A wee bag

drawstring bag
A wee bag for Little Miss. She needs a waterproof bag to bring home sodden “worn” outfits in, from time to time. Parents of potty-trained toddlers will know exactly what I mean…

There’s about a billion great tutorials for drawstring bags out there on tinternet – all pretty similar, but this one from Purl Bee is beautifully clear and well laid out. I used the tried and trusted John Lewis shower curtain fabric (approx £7 per metre).

Drawstrings - shoe laces

The drawstrings are “Fashion Shoelaces” from Poundland (£1 for four pairs – bargain!). I wonder when she’ll notice she has skull & crossbones drawstrings?

*So* not on my to-do list…

This *so* was not on my list of things to do this morning.

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But while my tea is brewing, I have a thought, and that thought quickly multiplies. What if, I copy some of the techniques on my frilly-sleeved La Redoute black tshirt, and apply them to the Hello Kitty tshirt that’s been in the mend/alter/bring back to life pile for the last couple of years? Hello Kitty jumps the queue.

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I cut the sleeves off and overlock them using a narrow hem, stretching the fabric like mad to get a frilly edge. It’s called a lettice hem – here are some good instructions, if you’re interested.

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Then I cut through one layer of the bottom hem of the tshirt and lettice-hem the resulting lower edge, again. From the leftover sleeve material, I cut two long cucumber shaped ovals, and lettice-hem the edges. Finally, I straight stitch the frills to the existing armscye-sleeve seam. They flop over quite pleasingly.

The End.
Now. Where was I?
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Jump to the beat

Sewing soundtrack: Stacy Lattisaw’s Jump to the beat! If I could have sewed wearing roller skates, I surely would have.

Hubby’s I ♥NY t-shirt has had a bit of a rough time over the years, sad to say – pale pink splodges and shrinkage, so off into the refashion pile it goes. Flush from the success of the Poppy Playsuit (she wears it!), I rustle up this number for Little Miss in a couple of hours.

This needs just one adult size tshirt. Cut it out like this – I used guesswork, a pair of shorts and a tshirt to get the proportions about right. It’s supposed to fit loose, so precision not necessary. First sew on the pockets. The pockets are made from the sleeves, so have a pre-finished hem. Gather the tops of the pockets by running a length of shirring elastic through the hem, and gather the bottoms of the pockets with a long running stitch.

NY jumpsuit pocket closeupNext sew the leg seams and crotch/centre front seam. I serged it. Easy-peasy. Then finish the underarm edge by folding a 4mm hem (twice) and multi-stitch zig-zagging it – this is the bit that was the original t-shirt’s neckline.

NY jumpsuit underarm detailLastly, fold over about 5cm at the top neck edge, and multi-stitch-zig-zag that too. This creates the channel to feed the ties through.

NY jumpsuit strap channelYou can use ribbon, jersey scraps or anything else that works for you – I used the sleeve of another old tshirt and made these tapered tubes.

NY jumpsuit straps

I left a gap in the stitching about halfway along the long edge so I could turn the tube inside out. After feeding the ties through, I secure them with a few straight stitches at the front/back centre seam.

DONE. And she wears it. I couldn’t get Little Miss to jump to the beat so we rocked down the street instead! Happy days!

NY jumpsuit in action

A simple top. But complicated.


I snaffled a polyester top for £1, from an RSPCA charity shop, on a bit of a whim. It’s navy blue, and a very simple, boxy shape, which really shouldn’t suit me. But flowy polyester is surprisingly forgiving to a matronly bosom, so it became an instant, much-worn, summer hit.

So much so that I dashed off a paper copy of the pattern and worked out the construction method, to make more. Just five major seams and four edges to finish. Could it be simpler? There’s a metre of grey and white patterned silk out of the stash, possibly Vivienne Westwood, that a friend passed on from a remnant sale – I’ve been trying to think of a good use for it for years. Perfect weight and just enough of it. Simple – you’d think.

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Problem one: the pattern features wide stripes of contrasting tartans, one light, one dark. If I cut the fabric so the dark tartan is centred on the garment – great, looks good. If I cut the fabric with the light tartan in the centre of the garment – makes me look wide as a house. Only problem – the fabric isn’t wide enough to accommodate the better-looking approach. *Sighs* This fabric is too good to waste on an unflattering garment. I have to give it my best shot.

So. I slice 30cm off one side of the fabric and piece it to the other side of the fabric. This requires some pretty hefty pattern-matching – and also means a blimming great seam down the front and the back. This is before I’ve even cut out one garment piece!

Problem two: at some point, someone has hacked a carrot-shaped wedge hacked out of the fabric that, now I’ve pulled this clever piecing-manoevre, falls right in the middle of the shoulder, at the front. Suddenly I’ve got to adapt the super simple design to accommodate a bloody 10cm dart at the shoulder. Hold on, I thought this was supposed to be simple! And I haven’t even started  on how hard it is working with silky fabrics. I have new-found respect for everyone who works with this misbehaving stuff.

Still – as you can see from the picture – I stuck at it, got it done, and will wear it tomorrow. Kudos to anyone who can spot the stitching lines where I pieced the fabric and added darts. But no prizes.

Poppy playsuit

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Loved this poppy print when I spotted it in a charity shop and decided to buy it whatever it turned out to be. And it was a cute shirred top… for a 12 year old.

There’s no way that’ll be me, so this is obviously destined for a certain Little Miss, whose wardrobe has a large poppy-playsuit sized hole in it. There’s enough fabric for my playsuit vision, although early signs are ominous – I hold it up to her to gauge size and she screams and throws herself to the floor. Oh dear.

20120720-155405.jpgUndaunted, I trim about 20cm off the overall width, and use the spare fabric for a couple of wide-ish shoulder straps – the original straps were a bit cheese-cutter for little shoulders. I cut a semi-circle out of the hem to create legs – not sure how well this will work, but we’ll see. The cute, gathered pouch pockets move over easily to sit at her hip height – I hope she finds something interesting (and non-staining) to put in them!

20120720-160119.jpgMore importantly, I wonder if she’ll wear it?

About me


I started this blog to help me Get Things Done: sewing and knitting mostly.
But now I have a daughter! So I continue to daydream in enormous detail about what I'd like to make, but squeeze the 'doing' into precious naptimes and evenings.

Can I keep it up? Time will tell!

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