The Making of a Shirt – Part 2 (Flowers)


Although I love Casual Tux, his flowers are rather simplistic and not Hawaiian. After looking at many Hawaiian shirts I settled on the Hibiscus flower. It was the most common, and looked like I could draw it if I just went one step at a time. I also determined that I needed three different flowers for variety. My final criteria was that it had to be in svg (vector) format. This allows me to scale them to whatever size I need.

A Hibiscus has five petals, with ridges along the outer edge, and usually a different color in the middle, and a stem coming out of the middle. Most prints ignore the central color, and just have parts taken out of the petal. I like the look of this and decided to go with that. I’ll skip the details, which involved alot of testing different ways to create a petal shape and just go with the first petal.

The stem I ended up with isn’t what I originally had through most of my work. I originally had the plain stem, and then triangles at the end for the anthers. It looked ok, but just didn’t fit with the rest of the flower. I eventually created what you see now, which has three management points for each anther. It’s harder than the triangles, but looks much better and fits with the rest of the flower style.

Putting the flower together sounds easy, just copy five petals and add a stem, but it isn’t. Hibiscus petals do not all look the same, so each one had to be customized. Then the stem, and the petals around it, had to be tweeked so that the stem bent through the gap between two petals. But the final product looked very good.

My second flower started out just being a copy of the first with a few variations, but then I decided it needed more ridges in the petals. So each petal got three more ridges. But with more ridges, the petals needed to be fatter to show off those fancy ridges. More tweaking with the stem to fit in there, and this is what I got. This is my favorite of the three flowers.

Flower three has no stem. Looking at other examples I saw several examples of stemless Hibiscus, and they don’t look to bad, just as long as you have normal Hibiscus in the mix. Remove the stem, add even more ridges, make the center cutaways more pronounced, and I got my third flower.

With the ability to rotate, flip, grow and shrink, three different flowers is all you need to create a flower bouquet that your brain thinks is all different flowers. But something was missing. More on my next post.

Part 1
Part 2 – Flowers
Part 3 – Leafs
Part 4 – Patterns
Part 5 – Fabric