Now that I had the taste for piecing and applique, I looked around the cottage and found a yellow linen duster that belonged to my mother-in-law. A petite woman, it would not fit me in any case and so I deconstructed it and took a scrap with me to the Quilt Basket to find some batiks that would make it go far enough to be an entire Oneshirt. A cheerful honeycomb and some light florals were just the ticket.

Some people are shy of yellow, thinking it brings out the yellow of their skin, but I think I look just fine in yellow. If the Oneshirt project is meant to be a detachment from forecasted trends, I can choose colors that meet my needs, not the ones that drive people to buy new things.

Either side of the front of the jacket I was upcycling featured some embroidery, with trapunto and silver beads. I carefully cut around the wing shaped embroider and transferred it to the front and back of the oneshirt I am calling Honeycomb.

My adventures in piecing Oneshirts is also driven by problem solving to use what I have in the best manner. Linen Lawn is a good example of this. The soft floral lawn comes from a collection of fabrics that I salvaged from my second paternal grandmother, Annabel’s home when we packed her up for the move to assisted living. I drove home that time from Paduca, KY with a car full of fabric, which I quickly burn tested on the dock of the local Salvation Army, leaving behind a stack of synthetics and carting off the precious natural fibers. Having a stash of heirloom fabric proved to be a bit stressful. How could I cut up this beautiful fabric and what could I make from it that would last as long as my memories of my grandmother Hustvedt? Here the Oneshirt comes to the rescue. I honor the heritage in this fabric by making longevity a requirement for the design: longevity in style because it does not reference any fluctuating external trends and longevity in function because it is resistant to my fluctuating size.

Of course, there was another problem  in this shirt, which is that I made a mistake in the cutting. Trying to make the lawn go as far as possible, I didn’t notice that I cut the second side facing the same direction as the first. These sides begin in the front and wrap around me, with a seam inserted for the pockets and the sides and then meet around the gusset in the back. The back “wing” is taller that the front because it has to wrap up and over the shoulder to form the top of the armhole. Also, the back is on a bias (not quite true bias) so while it extends a bit further over than the front, it isn’t a match.  So, I used scraps from the heavier light green linen I had on hand from an older adventure making a wrap skirt to “fix” the top of the front of one of the pieces to make it like the back. This is why there is a solid green wing on one side and why the edge is pieced, creating the off center green stripe.


I used the scraps I had to cut to make the second piece work as an applique of birds on the shoulders on both sides.

The result is a Oneshirt that is more complex and individual that is would have been without this mistake and one that gave me inspiration to piece the next shirt to include an applique.