Galaxy bowling shirt from a vintage Style pattern

So this was a ridiculous and fun project.

bowling shirt front

I made it for the Spoolettes bowling trip, which was an extremely good night out involving bowling, karaoke, large pizzas, and ice-cream cocktails. The shirt was a last minute panic effort on the Thursday and Friday night before the big event.

Luckily I managed to make it entirely from materials I already had. I rummaged around in my messy pattern stash to discover this gem from the Paul Knight shop in Stevenage (not bought by me, you’ll be surprised to hear). From the styling I’m guessing it’s late 70s/early 80s.

photo 2

At some point in the long journey from Stevenage to Hackney, the pattern pieces had come unmoored from the instructions, so I had to wing it.

My main problem was that I’d never made this kind of collar, and I had no idea what it was even called. Eventually I found a good tutorial from the much-missed ‘pattern scissors cloth’ blog after extensive googling.

Is it a rolled collar? A blazer collar? Any ideas?

Either way it is magnificently massive, in a 70s kind of way.

shirt close-up

This pattern also featured something I’d never seen before, a tiny dart in the front. I think this supposed to help you fold back the lapels, although mine were actually folded in front of the dart. If you can shed any light on this I’d be intrigued to hear more.

photo 1

The fabric is a kid’s duvet cover from Tescos, already used by several sewists including Katie and Emily. You can see it here online, although it’s been sold out for a while.

I bought it a long time ago but it’s not the most lovely fabric in the world, to be honest. It’s thin but stiff and feels quite cardboardy. But it’s perfect for a space bowling shirt. The burnt orange contrast stuff was a remnant I got in a fabric sample sale, it’s slightly sueded and I think it suits the massive collar.

shirt back

Here’s a cool thing I discovered when making this shirt. While reading the manual for probably the second time in 8 years, I found out that my Bernina can sew pre-programmed letters. They’re straight stitch so it’s not technically embroidery, but its pretty awesome anyway.

Obviously I chose to embroider ‘COSMIC BOWL’ on to my shirt.

cosmic bowl

I didn’t get any good photos on the night as I was chatting too much, but you can see some great ones on triumphant winner Sally’s blog Charity Shop Chic here, Sew Dixie Lou here, Diary of a Chain Stitcher here, Nicole Needles here, and My Oh Sew Vintage Life here.

Will I ever wear this again? To be honest, my bowling skills don’t really justify a specialised shirt for the activity. But I’m sure it will see the light of day at some point. And if I ever want to open up a 50s space-themed diner, I already have my own uniform!

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29 thoughts on “Galaxy bowling shirt from a vintage Style pattern

  1. Emily November 20, 2014 / 3:24 AM

    OMG, this is AMAZING!!!

  2. Alessa December 4, 2013 / 4:13 PM

    Ooh, what a fun shirt! Galaxy bowling, indeed. 😀
    Could it be a notched collar?

    • yesilikethat December 4, 2013 / 4:30 PM

      I think you’re right! Thanks!

  3. Charise @ CRUNCH compass December 3, 2013 / 6:24 PM

    I love this shirt and I especially love that you would sew a shirt specifically for a party! Takes me back to my pre-kiddo days 🙂

    • yesilikethat December 4, 2013 / 4:24 PM

      It is unusual behaviour for me! It was fun to sew something so frivolous though 🙂

  4. Amy December 3, 2013 / 8:55 AM

    This is cracking. At my local bowling alley they do “cosmic bowling” on a Saturday night. They turn off the lights and everything is seen using glow in the dark paint: the pins, lanes, balls etc. I think you’d fit right in! If you ever discover about that mystery dart, share the news! Its intriguing

    • yesilikethat December 3, 2013 / 9:58 AM

      Oh wow, that sounds amazing! Maybe bowling in the dark would improve my skillz (or maybe not)

  5. tillybuttons December 3, 2013 / 8:02 AM

    This. Is. Amazing.

  6. Scruffy badger December 3, 2013 / 7:01 AM

    A.w.e.s.o.m.e.
    I’ve seen this in the other photos and have been. Looking forward to your write up. Love it!!!!!!

  7. Rach December 2, 2013 / 8:52 PM

    I’ve seen lots of photos of you in this shirt before, but didn’t realise it was made out of bed sheets?! Utterly fantastic remake 🙂

    • yesilikethat December 3, 2013 / 9:59 AM

      I wish it wasn’t so hard to find galaxy print fabric, Tesco must be baffled at how quickly their kids duvets were flying off the shelf! 🙂

  8. fionaparker17 December 2, 2013 / 7:43 PM

    High five for making a bowling shirt from a vintage pattern with no instructions! I love that your shirt had a theme. What a funny little tiny dart…

    • yesilikethat December 3, 2013 / 9:59 AM

      High five for you too! I’ve also just finished another dress without instructions, it’s like advanced level sewing (although if I was more organised I wouldn’t have to do it in the first place…)

  9. Donna December 2, 2013 / 7:06 PM

    Oh, that is so cool! Jealous!

  10. Kelly December 2, 2013 / 5:50 PM

    Very cool bowling shirt! You’ll have to break it out for special occasions!

  11. Gjeometry December 2, 2013 / 4:40 PM

    Spoolettes Rock!! Love your bowling shirt. You gals were the best dressed bowling team ever!

  12. Eva December 2, 2013 / 4:03 PM

    Like Gingermakes, I think this is a convertible collar – just had my ‘collars’ class in pattrrnmaking (-: I love that you made this with things in your stash, its super cool!

    • yesilikethat December 3, 2013 / 10:00 AM

      I remember this dress now, it’s brilliant! Love it! x

  13. gingermakes December 2, 2013 / 2:57 PM

    I love this! It’s so fun! I hope you find more excuses to wear it because it’s way cute. This looks like a convertible collar to me, since it attaches without a collar stand and the front facing gives you kind of a lapel look.

  14. whatkatiedoes December 2, 2013 / 2:32 PM

    Flip yeah. That night was too much fun.

    Yes, I think that dart is to help the lapels fold out nicely. The coat I’ve just finished has them too. I think that’s called a notched lapel collar – good work getting it so nice on your first try, and without instructions!

    • yesilikethat December 3, 2013 / 10:01 AM

      Have to confess I actually didn’t bother sewing the tiny dart, although I might do if I make another version (will have to slim down the massive collar too…)

  15. Miss Demeanour December 2, 2013 / 2:11 PM

    I bloody loves this shirt and if you ever open that diner on the space station I’ll happyily do a couple of shifts 🙂

  16. Stephanie December 2, 2013 / 1:17 PM

    This is one of the cutest makes I have ever seen! It reminds me a bit of the Star Wars sheets my brother had in the 1970s. 🙂

  17. helen December 2, 2013 / 1:13 PM

    I saw your shirt in photos on other blogs and wondered where you got the fabric from, what a great idea!
    Sorry, can’t shed any light on that dart!

  18. nicoleneedles December 2, 2013 / 1:11 PM

    I became so obsessed with your fabric after that great night out that I scoured the web to find some. I finally found some on eBay, and now I’m sitting in a cafe with the sheets, having just picked them up from the postal depot, and lo and behold – here’s your post all about your shirt! Spooky! ? Or serendipity? Whatever – its a fab shirt.

    • yesilikethat December 3, 2013 / 10:01 AM

      Ha ha, amazing! Can’t wait to see what you make with it, I’m imagining greatness already.

  19. lizzylikescake December 2, 2013 / 11:55 AM

    This is possibly the most awesome shirt I have ever seen! x

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