20 November 2013


Carrying a lot of static electricity within your body is not fun. Domestic animals hate you, you kill electronics and you give shocking kisses. Now that fall has necessitated turning on the forced air furnace, the condition worsens. I no longer wear watches with batteries, or any wrist watch for that matter. My cell phone stays in a pocket because if I leave it on a table and then walk to pick it up ZAP! You should see what I do to programmable thermostats: it can't be good on them. I am constantly looking for something metal to touch to discharge the static so I don't inadvertently zap the computer or other electronics.

What does this have to do with sewing/quilting?

Well, I try to wear natural fibers like cotton, hemp, wool or alpaca to help mitigate the static buildup that man-made fibers generate. Since my closet is predominately t-shirts, I started many years ago to make my own shirts. Lately, I haven't been able to find 100% cotton interlock locally, so I have been buying 2X and 3X 100% cotton men's t-shirts on clearance. They have been stacking up and now there are about 12 that need restyling.

I love this pattern from Pamela's Patterns.  I have used it over and over because it is just so flattering. When I use a 2X shirt, the shirt needs to be evaluated to see if the cuffs can be used or not. Sometimes the sleeves are so long, I cut off the cuff and just hem the sleeve. I do, however, carefully unsew the neck ribbing from any of the shirts because the ribbing will be reused on the new shirt, but for the most part, I can just cut the shirts apart.

Because a man's shirt is usually in neutral colors, I have started using brighter colors in a top layer. And you wondered why I knit so much. Sweaters are great for a top layer.


  1. I'm an electric girl too! Living at sea level in a coastal area helps....but I can make a watch go crazy.

  2. Me too but nearly as bad as you. I get quite bad zaps off the car door, and some fabrics cling to me.
    I look forward to seeing your LB jacket finished. Her fabrics are such fun. What a shame she died so young.

  3. I make things snap and pop, too.

    You are clever to reconstruct the men's shirts. I often purchase men's shirts for the longer sleeves: I have long arms and hate to keep tugging and pulling at the sleeves on women's shirts.

  4. When I worked at the computer company in Colorado, they used a solution of fabric softener and water in spray bottles to spray the carpet to reduce static around all the machines. You may want to give that a whirl.

  5. I recommend getting a humidifier that is attached to the furnace, although that won't help you much when you go out of the house. This is a great idea - you get the shirts that fit you exactly.

  6. Clever idea to buy men's shirts and re-style them!

  7. You sound like my Dad. His watch batteries die so quickly he doesn't even wear one. Anyway - the one BIG thing he taught me about static electricity is to always discharge it before you pump your gas. You need to touch your car before picking up the gas nozzle. That is what he told me anyway and I know for a fact that his advise has already saved several lives - including mine and my son's, plus some sisters! (regarding NOT swerving - keep the wheel steady! and also don't turn the wheel to the left when waiting to cross traffic - keep those wheels straight while waiting to cross in case you get rear-ended). And natural fibers - love them! Cheers! Evelyn