Woven shirt for my husband

Over the 30 plus years that my husband, Jim, and I have been together, I have made him a lot of shirts, vests, jackets, pants, and even a parka. Some of them, he really likes, and wears a lot, and some, well…. not so much, and even though I think that they look great on him, if he isn’t comfortable in it, he won’t wear it.


The first piece of fabric for Jim's shirt being woven on an Emila rigid heddle loom

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

So, when I decided to weave a shirt for him to wear at his various festival gigs this summer (he’s a jazz musician), the first and most important criteria was to make it comfortable!Β  It has to be a style that he likes (he likes ‘traditional’ shirts, not the ethnic styles that I like), and the fabric couldn’t be too wild (ahem, not like something that I would wear- very large grin accompanying this statement).

3rd piece of fabric being woven on Peacock loom for Jim's shirt

Jim’s a very gentle, laid back guy, and kind of shy, so he’s not into wearing stuff that is toooooooooo wild, although he does have a rather spectacular collection of ‘tractor’ shirts that our daughter and I have made for him over the years. (He loves his vintage tractor, and he loves making hay, so we keep our eyes open for fabric that has tractors on it. But, that’s another story.)

So, anyhow, when I decided to weave him a shirt, I had him choose the colors, and I warped up myΒ  Glimakra Emilia rigid heddle loom.

(I bought it from a friend on Ravelry). I wove a 4 meter length of fabric, and thought that it was toooooo bland.

So I warped up the next panel of 4 meters with a different, more striking arrangement of stripes, and I liked that a lot more.

These 2 pieces shrank from being 18 1/2 inches wide to 16 inches wide and got a 1/2 meter shorter after washing.

At first, I thought that I wasn’t going to use the first bland-ish piece so, I warped up my Peacock 2 harness table loom, and wove a 10 meter long piece of fabric, with the stripes going horizontally, instead of vertically.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

But, when I laid it out, to start cutting it out, I realized that I needed the first chunk of fabric, too.

I had been pleading with Jim to let me puhleeeeeeeeeeeeeze put some embellishment on his shirt, so he said, okay and let me weave up a Celtic interlace for the collar, cuffs, and button band:

Celtic interlace band woven on Vesterheim Museum Cradle Loom with heddle made by Fred Hatton

Last winter, I bought a lovely little heddle from Fred Hatton, and when I was weaving the Celtic interlace band, I couldn’t resist drawing rabbits on it and burning them on. The cradle loom is from the Vesterheim Museum

I had to piece the sleeves, so decided to get decorative with them, too, and wove another pair of bands to embellish the seams:

woven pick up technique on narrow band

Of course, cutting out handwoven fabric is always a touch jittery….

cutting out handwoven fabric for Jim's shirt

I zig zag around each piece to keep it from fraying.

Sewing the shirt together was pure heaven! It went together just beautifully. This is a pattern Simplicity 2741 that I have used a lot, so I am very familiar with it. It’s a quick and easy shirt that looks great.Β  (and is comfortable πŸ˜€ )

Every seam is stitched at least twice, and sometimes more, for stability. I used hem tape on the hem, and there are 6 lines of stitchingΒ  alone at the hem. With handwoven fabrics, I tend to ‘oversew’ just for security.

So, tahdah! Here it is:

woven shirt for Jim

Here’s a closer shot of the sleeve:


and the collar:



Making this shirt for my beloved gave me the opportunity to pour a whole ton of love into a physical object that will wrap him in my love, appreciation and gratitude. Truly, there is love in EVERY stitch!!!!

And, if he finds that it’s not comfie, well then, I’ll wear it! πŸ˜€

(But he does say that he likes it, so I hope it will be a pleasure for him to wear it and make beautiful music in it!)




Filed under weaving & handwoven

65 responses to “Woven shirt for my husband

  1. Sharon

    WOW, what a labor of LOVE

    Seeing something like that makes me want to get my looms out.



  2. Hi Sharon
    πŸ™‚ Yes, it is indeed! He’s worth it πŸ˜€ It was a genuine pleasure to make it for him. He is ALWAYS doing lovely things for me, so it feels good to make him something extra special.
    AND, I am so pleased that you feel inspired to pick up your looms! That’s why I posted about it πŸ™‚


  3. Jan

    This is absolutely breathtaking! You have such a visionary and amazing talent for creative weaving, woodworking and goodness knows, everything else. Thank you so much for posting your husband’s new handwoven shirt and the process of producing it. May he wear it with pride and be inspired to let those jazzy notes flow forth into your waiting ears!


  4. Oh my goodness – that is so amazing! I love all the embellished bands – and the whole thing just came together in a most spectacular (but subdued and comfortable of course πŸ™‚ ) way. I absolutely LOVE it.


  5. Thank you so much, Jan! What a BEAUTIFUL comment! and I agree… I hope it gives him even more inspiration when he plays… he has written several pieces for me, and I always melt when his trio plays them… πŸ™‚


  6. Thank you Terri! It’s a very Jim sort of a shirt, isn’t it? πŸ˜€


  7. Wonderful shirt. I can hear the music just looking at it.


  8. I LOVE it!!! it’s beautiful from every angle – i wish i could see larger images… all the better to drool over… i think i’ll weave material for a shirt – thanks for the inspiration.


