There is a well known optical illusion with two faces in profile on the left and right side, leaving a vase / cup / goblet in the middle from the background space between them. I used that illusion on a dress shirt, with a nice but conservative and rare colour combination of navy, white and brown.
This is my second try at this dress shirt, with the first having been a bit tight and looking like second rate clothing.
I came upon some ultra-suede by chance a few months back for a very low price at a garage sale, so I bought it for this purpose. You see, ultra-suede doesn’t fray at the edge, making applique style designs with curves and such easy to do as you don’t have to finish the edges.
I downloaded a vector file of the illusion, enlarged it to my dress shirt pattern size and cut it out of the ultra-suede. Sewing it on was a bit tricky having to turn all the curves, and the occasional corner, but far easier than having to finish the edge as well as sew it on.
I was fortunate enough to find ultra-suede in blue and brown because blue, brown and white is my favourite conservative colour combination. I couldn’t find white ultra-suede in Halifax, if you can believe that, so I had to use a twill like middle. Unfortunately, the two ultra-suede colours were different in thickness, weight and malleability so the dress shirt does feel like three fabrics used, but beggars can’t be choosers. I’m just not ready to be spending like $30-50 a metre for ultra-suede. I got it for $4 a metre, if you can believe that. Perhaps when I become famous as a designer, I’ll redo this dress shirt “right”, but this will do for now.
I had thought about doing the cuffs in the same colour as the sleeves, so as not to be distracting from the full illusion. However, I liked my buttons too much to miss the opportunity.
Finally, the two coloured ultra-suede allowed me to put my trademark asymmetric look on the design. Even if people don’t see or recognize the optical illusion, hopefully, they’ll still find the colour combination refreshing to look at, and the curves just look a little interesting.
Overall, despite how much I liked the design, I’m only going to give this shirt a silver rating. I should have made the images closer together because I’m not that big a person and would have liked to have shown the faces more. The different weights of all the fabrics is not my favourite, and the twill is hard to iron right and well. This will have to be a casual Friday dress shirt in my wardrobe because of it.