It does look good. Unfortunately, the project is actually a failure. It doesn't matter how good a shirt looks if it doesn't fit. Either I need to invent a shrink ray and test it on my man (which would be inconvenient as I use him to reach the top kitchen shelf) or I need to remove the applique and put it on a slightly larger shirt. Both seem equally improbable at the moment.
The idea had been in my head for a long time, inspired by the tile graffiti by Invader. The project only really got started when I gave up on trying to figure out an easy way to do it and just started in on it using the English paper patchwork technique. Seeing the work at the V&A show was probably the tipping point into using hand working techniques.
The squares were made around 1.6 cm wide squares of thick paper, I'm guessing 90-100 gsm. I did do some maths early in the project and figured 1.5 to 2 cm would work, but the exact 1.6 came about because I bought a square hole punch that cuts to that size. Just lucky there. Because I knew the paper would be removed, and because I wanted it to stand up to working on the bus, I opted to use thick paper rather than tissue and it worked fine. If you try something like this, do remember to mark the fabric grain on the back of each paper square.
It was a slow project, mostly because I was keeping it a secret. On a good day, 2-3 squares would be sewn on during the commute, and I'd make up 2-3 more squares on my lunch break. I couldn't manage to baste the fabric onto the paper squares on the bus, but sewing them together was fine. The biggest problem was rethreading the needle- I'd wait until the bus was at a stop.
After months of working on it, it was really gutting to have it not fit. P is really sweet and said it was nice anyway, but I'm still irked by it. I know I should just get another t-shirt, make sure it does fit, then carefully remove the applique and put it onto the new shirt. I know it won't be that hard. But I'm still disappointed.