  9. That’s one jazzy shirt!



  10. barb

    love the shirt, but love your whippet as well!


    • Hi Barb
      Thanks so much! Actually, he’s a greyhound, and my constant companion. We adopted him through the Canadian Greyhound Rescue association, and he is the most wonderful dog! We had to move a couch into the studio, as he is a complete couchpuppy, ROTFLOL!


  11. Jim

    It is a very fine shirt indeed.

    Jim, the lucky owner of the shirt.


  12. Love you forever, my darlin’- wear it in good health!


  13. amy

    Ah such a great shirt. Made with love and totally unique and beautiful!


  14. Nancy

    I am just in awe of your talents. I’m sure the shirt will be treasured for years to come.


  15. Thank you so much, Nancy! πŸ™‚


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  17. This is just fabulous. I’m a beginning weaver and did’nt know all these different “pieces” of weaving could be incorporated into one. Thanks so much so sharing.


  18. Albert

    Absolutely gorgeous.


  19. Deb

    Wow! That is an amazing beautiful shirt!


  20. Charlotte

    Love this shirt! The detail is fabulous! Keep up the wonderful weaving work! I bought a speed o weave loom in anticipation of the book you are working on.


  21. Thanks so much, Charlotte πŸ™‚
    I am very inspired with the new Speed-O-Weave loom book, and hope that you will be, too. Still a few more weeks before I release it…. working hard on it! πŸ™‚


  22. Alice

    Jim s shirt is very nice, I love the bands that you made. Truely a labor of love.


  23. DwayneHrynkiw

    intricately beautiful


  24. Thank you, Alice! πŸ™‚


  25. What a beautiful, creative design! It just goes to show that commercial patterns can be a great starting point, but there is no limit to your imagination. Your work is wonderful.


  26. its lovely, and it looks nice and soft to wear


  27. I am in awe of you, your talent, and the beautiful shirt that you made. Thanks so much for sharing and being an inspiration to the rest of us!


  28. Diane

    I LOVE it! Beautiful work!


  29. Beth

    This is beautiful! I love the bands and can’t believe how they can be woven on such a simple loom. How? Can you tell us what yarn and epi you used?


    • Hi Beth
      I love the Sami band weaving technique that I learned from Susan Foulkes, book: Sami band weaving : Sami band weaving
      Susan also generously posted tutorials to the very neat group on yahoo: Braids and Bands
      Doing pickup weaving with the Sami technique is much faster than inkle pickup. I have woven many a mile of pickup technique with inkle, but am now smitten with the possibilities of working with the Sami technique.
      Also, working with the double hole heddle for weaving pickup bands is just so neat!
      No profit in raving about Grace and Fred Hatton’s heddles or Susan Foulke’s book, just think that they are wonderful! πŸ˜€


  30. Wonderful shirt, the time and effort you’ve put into it really shows! As a weaver, I’m interested to hear what the yarn is you used, and what is the sett? The fabric looks lovely.


  31. Aleksa

    What an utterly gorgeous shirt! It was mouth-watering to watch the creation of this shirt so surrounded by love..


  32. Aw, thank you thank you thank you, Aleksa! πŸ˜€


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  34. This shirt is divine, the design details are gorgeous! I’m a knitter who has recently taken up spinning. You are inspiring me to try weaving as well.


  35. Beautiful shirt, love it!


  36. Tracey Ambrose

    Hi there, I was wondering if you know what type of cotton you used for the shirt? I see you’ve mentioned the sett was 12 epi, but do you know what the cotton was (8/2, 16/2, 22/2, 30/2, 33/3 etc)? I’d love to weave something like this for my husband with a band like this: http://weavolution.com/sites/default/files/u1/weaving%20edges.JPG – very inspired, thank you πŸ˜‰


  37. Mara

    I see where you added an extra warp beam to the Vesterheim loom. Did you find that it needed more length, or…? I’m thinking of buying one and am curious. Thanks!


  38. Hi Mara
    I added the extra warp beam to lift the warp higher. This makes it easier for me to weave pickup bands using the rigid heddle that I bought for the loom.
    Works beautifully!


  39. Mara

    Good to know, thanks!


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  42. Awesome shirt! Wonderful work!!


    • Thank you so much! The new shirt is going to be much more wild and wheeling… I hope that he’ll like it! LOL
      (If he doesn’t, then he won’t wear it, but I will) πŸ™‚
      I clicked on the link on your blog that leads to the article about spinning bast- that’s a great article!


  43. Lianne

    Your shirt is beautiful! I envy you your time, skill and patience! I seem to be somewhat short on all levels!
    I have been trying to find a source for the cradle loom, but it does not appear on the museum website. Would you have any updated information on how to purchase one of these looms? Thanks for any inforamtion!
    thanks so much!


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  45. Roland

    Where can I find a peacock loom? That’s the exact kind of loom I need!!!


    • The Peacock loom is no longer made, so you will have to watch for a second hand one.


      • Roland

        I found one. I bought it. I am fulfilled πŸ™‚ Do you weave often on it? I’m really excited to see what I can do with it, but I do have one question: how fine can it weave? I did some research and all I could find was that the reed on the loom was an 8 dent…do you think it’s possible to put a finer reed on it?


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