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Sunday Sevens #96

Having been SO busy these last few weeks, I couldn’t possibly fit in everything we’ve done, so here’s a heavily edited version of events, albeit in rather more than seven photos again.

Linking up with Natalie at Threads & Bobbins for Sunday Sevens – a weekly blog series showing what you do outside the blog. Click on the link to find out more.

1. I went to my first ever Baby Shower, an event that has reached the UK from foreign climes apparently, and is gaining popularity with youngsters rapidly. My crocheted pram blanket was well received by the mother-to-be.

2. We went to Exmoor to view some more b+bs on the hottest day of the year. A really good Summer day in England is 23 degrees centigrade, so we were sweltering in the heat.

3. Mr H-L didn’t need much persuasion to stop for a nice cold pint in The Beggar’s Roost in North Devon.

4. The following day, Mr H-L and I had a day out locally and went to three pubs in one day – a record for us!

Breakfast was at the Roth Bar and Grill…..


5. Lunch was at At The Chapel…..


(This made us smile!)


7. ….and afternoon tea was taken at The Three Horseshoes Inn.


8. A group of students were filming down by the river, so we stayed and watched for a while.


9. Arty snap of The Boys playing Top Trumps.


10. The new girls were just settling in nicely (can you tell?) when this one strayed too far and was killed by a passing car:(


11. No.2 Son declared that he needed some short sleeved T-shirts for our imminent holiday in Cornwall. I cut up a couple of Mr H-L’s old ones that were destined for recyling and combined the good bits to make him a new one. A bit Frankenstein perhaps, but he’s pleased with it.


12. A lovely few days were spent in Cornwall with family in their holiday cottage near Newquay. As luck would have it, the tickets we bought for the Eden Project last year were valid for twelve months, so we snuck in again on Day 364 for free!


13. We even sniffed out the bar in the tropical dome!


14. Days were spent on the beach…..


15. …..evenings were spent on the beach.


16. A romantic one of us watching the sun go down as The Boys frollicked in the surf.image

17. Ha ha!


18. Crisps and a pint in The Shipwrights Inn, Padstow.


19. Back home, family had arrived from France to stay for a few days and some friends popped in spontaneously, so I quickly rustled up an impromptu meal for thirteen!


20. Another day, another family visit, this time our granddaughter with her mum and dad. We took the kids for a walk and ended up in a playground where dogs aren’t allowed, so tied them up outside at the railings.

Just look at that sad puppy face!


21. Mum and daughter flat out later that afternoon. Must have been all that fresh air (and the ice cream!)


Well, that doesn’t cover half of it, but better to put a few photos up rather than miss another week, I thought.

I’ll try to find time to do a separate post covering all the sewing workshops for those of you who have been following the sewing school (

Hope you’re making the most of the Summer holidays, too!



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….


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?


Men’s T-shirt Refashion

Father-in-law needed some larger T-shirts, which meant a pile of too-small ones were destined for the charity shop – until I saw several holes in them.


I don’t know about you, but anything which is slightly damaged goes in the clothes recycle bin rather than the charity shop as I know lots of people are unable to make small repairs.

As the holes could either be cut around or patched, I decided to have a go at refashioning them into T-shirts for The Boys.

They were all polo-style shirts and the piqué fabric was good quality with plenty of wear in it yet.


Using a well-fitting T-shirt from No.3 Son’s drawer, I cut around the basic outline from the body of the shirt, cutting the sleeves from the original sleeves.


After sewing the shoulder seams, the sleeves were set in and the raw edges overlocked, then I sewed the side seams (right sides together) in one continuous seam from the sleeve hem to the bottom edge.

The raw edges of the seams and the hems were overlocked, then the hems were top stitched in place.

The side seams were reinforced at the bottom with some decorative stitching.


For the collar, I cut off a strip from the original polo collar, sewed the short edges to make a circle…..


….and stitched it to the neckline right sides together, finishing with some more top stitching.



Then to deal with the hole in the middle of the back….


I cut a square of left over fabric (about an inch larger than the hole all around) and pinned it to the inside over the hole.


Working from the right side, I used this stitch on my sewing machine (combined with a stitch length of less than one) to completely fill in the hole.



The repair is virtually invisible on the outside.


The inside looks like this: –


Trim close to the stitching for a neat finish.


No.3 Son was excited with his ‘new’ T-shirt!



I was just pleased to be able to make another wearable item from something which would otherwise have been discarded.

Now, onto the other two….