Shirt Puzzle

Me and My Apple Tree

I love puzzles. I could spend all day working on a puzzle. Recently I spent all day working on something I like to call The Shirt Puzzle.

The Shirt Puzzle begins as an actual shirt, not a puzzle. Then I take it apart, seam by seam, and put it back together. I fancy myself one of those sewers that enjoys altering old clothes; instead of fussing over fabrics, pattern designs, and following directions to create something completely new.

This shirt puzzle came from my grandpop. He passed away just over two years ago. He could be a real grump, but I loved him. I was terribly close with both him, and my grandmother, and I’m still pretty sad that they are gone. I find comfort in things like wearing their old clothes.

Flannel Shirt Apple TreeIn fact, I’ve always loved to wear my grandfather’s clothes. I think most normal little girls raid their mother’s closets to play dress up. Mom always has cool clothes. Not me. It was more normal for me to raid my grand pop’s closet. It began with me wearing his old 70’s shirts, with the huge collars, when I was in high school. My grandfather was tall. At 5’7”, I don’t even come close to his stature. I probably looked ridiculous in his shirts, but I thought I looked cool. Real vintage. Not something I found at Goodwill. Wearing my grandfather’s shirts progressed into me wearing his ties too. I tried the pants, but that was an epic fail. He got the biggest kick out of it. I would come bouncing down the steps, fresh out of his closet and into the living room where he would be seated on the couch watching the history channel. I would say, “Hey grandpa, can I have this?”

He’d glance up and say, “I don’t see why not.”

My grandmother, of course, would laugh and say, “Sarah, what are you gonna do with that? Don’t tell me you’re actually going to wear that stuff. Uuuggghh. Yuck.”

But secretly I knew that she found amusement in my sense of style as well.

So when my grandfather passed away my grandmother made sure I took whatever I wanted out of his closet. It’s been two years and a grip of his flannels still hang in my closet next to my favorite sweatshirts. I was wearing his flannels occasionally, in the XL size in which I had received them. But then I thought to myself, “You know, you look really dumpy in these huge shirts. They would look a heck of a lot cuter if you could at least fill out the shoulders.” Luckily I had the good sense to size the shirts down, and not just insert shoulder pads.

Grandpop’s Flannel

And so here it is. Gus’s shirts cropped down to Sarah’s size. I think he’d like that a lot.

Maybe you noticed my accessories as well. I cropped down grandpa’s old gold watch to wear as well. I only had to get the jeweler to remove, like, 15 links. But now it fits perfect; just like my new shirt.