Encourage to Inspire: The Linus Shirt

There are times in life, and in blogging, where things just fall into place so perfectly that you can’t help but wonder if it was meant. Know what I mean?

That’s how I felt when Emily of Couplejones first emailed me the Linus Space Print (above right) and asked if I would like to collaborate on something. Um, YES! I mean, this print looks like it was made for my son! Call it serendipity, call it Providence, call it a crazy ole’ coincidence, but there was no way I could pass up the opportunity to be inspired by something so awesome and so in-line with my son’s personality.

As Emily and I began emailing, an idea emerged for a series that would celebrate the very cornerstones of creative community: inspiration and encouragement. All artists know that inspiration can come from anywhere: a moment, an image, a color, a person, or even a space print. We draw our inspiration from a million different places and moments in our life. And although we are separate people, living in different places and following different people on Pinterest (maybe?), we still rub off on each other.

Emily and I have decided we want to celebrate this rubbing-off. We want to celebrate our inspiration, in a way that is totally real so that others can be encouraged to try something new. So, we formed a challenge: Be inspired by the other person’s work to create something new and unique with a signature all your own. We offered plenty of encouragement to the other (Me to Emily: Oh, you can totally sew leather with your machine! Emily to Me: Oh, of course you can sew a button up shirt!) and got started sewing.

So, I think it’s time to show you what I did! I began with this as my inspiration:

And came up with my interpretation:


The shirt was sewn using the Sketchbook Shirt pattern by Oliver + S. I’d heard rave reviews about this pattern from friends, including Kristen, Vanessa, and Jessica, and decided it was finally time to grow up and make a “real” shirt. The pattern  did not disappoint! Oliver + S patterns have a reputation for being expertly written, very easy to understand, thorough and precise, and the good reputation is well deserved.

The only changes I made were to cut the pocket, button plackets, and back yoke on the bias (on the diagonal). I think this adds such great definition and contrast to the shirt.

I used a flannel from Joanne’s, and if you follow me on IG (@cailamade) then you’ve already seen it! I love the colors, and of course, it matched Couplejone’s space print, so I had to buy it. I chose something with a little blue for Hudson’s eyes, and I’m so glad I did because it really makes his eyes pop. I made the short-sleeved version because we live in SoCal and he really wouldn’t get the chance to wear a long-sleeved until next Winter.

A note on the sizing: I made Hudson a size 8 even through he’s 5 year old, because I was terrified of him outgrowing it too soon. As you can see, it still fits really well although there is plenty of room for growth.


The bow tie is made out of 100% genuine leather and was 100% inspired by the phenomenally talented Deliah from DeliahCreates. She posted the tutorial for these back in January and I’ve been dying to try it. This was my first go, and it turned out really well! The leather I used is pretty stiff, so next time I’ll use suede or something more supple. For tips on where to find leather and how to sew with it on a regular sewing machine, take a moment to read this post. These bow ties are a great scrap-buster project, and can even be made with regular fabric, so be sure to check out the tutorial!

The rest of the outfit is store bought. The blue pants came from Oshkosh last Fall, and the sunglasses are from Target. I let him pick out a pair and of course he went with red. Go bold or go home, right, my boy?

I think the glasses made him feel pretty special because he started acting a bit too cool for school during this photo shoot:

Thank you so much for visiting and reading today, friends. This project was a ton of fun and Hudson LOVES his new shirt and bow tie. He has worn it for 3 days straight. Yes, I am telling you the truth, and yes I have washed it.

Be sure to head over and see Emily’s Inspire project! She was inspired by one of my projects, and it’s so beautiful, you’re going to love it. Until next time, friends! 

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  1. says

    I wholeheartedly agree about the bias! That looks so sharp, especially in flannel. Obviously a hit with your cutie too. Well done!

  2. says

    I commented on this earlier but my phone must have weirded out 🙂 Caila, I LOVE this! WE LOVE this! It’s just perfect – and it’s so fun to see Zac’s drawing brought to life – I’m so glad we stumbled on this idea because I am just loving seeing Hudson dressed up as Zac’s character SO much. And the set-up for the photos is TOO perfect. You really outdid yourself! Thank you so much for participating in this with me! I had SO much fun!

  3. says

    Um. That is the best post yet! I’m sorry if I say that about all the posts, but it has to be true! Love the bow tie, it is just so fabulous. Along with the shirt and glasses, and planets, and globe, and stars – it should be on the cover of a magazine.

  4. says

    Newest follower here! I found you through the blog hop. You have a super cute blog, I can’t wait to read more. You can find me at meandmr.com

    -Melanie @meandmr.com