The Mysterious Autographed Shirt

If you know anything about quilts, you’ll know that autographed quilts are an amazing variation on a traditional, practical, art form. Usually they are a parting gift made by a group of people and given to an individual as a going-away present.

But have you ever seen an autographed shirt?

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This child’s shirt was in a discard pile at our local auction house, so I picked it up to see what I could learn from it.

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Actually, I didn’t learn much. It’s a girl’s shirt. It’s probably from the 50’s or 60’s based on the Peter Pan clothing label.

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The signatures were all penciled in and embroidered afterwards, perhaps all by one person. But not all of them got embroidered.

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So I don’t even know if the person this was made for ever got the shirt.

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One of those huge projects that didn’t quite end up where it was supposed to.

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Was it being made for someone who was sick, or going away? That child must have been pretty special to merit so much work.

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Too bad someone didn’t indicate the person for whom it was made. It would have been fun to try and track that person down.

It’s up for auction on eBay right now, and not getting a lot of attention. But I’m through enjoying it, and don’t want to clutter my own family heirlooms with things that will just confuse my kids when they go through my stashes of fabric when I die.
Have you ever seen anything else quite like it? Comments welcome!

Jeanne

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8 responses to “The Mysterious Autographed Shirt

  1. That is quite the mystery! I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s a yearbook page in embroidery. I bet this could easily go viral, asking for information about the intended wearer. It might be a sad story, or something she regretted letting go and misses!

  2. I understand parting with it. I eventually tired of having Ted Nugent’s autograph and sent it to someone in the mail.

  3. All of my school friends signed my school shirt on leavers Day, I’m not sure now if my Mums kept it 😳

  4. What a cool idea! Never seen one in shirt form, either. I assume my mom still has her quilt one.

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  6. I did something very similar to this when I moved to Florida permanently I had friends, coworkers and family sigh a linen table cloth and I embroidered all the signatures. I still have it. A friend of mine did the same thing with a shirt when she moved overseas after high school instead of an autograph book, she also embroidered the signatures.

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