Queer Fairy Tale Shirt

Having loved the fit and making process for my Strawberry Thief shirt, I picked up the pattern once more and — with just a few additional tweaks — made a second in what I’m sure will become a whole series.

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The fabric is an old one by Lizzy House for Andover fabrics, the Egyptian Hunt grey from her Lovely Hunt series. I picked it up on super clearance; as a quilting cotton, it’s a little heavier than I prefer for my own clothes, but the pattern was too delightful to pass up.

Once more, the pattern used is a modified Simplicity 8427. Based on notes from the last time I used it, I pinched out some excess volume in the armscyth above the breast, and scooped out a smidge more space below the armpits to allow the sleeve cap to ease in. After wearing it around, I think I can remove about 1/2″ width from the sleeve anyway, which will allow it to ease in even more cleanly, as this time around it was a narrow squeeze. I also used a stiffer interfacing for my collar, but am still getting some collapsing — I think my original idea to add some height to the collar stand is needed, and I will definitely do so the next time around. I’m also going to bring the cuffs in by about 3/8″, as I prefer a slightly snugger fit.

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I’m pretty pleased with my pattern matching down the center front again, though a bit of a inside/outside mixup means my back yoke isn’t perfectly centered. To get the unicorn heads perfectly placed on the collar, I had to extend the ends of the collar then narrow it down to the correct size by adding a seam in the back. If your pattern repeat doesn’t line up perfectly with the collar pattern piece, you can always cut the collar in two pieces and seam them together!

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This style of shirt will probably always ride up over my butt a little, just because of the quite extreme curve from the small of my back, but I really like the fit of this version, and think the gently curved hem looks nice tucked or untucked. I would like to experiment with hemming using a bias tape facing, as getting a nice, clean curved hem is still a bit of a challenge for me.

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I call it the queer fairy tale shirt because, looking closely, the knight and princess share basically the same features, virtually indistinguishable, and I’m a fan of lady knights and gender non-conforming princesses and taking up fairy tales we were never supposed to exist in and making them our own. The tapestry-like design also makes me ache with the weight of connections to history, to all those handworkers whose stitches have been lost, and those whose work has been, so improbably, preserved for us to marvel at today.

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9 thoughts on “Queer Fairy Tale Shirt

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    1. Right? On instagram, the fabric designer commented that she intended them as sisters (which is also sweet), but c’mon, reclaiming fairy tale romances as queer is more fun. Thank you!

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  1. Heck YES I love this. It looks excellent on you and the fit is great. Love the way you did the collar so it’s slightly disjointed and yet still recognisable as a whole. Giving me some art feels.

    And gotta love the subtle queerness. Sisters is sweet I guess but yeah definitely seeing some ‘gals being pals’ – i.e. some super queer romances. Or maybe it’s even the same person – it is making me think of that artwork that goes around tumblr of the princess looking longingly at their reflection in a waterfall only their reflection is a male-presenting knight in armour.

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    1. Thank you so much! The slightly-matching-slightly-disjointed connection between the collar and the fabric directly below it was unintentional but I really like it nonetheless! I mostly wanted to frame the unicorns on the collar.

      It could definitely be someone saving themself! I like that interpretation too. Or, along with that artwork, someone imagining multiple sides to their presentation.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Collar matching prayer hands!!! Also (semi)relatedly I’m going to see Tamora Pierce in less than a week, some choice lady knights there!!

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