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  • Writer's pictureKaren Seiger

Design Your Own Vintage T-Shirt with Golly NYC (Mine Is Aquaman)

Golly cuts out the image you've selected

Golly cuts out the image you’ve selected

Despite his bad rap on “The Big Bang Theory,” Aquaman is the coolest superhero in my opinion. It’s not even an opinion. It’s a fact (he can talk to dolphins!). Part of his appeal for me, actually, is that one of the main illustrators for the series was a woman, Ramona Fredan, whom I met in person a few years ago.

So when I found out about the Golly NYC‘s Design Your Own Vintage T-Shirt service, mine had to be Aquaman.

Golly, AKA Keith Bishop, is an artisan who scours the world and the internet for vintage bedsheets and fabrics with images of our favorite animated and cultural characters. Superfriends, Star Wars, Skeletor, Alf, Mr. T, Rainbow Bright – you name it, Golly has a t-shirt for you.

His “Design Your Own Vintage T-Shirt” service launched for the holidays at Artists & Fleas in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. I watched him make my Aquaman t-shirt, and I wanted to share the entire process with you. It is truly a handmade experience, and the result is the last t-shirt you’ll ever need.

First, you choose the image you want for your shirt from the vintage sheets and fabrics that hang in Golly’s booth. He then takes his scissors and cuts out the image for you:

Here is the one I loved most:



Next, Golly cuts out the double sided iron-in fabric to adhere the image to my t-shirt. (Note his own Triple Storm Trooper shirt!)

Cutting out the adhesive backing

Cutting out the adhesive backing

Golly irons the adhesive fabric to the Aquaman image.

Ironing the image to my t-shirt

Ironing the image to to the adhesive backing

And then he adheres Aquaman onto my shirt.

Ironing the image onto my t-shirt

Ironing the image onto my t-shirt.

The final step is to sew the image onto the t-shirt so that it is permanently affixed.

Sewing on the appliqué

Sewing on the appliqué

And there you have it: the perfect Aquaman appliqué t-shirt! The entire process took about 6 minutes once I decided what image I wanted, which took me one second flat. You may want to consider all your options.

The Final, Perfect T-Shirt

The Final, Perfect Aquaman T-Shirt

Golly is also a fine artist, creating mosaic quilt-like soft paintings out of fabric. They are really quite phenomenal.

Golly's fabric mosaic Mona LIsa

Golly’s fabric mosaic Mona LIsa

Golly's fabric paintings on display

Golly’s fabric paintings on display

Who is your favorite character of all time? Go visit Golly NYC at Artists and Fleas in Williamsburg Saturdays and Sundays and get your own perfect vintage t-shirt! If your holiday list includes people who love Darth Vader, Gizmo or Pacman, get them a shirt of their own. It will be the best gift ever, guaranteed!

~Karen Seiger, Markets of New York City



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