Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Here it is...the western shirt that has consumed all of my crafty time for the last week or two. Lately, we've been reading a book called The Home Ranch by Ralph Moody. I think at this point in time the series is probably pretty obscure, but it is so fun to read! In the series, Ralph (known as 'Little Britches') tells the tales of his childhood in the early 1900's, growing up ranching in Colorado. Little Britches had a knack for getting himself into a pinch, but also for getting himself back out (usually). Little Britches gained his moniker by doing trick riding at the Littleton Rodeo, at the age of 9 or 10. He could stop his horse on a dime, launching himself out of the saddle to flip through the air and land, on his feet, next to his horse. (He didn't enlighten his mother on this hobby of his until the actual rodeo.) Reading this book got me thinking that I could make my son a fancy Western shirt. After seeing the Once Upon A Thread series at No Big Dill (where you sew something themed on a children's book), I knew I had to make it, and make it NOW! I already had a pattern for it, which I had previously used for a vest. (Simplicity 5366) The fabric was a shirting fabric I found on for less than two bucks a yard. It went together very nicely despite the fact that I lost the entire second page of instructions. My previous experience didn't quite cut it when it came to making the stand collar, so Google to the rescue! I embroidered the back yoke prior to cutting the piece out. For the design, I modified a clipart image for the horse and rider, and sketched out his name in lieu of a lasso. The buttons are pearl snaps, of course! I am really thrilled with how this project came out, if you can't tell. :) I have never made a dress shirt of the male persuasion and so I got to learn a few new things! And the best part? My son loves it. He even got right out of his warm, comfy jammies early this morning to get dressed up in his new shirt, jeans, cowboy boots and his favorite hat. That is success!


  1. Nice work. That shirt looks great.

  2. I'm really impressed. I like how the project was inspired by the Little Britches books. I haven't read them (yet), but my sister read the whole set and loved them. A few years ago we did a western-themed preschool homeschool and I'm a huge Toy Story fan so I have a fondness for cowboy sewing/craft projects.

    The collar looks like it turned out great. I know that's a big turn-off for making button up shirts, so congrats on that. It looks like James likes his shirt!

  3. I just came over from No Big Dill. I've never found anyone else who has read those books! My grandma and mother read them to my sister and me before bed and we loved them. I actually went back and re-read them as an adult and they are still good. (I love when books stand the test of time like that.) I am definitely planning to read them to my kiddos when they get old enough.
    Very nice work on the shirt. I'm sure your little boy will enjoy having a nice western shirt just like Little Britches.