Rhubarb Rhubarb

Hooray, Professor Boyfriend is triumphant in his first pink shirt!


I originally thought of this hue as Nantucket Red, but a little research proved that that’s actually an indistinguishable but legally distinct color! Apparently, Nantucket Red – that mainstay of New England coastal preppie summer culture; just picture someone named Bryant drawling “We summer at the Cape” – is owned by one business in particular. I have a soft spot for Nantucket Red, since growing up it gave even the most normative boys an entrée into wearing pink (though as I reminded some students today, colors don’t have genders, and genders shouldn’t be valued by comparison – seriously, who is feeding them ‘blank is a girl’s color (subtext: and therefore bad)’ at this stage of the game?! >( Blah, rant over. Well, paused). Anyway, I’m calling this universally flattering hue “rhubarb”! Come at me, copyright!

Plus we’ve concluded that if Professor Boyfriend was a vegetable, that’s what he’d be (I’d be a butternut squash, obviously). And here he is, fulfilling his destiny!


This is my zillionth time sewing the Thread Theory Fairfield, but only the second time with short sleeves. I love a sassy short-sleeve button-up, with my eventual goal being to put him in a Winston Bishop from New Girl-style Bird Shirt, as I think this is the exact right amount of fabric and casual flair to float a wacky print. However, as I’m historically lazy, I did not print out the separate pattern piece for the short sleeve. Instead I measured an existing shirt to find out that the final sleeve should be 5” long (armpit to hem), with a 1” deep hem. It looks nice cuffed, too! No photos of that here, since we took these photos in literally 12 minutes between the end of work and the beginning of game night.


This is a straight size M with back darts, no need to reinvent the wheel; we’re both happy with the fit on him. Professor Boyfriend has requested that next time, I move the pocket upwards a few inches; using the pattern markings places it a cool half-inch under the business end of his pec. Something to look out for, if you’re considering the pocket! No need to unpick and resew this time as it’s pretty well blended into the stripes. And speaking of resewing…

This relatively simple shirt (no cuffs, no sleeve plackets) took me FOR-EV-ER. I resewed the front placket three times! That’s just two straight lines, but I couldn’t get them right! Finally I fiddled the stripes perfectly into place, topstitched oh-so-precisely, and went ahead with the shirt. When it came time to hem I realized my fussy aligning and topstitching had failed to catch the raw edge in places.

I could not, would not, unpick and resew at this point. I didn’t think the collar stand would survive, for one thing. This cotton is lovely and soft but it doesn’t have a ton of tensile strength and it already wasn’t too happy with my unpicking binge.

IMG_8465So I hand sewed a length of cream twill tape over the raw edge! Honestly, it was easier to face at that point than any other solution I could think of. It’s not too obvious or offensive and I’m hopeful the shirt will last through many washings and wearings despite my dingleberry routine.

And to soothe my troubled heart…


Not too shabby, eh? The collar isn’t perfectly lined up but considering I forget to account for the stripes moving across it when cutting, it’s darn close. A big thank-you to Lady Luck!

To conclude, in the words of many valiant background actors in many movie scenes: rhubarb rhubarb, rhubarb rhubarb.


Th-th-that’s all, folks!


Pattern: Thread Theory Fairfield shirt

Pattern cost: NA

Size: M

Supplies: 2.5 yards of lightweight pink/cream cotton, $30, Gather Here; $1.91, thread, Michaels; $6.00, buttons, Gather Here

Total time: 7.5 hours

Total cost: $37.91