*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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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.

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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