Aeon Shirt

Shirt Inspired by "Aeon Flux" Movie

A plum-colored shirt with quilted accents.

December 2005

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This shirt is the intersection of two things. The first is finally finding a shirt pattern that I really like. The second is seeing a movie that distracted me with its wonderful costumes.

I've become such a sewing geek. Every time I watch a movie these days, I get distracted thinking about whether or not I could make the costumes.

Anyway, I don't have the body to wear Aeon's costumes, but much of the men's wardrobe looked great: stylish, futuristic, and comfortable. I haven't yet reached the point where I can wear really costumy stuff without feeling self-conscious about it, but I figured I could add some of the design elements from Aeon's world to a regular shirt and be happy. I wanted to make a shirt that looked mostly normal, but had some weird details reminiscent of Bregnam fashion. The primary detail that I could see on screen, that I knew I could duplicate, was quilting.

So, this is mostly a normal men's shirt, but I used the sewing machine to add extra lines of topstitching to some seams, and add decorative quilting to some parts. It looks great, I think. From a distance, normal. Up close, interesting. This is a successful project. I wore this out to dinner with some friends, and nobody noticed any of the stylistic flourishes.

Collar Back yoke Breast pocket
Front placket Back yoke detail
Left sleeve cuff Right sleeve cuff

Now I really have to make a pair of pants to go with this shirt. The pants worn in the movie were just "Dickies" work pants with funky seams sewn down the front and back creases, so this shouldn't be too difficult. I might do it the way the professionals pparently do, or start from scratch now that I know how to make slacks that are wearable.


Plum 65/35 Polyester/Cotton Blend
Navy 65/35 Polyester/Cotton Blend

For fabric, I used a couple of different colors of a 65/35 Polyester/Cotton blend sold by JoAnn Fabrics as "Symphony Broadcloth". This fabric has a higher plastic content than I really like, but it's not glitchy like some polyester, and it softens up in the wash nicely without wrinkling.

All together I probably used about 2.5 yards of the Plum, and less than a yard of the Navy.

I also used a bit of 100% cotton quilt batting. See below for how this was employed.

The Process

As I mentioned earlier, I used my favorite shirt pattern, but I did make some changes to the instructions.

First, I made the pocket two layers thick instead of just one layer as instructed. I think this gives a nice finished inner edge. Basically, cut two pocket pieces instead of just one, then sew them together right sides together leaving one edge open. Finish by turning this construction rightside out. Press it flat, and when you attach the pocket to the shirt front the edge stitching will close the remaining edge.

Second, anything that is constructed of two layers was made with one burgundy piece and one navy piece. For the most part, the blue pieces were all "inside", but the blue side of the upper collar is actually "outside" before you fold the collar down.

Thirdly, instead of using interfacing, I used a cotton batting. Additionally, I put a layer of this "interbatting" between the two layers of the back yoke. The batting was to give the decorative quilting a good base and to give the shirt a stiffer, more costumy look.

Lastly, I used snaps instead of buttons. This was an incredible pain, since I wanted the front band (and outer cuff) to cover the outside half of the snap, so that the shirt would have "invisible" closures. This meant that I had to determine where I wanted the snaps and apply them while he shirt was still in pieces. With buttons, you make the buttonholes when the rest of the shirt is complete, and then place the buttons to match the holes. With the snaps, I was sort of shooting into a dark room, hoping everything wound up in the right place. It worked, but it took lot of measuring and inferring.

Also, of course, was the decorative quilting. I didn't plan exactly how this was going to be done, I mostly just quilted where the muse led me. The tough part was making myself stop. Some of the Aeon Flux costumes had quilting lines every half inch or so across the entire breadth of the garment. I thought that owuld be too much, so I'd do a few lines here and ther and then stop. Often this was just an extra line of topstitching. Some more decorative accents are on the cuffs, collar, back yoke, and front band. Since the stitching is all the same color as the fabric, this is actually pretty subtle.

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