Practical Sewing - Results #2

I know it is October but I did get (nearly all) my practical sewing of t-shirts completed in September as promised. After my last post which included newly made t-shirts, this post looks at the three items I up-cycled. All three items came from a very successful charity shopping trip with T.

This t-shirt was originally from M&S (Limited Collection no less), and although I love the badgers I can quite see why someone gave it to a charity shop almost unworn as it is rather shapeless. 

My solution was to unpick the side seams and re-cut the shirt using the Sewaholic Renfrew pattern. 

As you can see this took off quite a bit of excess fabric from the seams especially at the bottom. A quick whizz through the machine and I had a new and much better fitting t-shirt.

Although looking at this picture I realise that I need to re-shape my dressmaking dummy, as she appear to have something odd going on with her hips.

My next up-cycling project was a bit more challenging - this black cashmere sweater, again originally from M&S.

I was a bit perplexed where to start with this one, I knew I wanted to end up with a close fitting short-sleeved 1950s style sweater but I didn't have a pattern for one. And then my copy of Gertie's new book Gertie Sews Vintage Casual arrived.

Look at that, the top I was planning right on the front cover - how perfect is that! 

Ta da! I was able to cut the front and back down to size keeping the originally ribbing at the bottom of the jumper. With the sleeves I had to cut them from the top so I couldn't reuse the ribbing, so the hems are just folded over. To jazz the top up a bit I used a small piece of lace from my stash to make the lace bid - tacking it in place on the front piece before sewing up the top. 

Luckily the neck ribbing was just the right size to go around the newly cut neck line and it finishes the top off rather neatly.

The final top was much simpler in that it already fitted me, but I felt the plain black and white stripes needed a little lift.

I'd love to claim that the idea was mine but I saw it first on Tilly and the Buttons. The flowers came from some fabric in my stash, I cut them out and fused them with Bondaweb to the t-shirt - simple and easy. I think I might go around the edges with a very fine zig-zag stitch as I'm not how long the bondaweb alone will last.

All in all I think my practical sewing has been a success - I have five new tops (plus a pair of pants) and every time I've worn them I've felt a great sense of achievement. I've also definitely caught the practical sewing bug and while at HandmAid last week I picked up some more jersey fabric.

I guess that these won't be the last t-shirts you'll see from me.



  1. They are all absolutely lovely, but where do you PUT all this STUFF! I would need a new house! I really love the flowers bonded onto the striped T shirt. It may not be your idea entirely but the choice of flowers that you applied and the contrast colour and shape is really successful.


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