HoJo’s Tablecloth Shirt


Oh, this shirt.

My intentions were so good. I started with Colette’s Negroni pattern and dug through my abundant plaid fabric collection for this blue and cream colorway. I believe it was from Drygoods many moons ago.

It was supposed to be a birthday shirt for M, then July whisked by.

I told myself no problem, it’s simply a late birthday present, and then August sped away.

Then, with our 11th wedding anniversary careening towards us, I finally completed it on September 3rd, our actual anniversary date.


He claims to love it, but here are the statements that he’s made so far: “Did you raid a Howard Johnson’s supply closet and steal a tablecloth? Or maybe it was a curtain?” And “I’ve never worn such a heavy shirt, putting it on is like a workout.” And “Very innovative of you to make a winter shirt with short sleeves.” It’s a good thing I have an excellent sense of humor.

And it’s true, the mid-weight cotton was a poor choice for this pattern, given all the facings and interfacings.


Now, it’s been a couple of months since I started making it, and almost a month since I’ve completed it, so I can’t say that I remember much of the details. I omitted the collar loop (a mid-century style detail, apparently) but otherwise, followed the instructions to the letter. I do remember not enjoying the process even though the instructions were superb and I was killing it in the print-matching department.

The lack of enjoyment was probably because I could tell that the shirt was going to weigh a ton and was most likely going to be too big for M (I cut an XL, which is his usual size, but he lost a lot of weight over the summer). Yet, I couldn’t quit on it.


The fit isn’t too bad, actually. He’s somewhere between a large and XL, and too big is better than too small, no? I’ve washed it a few times hoping to shrink it, but that’s some serious high quality cotton and it hasn’t budged in size.

But done is done, and undaunted, I’m looking to try a different pattern for the next shirt. Maybe McCall’s 6044Morgan‘s made a bajillion versions for her husband and she’s a thoroughly trusted source.

“Can I choose the fabric next time?” M asked. I don’t know, do you get the sense that maybe he doesn’t love the shirt?

But he loves taking pix with K! In actuality, he may make endless fun of it, but M wears the shirt all the time — my sweet guy.


P.S. The winner of the giveaway is Norah, congrats!

22 thoughts on “HoJo’s Tablecloth Shirt

  1. I love the shirt. It is a beautiful professional job and the plaid matching is amazing. The pictures are great–the whole thing is a ten.

  2. M does seem like a funny guy! HoJo tablecloth? I laughed out loud! But not at your expense, I promise! You are an awesome wife for sharing your limited sewing time, and doubly for smiling along with the wisecracks. The shirt looks great, but I bet it will also feel great with a waffle-knit henley underneath for those cooler fall days.

  3. it looks great! those two are so sweet together!!! I did end up making one for my guy too. but I had similar problems the fabric I chose was medium weights and it’s just a bit heavy. I also left off the button loop 😉 I think I will make another one and maybe try my hand at plaid matching.

    1. The plaid-matching was a definite win, but man, I should have listened to my instinct and used a lighter interfacing but I couldn’t find it!! Thank you, Amy!

  4. It looks great. Fantastic pattern-matching too!
    I’m just about to finish up one as a surprise birthday gift for my husband – just buttonholes and buttons to go. First garment I’ve sewn for him. I hope it fits and that he likes it. Eek!

    1. Ah, good luck Rhoda! I’m sure it looks fabulous!! And regardless of how much he mocks the shirt, M absolutely loves that I made it just for him :-).

  5. Hey there! That pattern matching is AWESOME!

    Tell M from the fangirls that it’s great to see him and K on the blog, and that we think he looks very smart in his shirt, and his comments sound informed (if a little cheeky! 🙂 ) I reckon it’s great that he wants to be involved in fabric choice for the next one! That bodes well. How about you think about this one as the wearable muslin? That’s important too, right?

    Have you seen the Merchant and Mills Union Shirt? Not sure if that is M’s style but he may like to check it out.

    I think you’ve done brilliantly. By the sounds of it, sewing for fellas is difficult, so well done Sanae!!!

    1. Thanks much, Jenny! He’s all cheekiness, my guy ;-). The Merchant and Mills Union shirt sounds very promising, thank you for the suggestion!

  6. I sweated over a linen version for my bloke’s Christmas gift a couple of years ago. I was thrilled with the result. He put it on and yes, I had sewn the buttons and buttonholes on the girly side and it was a smidge snug under the arms. He wore it for the rest of the day. That’s the family rule, you have to wear clothing you get given on Christmas day. It has never made another appearance.

    1. Haha! At least you felt great about your linen shirt…I was increasingly dreading the result of my shirt but yes, it does look good. Just a bit armor-like :-).

  7. You can tell M my first shirt for Nathan was made from a veerrrry saggy thrifted plaid flannel duvet – nothing like the beauty you made! It really looks great, and the pics are making my heart melt 🙂

    This requires a nutty amount of measurements, but have you checked out makemypattern.com? Somehow it’s free, and it’s a customized pattern based on measurements you input! There’s tons of design choices, too. (https://makemypattern.com/pattern/singular-shirt). I’ll report back if/when I try it!

    1. Oooh, I haven’t heard of Make My Pattern, must go find out more!! I don’t want to mislead anyone into thinking this is my first shirt for him. When I first started sewing I made him a shirt out of this unearthly slubby green silk that looked exactly like puke (I don’t know why I decided to go with that fabric choice, but I’ll chalk it up to decision fatigue). It rarely graces his body because it was a holy mess, but he’s valiantly tried to wear it when he wants to show me extra appreciation :-). Good guy. Thanks, Morgan!

  8. Y’know I’ve made a couple of negroni’s now for my beloved in cheery novelty prints, and those facings are way too much fabric if interfaced…. I’d think about the Thread Theory shirt if the McCalls doesn’t work out….

  9. It is probably the perfect time of year to wear a short sleeved winter shirt. I do not think I will be making any men’s clothes. I think you did a great job with one of the most challenging things to make. I am not surprised he wears it all the time. And that plaid matching is sick.

    1. Astute point, Max! It IS starting to get a bit chilly but not too chilly here in the Pacific Northwest. Thank you for your kind words!

  10. oh, so fun to see a rare peek of M! And that last photo, Sanae . . . does it not just melt your heart?

    Well done with the shirt – pretty sure he loves it deep down and you know how he loves to joke:)

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