Chicago train in its cross stitch glory

Normally, seeing the etsy listing for this shirt, I’d pass on this Chicago train map shirt. But seeing it in a retail store setting I could get my face all up into it. And also see it against others of its own kind…and the result? Splendid!

Getting in close to it I could see that not only was it a nicely executed shirt, but also that it was done without stabilizer (or that it was an excellent tear away version) and that it had to be done outside of a embroider machine due to the size of the work (though not cross-stiched by hand, I believe, just a cross-stitch stitch on a sewing machine). And the bobbin thread matched the top threads. And as I got more and more into it, I couldn’t discern how they templated the stitches for each shirt, or at least how they based placements of each shirts’ stitchwork because there were discernible differences in each shirt. I’m also pretty sure that the blue line doesn’t go that far out northwest? But it was clearly fed through a sewing machine by hand, with a great amount of detail and care.

I ride the Chicago elevated trains frequently. They are far from perfect and sometimes an excellent chance to mix with other people that you might find uncomfortable, or the trains being ridiculously late. It’s difficult to not forget the bad parts, or at least joke about them, and remember the many colored lines all running to the loop with fondness and nostalgia till your next ride.

Though I paid a slight premium over the etsy store listing price to buy it in the store, I did so gladly for the pleasure of seeing such a shirt in person and getting to put my face all up in it to plumb the details. Shirts are made of details.