For the Kids: a spot of refashioning

Mr Clootie Dumpling was throwing out some clothes a while ago. He doesn’t do this very often as he does not have an extensive or varied wardrobe – it mainly consists of t-shirts, jumpers and denims – although, he would like me to point out that he is not a slob or a scruff. He considers himself to be a snappy dresser owing to a penchant for Italian designer brands and, in particular, sports jackets. Whatever. I rescued two sweatshirts from his bundle and got into a spot of refashioning.


The brown jumper is ancient – 15 years old was his guess – and it was pretty faded and worn looking. It still is but I managed to cut around most of the really faded parts and now it doesn’t look too bad. The pink jumper was not that old but Mr Clootie never really took to the pink. He doesn’t have anything against pink btw, he just didn’t think it suited him. I used the recycled sweatshirts for all main pattern pieces except the cuffs and bands which were cut from new organic cotton ribbing from my stash. The only notable thing about the whole experience was the pink fabric. I’ve never seen anything like it. There are two layers of jersey joined together by evenly spaced threads – it’s like the jersey version of double gauze. I don’t think you would call it sweat shirting but it is very thick and snuggly nevertheless.



I used a dress pattern from my workhorse of a pattern book, Ottobre Design 4/2014, for the pink dress and hacked it into a sweatshirt for the brown jumper. This involved simply lengthening the top pieces and adding a band at the bottom. Easy peasy.

Now that the cold (and wet, so blooming’ wet!) weather is upon us the kids are very pleased with their new ‘not new’ jumpers. Dad had better watch out. We might all go poking around his wardrobe looking for some more old jumpers to refashion.


It’s Bright: BHL Charlotte skirt in African wax cotton

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A good friend of mine was living in Kenya for a couple of years and was kind enough to haul several metres of various fabrics back for me each time she holidayed at home. African wax cotton is known for its wild prints with vibrant colours and often wacky designs. (This design is not what I would call wacky but I do have one with table fans…yes, table fans!) I love the colours on this fabric and I don’t think the photos accurately show how bright this is. The blue is really blue, the red is really red, the yellow…you get my drift! African cotton seems to be popular at the moment. I’ve seen it in the occasional shop window made into skirts and trousers but never one this bright. I am working my way up to a dress – this stuff would make an amazing dress – but in the meantime here is my By Hand London Charlotte skirt. Here, pattern and fabric are well matched – the simple lines of one allows the crazy lines of the other to shine.

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This skirt should be perfect…but…I muslined it a few months ago, then lost a bit of weight, then for some reason didn’t think to try on the muslin(!!!) before making the skirt last week. It is too big now at the waist by a couple of inches – not a huge amount but enough to annoy me so I’ll have to fix it before the xmas party season kicks in. Note to self…always try on muslins! I lined the skirt in duchess satin to give it some body as the cotton on its own was not enough to hold the shape of the skirt. I think it works pretty well if a bit strange. Is it strange? I’m not sure. Anyway, it works.

I am using Etsy to sell on some of my mountain of wax cottons so check here if you are interested. I will be adding more as I work my way through my stash – believe me, I have a lot!