Fruit Bats Shirt

I bought some lovely screen printed fabric some time ago.  I was taken by surprise at the hairdresser, a place I don’t usually have to resist the urge to purchase fabric.  She had a lot of designs from Injalak Arts (from Oenpelli, Northern Territory) for sale and… I came away with this one: Kuluban (fruit bats) by Selina Nadjowh).   If you like it as much as I do, it turns out Injalak Arts are selling on Etsy.  They are ‘a non-profit, community enterprise’ set up to benefit Indigenous artists. So do support them if you can.

Here I am near the start, applying part of a stained, worn old tablecloth as interfacing.


There was a bit of a placket crisis when I was intent on stitching the plackets one night and realised that I’d traced them from another pattern without instructions.  Evidently I had also chosen a different sleeve construction (one with a placket in the main pattern section and not on the seam).  I had created a whole new pattern piece for the sleeve, which had a placement line and slash line. Not much help there….


I have made this pattern many times but it has been a while, apparently!  I assumed I could fudge the plackets, which in the end, I did.  Here they are in their quite-good-but-not-perfect-glory.


The collar assembly in process.


Recycled buttons came into it. I just can’t go past the pearly ones.  I might have preferred smaller buttons, but actually these are good on such a bold print. I chose the button side and the buttonhole side the way I thought looked best with the print.  I’m not a big fan of buttoning up one way for boys and one way for girls, and I think I have shirts constructed both ways. When sewing a shirt I often choose depending on which front has least wonk factor. This time, not too much wonk at the front.


Cuff detail.


The back, where you can see quite a bit more of the fabulous fabric.  To be honest, my experience with shirts is that you can do anything you like if you have an awesome print.  People don’t seem to notice how many of my shirts are from the same pattern, for instance (maybe they are just too polite to say)… and no one else cares about how I did with my plackets.


And here’s the front! I think this shirt will be fun….



Filed under Sewing

14 responses to “Fruit Bats Shirt

  1. So fun! I’m a regular lurker enjoying your adventures lured into the open by an imaginative use of a glorious fabric. Enjoy wearing it and cheering up the neighbourhood! Jazzy Jack

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So love this fabric – and think it looks amazing displayed so well on the back of your shirt. I did check out the Etsy site of Injalak Arts and sadly they are a bit too expensive for me – but they are truly wonderful and understandably dear as handprinted works of art.. Just wish my hairdresser sold such tempting treasures …..

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great shirt! Although in my tired state I did mis-read the title, which I will leave to your imagination. 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  4. oooh…great shirt, amazing fabric print.
    I had the same issue as Leonie with mis-reading. Thought maybe it was a new source for dyes….
    : )

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Awesome print! (and mad sewing skillz, as always)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. SubmarineBells

    I love that fruitbat fabric. It’s beautiful! I look forward to seeing you wearing it proudly. Oh, and thanks for including the links to the source of the fabric – I’ll certainly be checking them out. 🙂

    “People don’t seem to notice how many of my shirts are from the same pattern, for instance (maybe they are just too polite to say)…”

    Or perhaps it’s a third option: they notice that you have multiple shirts of similar design, but don’t see it as being comment-worthy. That’s certainly my position – I mean sure, you have more than one shirt of that type, but why would I care? They all have cool nifty details – covered in contact-printed eucalyptus leaf patterns, or made from wild and awesome fabric, or some other eye-catching element – and as far as I’m concerned, I’m as likely to comment on your shirts’ similarity of style as I might remark to a friend who favours awesome tshirts that their tshirts are all oddly similar in construction. :-7

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s a great way of thinking about it, thanks for setting it up so clearly. Makes me realise that even when I reject ideas like the one that women (in particular) should always be wearing something new and different… there is some level at which I’m still adhering to that standard or feeling my distance from it. Always good to notice. And yes! T shirts are remarkably similar in construction and I don’t feel the need to comment either 🙂

      Thanks for the appreciation of the cool nifty details!! That sure is one of the fabulous things about making your own, I am sure you agree as a fellow garment maker. And in the post skin cancer phase of my life I think my dedication to long sleeves and collars is likely to increase rather than decrease. Writing to you wearing a long sleeved short made from a damask table cloth!!


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