Santa Paula Times

Citrus Festival T-shirts can undergo unique tailoring

July 20, 2007
Santa Paula News
By Peggy Kelly Santa Paula TimesThe battle of the sexes has taken another turn with the 40th Annual Kiwanis Citrus Festival T-shirts... what’s a woman to do who wants to support the festival but doesn’t like wearing T-shirts?This year’s shirt features the wonderful artwork by Kay McHenry of Ventura, whose entry in the 2007 Citrus Festival Poster Contest - up for silent auction during the July 20-22 festival at Harding Park - wowed Santa Paula Society of the Arts’ judges. Although Janet Grant of Santa Paula loves McHenry’s design, she is already getting out her pinking shears to create a fun, fresh look for her festival T-shirt.Janet, whose husband Bill is co-chair of this week’s festival, said she alters T-shirts for “just a selfish reason... I don’t like T-shirt necks,” and she also “always tears them” to create a more comfortable and stylish top. “I like turtlenecks but not T-shirt necks. Men might like T-shirts,” but not all women do. “By cutting them up it gives you a whole bunch of space and you’re much more comfortable.“If I were young I would slash the shirt down the sides, cut tabs in it and tie them in a knot so it fits close to the body,” said Pattie Donham, the arts and crafts maven known nationally as Pattie Wack. “If I’m going to wear, I’d probably take a big buckle and push the corner of it through to cinch it up against my waist.”Janet admits that she has been altering T-shirts for “years and years... I started” with patriotic T-shirts worn to 4th of July events. “It was just out of comfort, but it’s fun and stylish” turning the classic T-shirt shape and fit into something more eye-catching and unique.Janet’s method is simple. “I cut the front of the T-shirt down the center of the front, just two or three inches to give a polo neck look.” The idea is also good for those rebels who want to wear the shirt back to front to show off the artwork.
But that’s not all. Janet lays the shirt flat and then randomly cuts “the strips about an inch to an inch and a half apart” to the length desired. “Since the shirt is down flat, you can cut the front and the back at the same time... and then I do the sleeves the same way,” said Janet.“You can cut the crewneck out a T-shirt, just cut it into a ‘V’ or a boat neck, turn into a little fashion diva,” noted Pattie Wack. Wear it with the design facing the front and “put beads around the design, bedazzle that baby... or even walk around town and have the hot people sign it with a permanent marker,” whether it be a Citrus Festival band or buddies, even the artist if McHenry attends the festivities.Pattie Wack added people can also fringe the bottom of the shirt with slashes up to four inches, and “push pony beads up on the trim, somebody might really latch on to that!”At last year’s Citrus Festival, female members of the Kiwanis/Santa Paula Union High School Key Club were wowed by Janet’s customized top: “The girls got scissors and cut their T-shirts” for that one-of-a-kind look.And what about the guys: “Oh, after the festival they might just cut that shirt up and use it on their car on Cruise Nite!” said Pattie Wack.