: Thread

And the insides? Red, white & blue overlocking!

Hours: 2

First worn?: Wed 7 November (US election day on the other side of the dateline) and then after a wash on Friday 9 November for GayRedShirt Day, and then again after a wash on Sat 10 Nov for a walk & photoshoot.

Wear again?: Yes! in fact…

Make again?: I think I’m going to have to, seeing as I’m tempted to wear it constantly!

Total cost: $2

Author

Leimomi Oakes - The Dreamstress

Leimomi Oakes learned to sew as a child in Hawaii, and hasn't spent a day without doing it in the-more-years-than-she-would-like-to-admit-to since. When she was 18 she was nicknamed 'The Dreamstress' and bought the domain name, and now she's stuck with it. After getting degrees in Art History, Costume Design and International Relations she worked in a number of fabulous museums before going freelance as a textile and fashion historian and historical seamstress. She lives in Wellington New Zealand with a lovely husband and a world-famous cat.

14 Comments

  1. Oh I long for a summer … we didn’t get one this year … ah well, something to look forward to. Love the cheery colour.

  2. Fabulously gay shirt. ;-)

    BTW a few of us Wellington sewing/craft bloggers are meeting up on 24 November, if you’d like to join us? Some more details on my blog: http://macskakat.wordpress.com/2012/11/13/wellington-bloggers-meet-up-saturday-24-november/

  3. I love it all: the colors and the bright, gay colors, scenery, ramblings, and the lovely stripes!

  4. I love a fab gay shirt great job indeed. I loved your apron too, unfortunately there was no comment box there for me to comment through :(

    Mena’s actually moving house and said that things may be a tad slow around here due to internet connection and what not.

  5. Cute shirt and matching red lipstick. You look like you are experiencing much gaiety in your photo shoot. (I just had to use that word):)
    I hate it when the kids use gay as a derogatory term when referring to just about anything that they don’t like. I have quite the lecture for those who use it that way. I use a disgusted tone when I say something like, “That’s so Mexican!” or ” “That’s so white girl!” They are a bit shocked and I notice that they do pause and reflect. At least within my earshot, I rarely hear it any more.

    I can’t believe your Prime Minister would say such a thing. I’m glad you had a Gay Red Shirt Day to show your support against prejudices like that. Right on New Zeland!

  6. Gay is such a lovely, light and cheery word and it is so annoying that it has become a term of abuse like that. Politicians certainly aren’t the smartest people around. I like your shirt, especially the long line of it and the stripes at top and bottom.

  7. Oh you made me homesick! Cute shirt, love the way the stripes hit the shoulder, very gay.

  8. You are so rad! I love your shirt by the way. It’s sad that the word “gay” has been misused and tarnished. My step grandpa’s name is Gaylord, I had a teacher named Gaye, and I feel like I can’t use the word to describe how joyous I feel because there are people who will either laugh because they are rude or be offended because they think I am being a homophobic. Which I am not, my brother and uncle have “same sex attraction” (their term, not mine). But you are amazing!

  9. What an unfortunate gaffe your PM has made but you’ve turned the whole thing into a delightful learning experience. I love your red shirt and have the basic pattern, now I’m going to dig out some knit to run one up! Your entire post made me smile and I wanted to tell you I loved your Apron post last week but the comment were closed so “I loved your apron post!”. Thank you for the “gay old time” : )

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