Sewing, crochet, crafts, accessories, baking, tutorials,


Last Minute Birthday Sewing

HOW expensive are goalposts?

Even though they were half price, they still cost quite a lot, so it meant No.3 Son would only have one present to open on his birthday.

Don’t get me wrong, I know one present is adequate but it’s always nice to see a little pile of gifts wrapped up with your name on. I managed to buy three secondhand children’s novels and wondered if I could make something for him as well. 

He finished these long shorts earlier in the week and decided that the best T-shirt to go with it was this red one with a picture of a camper van on the front.

Hmm, two different shades of red do not an outfit make.

Rummaging through my fabrics, I found a length of turquoise jersey left over from making this sample Coco for my stand at the school fair.

There was just enough for a boy’s T-shirt using this pattern from issue 27 of Love Sewing magazine.

I wouldn’t download and print off a pattern for anything larger, but this was just nine sheets of paper which taped together very quickly.

My French curve came in handy for grading the pattern up to Age 9.

Just three pattern pieces meant this promised to be a quick enough make to complete in the couple of hours before he came home from school.

Some remnants of blind fabric provided the perfect motif to add to the front of the T-shirt and I picked the red one to echo the colour of the shorts they were to go with.

After stabilising with some interfacing, the free motion foot made short work of the appliqué – I sewed two rounds of stitching.

Embroidery scissors were used to cut close to the stitching and remove the excess fabric to reveal the motif.

The finished appliqué.

Maybe it would have been better to place it a little higher on the chest?

Full construction details, and the free pattern, can be found in issue 27 of Love Sewing, so I won’t repeat them here. 

Suffice to say that it was quick, easy and fun to make and the finish was faultless, though I say so myself!

The overlocker (all four threads) was used exclusively for the construction, with top stitching done on the sewing machine.

Apart from the white overlock thread.  It was all I had.

I also didn’t have the requisite ribbed jersey for the neckband, but more of the fabric that I used for the body of the T-shirt worked just as well.

A slight zig zag stitch was used for the top stitching around the neckline, both for decoration and to keep the neckline lying flat.

A straightforward one centimetre hem on the bottom and sleeve hems was the final touch to bring the project in under two hours.

All wrapped up and ready to open – a free extra present for one little nine year old boy!

At precisely 4.51am, a very excited little boy bounded into our bedroom….and was sent back to bed for an hour and a half. I know. We’re mean parents.

At 6.30, Take Two. He woke up everyone in the house (No.1 Son ended up going into work early!) and we all went down to watch him unwrap his presents.

First, his T-shirt….

….then Star Wars masks and light sabres from his oldest brother….

As for the T-shirt….well, it stayed clean for all of five minutes….


Keyhole Top from ‘Love Sewing’

The other day I was browsing through the latest Love Sewing magazine after it obligingly popped through the letter box whilst The Boys were at football, meaning I could actually sit down for five minutes and read it without interruption.

The cover featured an inset photo with the model wearing a keyhole neck tunic which I rather liked the look of – not in mustard though, I can’t wear mustard.


After a quick glance at the line drawings, I thought I’d give it a go. Not being blessed with model-esque proportions myself, I don’t trust the photographs as I know it’ll never look like that on me!

I remembered some fabric that I had recently been given from a friend who was clearing out her studio which would be perfect for this top.


There were about four metres of thin, loosely woven cotton fabric which, according to the selvedge, was vintage Rose & Hubble.


The top came together pretty quickly and very easily. The neck keyhole opening was simply turned back twice to provide a narrow hem.


I narrow hemmed the bottom of the top, too, as it was such fine cotton.


I made some bias binding for the neck edge.


The pattern called for a continuous strip of binding around the front and back leaving a ‘keyhole’ neckline, but I fancied having ties at the front instead so extended the binding length accordingly.


The finished tunic fits my dressform pretty well. You can’t see the pleats because of the patterned fabric but you CAN see how low the front opening is!!


Sure enough, when I put it on, far too much cleavage was displayed. I do like how the front pleats are stitched down and draw the fabric in underneath the bust though, to stop the top hanging like a shapeless sack.


A vest top will definitely have to be worn underneath, which is a bit of a shame.


The shawl that Tajana made for me on a gift exchange (blogged about here) matches the blue in the tunic perfectly so, with a cardigan, it can be worn in the Winter too.


I’m not really a dark blue kind of person, but the shade is more Cobalt and is lifted by spots of red, white, yellow and green, so it feels quite cheerful and bright. The blue scarf stops the black cardigan from looking too gloomy, too, as I don’t like black next to my (almost) black hair.


Has anyone else made this top? What did you think of it?


Sunday Sevens #48

The Summer holidays are flying by – where did last week go???

Another busy week with The Boys and we’ve done some fun things over the past seven days; here are a few of them.

  1. Went to the Arnolfini in Bristol where there was a Graffiti exhibition on show.


2. Picnic at Ashton Court with No.1, No.2 and No.3 Sons.

The Picnic Blanket had its first proper outing:)


3. These little egg bucket egg cups were a gift and are getting plenty of use during the holidays as we can take our time over breakfast.

The eggs are fresh-out-of-the-hen fresh!


4. Took The Boys to Bristol Aquarium which they loved.


5. Having done the Shaun The Sheep Trail in London at Easter, we spotted a few in Bristol too. This one was right outside the entrance to the Aquarium.


6. Made a ‘phone case for Tajana as part of our gift exchange after finding out her attempts had been unsuccessful.


7. Mr. H-L and our friend had their backs and bottoms waxed for charity. I haven’t laughed so much for ages – their screams were hilarious!


8. An extra photo this week just to clear the last image from your traumatised minds!

The Boys upcycled T-shirts found their way into Love Sewing magazine alongside another blogging buddy, Lazy Daisy Jones🙂


If you would like to join in with seven photos of your week, find out more over at Threads & Bobbins.


Boys T-shirts From Love Sewing Magazine

A couple of months ago I refashioned and repaired an old T-shirt discarded by my father-in-law in favour of some new ones, and made a perfectly wearable ‘new’ T-shirt for No.3 Son. (Blogged about here.)


I also had these two still waiting to be transformed into something The Boys would happily wear.


I was flicking through my old Love Sewing magazines when I came upon this pattern in Issue 10: –


The last T-shirt refashion was drafted from an existing shirt but, stupidly, I didn’t make a paper copy of it, so when I saw this one in Love Sewing, I thought I’d give it a whirl.

(Talking of Love Sewing, look out for my feature in the next issue!)

The sleeves would have to be short though, and the neckline is a bit too wide and ‘girly’ for my boys.

I cut out the largest size age 8-9 as No.3 Son is 8 next week and No.2 Son is 9. Perfect.


The two remaining shirts were different coloured versions of each other, so I decided to funk them up a little by swapping the sleeves as part of the remake.


I left all the original hems attached so these were both whipped up within a couple of hours – including tracing the pattern!

I used plain cotton tape to face the neckline as it was all I had to hand and it works perfectly.


Here they are waiting for The Boys to wreck them – they are mightily hard on their clothes!



Yep, they fit a treat – thanks, Love Sewing, for the free pattern!


So that’s another two items upcycled and given a new lease of life – fun, this sewing lark, isn’t it?