thomas pink and me

Any amount of sewing has been a rare commodity since the school holidays began. And when I eventually have got going, I've ended up turning in in the wee small hours and feeling truly incapable of functioning the next morning before having that first cup of tea. Or more! My latest creation was completed early last week, I think, but family circumstances have brought me back down to Cornwall. Quite honestly I barely have a clue as to what day or even date it is, never mind anything else, and so photographs were only taken today during a more than welcome break in those ever-growing clouds!

Following on from this post, I had a lovely chambray number all lined up for a revisit to Daddy's upcycled shirts. Only I don't mind admitting it gave me a fair few thoughts every night before sleeping in terms of what exactly I should do with it. The problem being the two massive breast pockets, and I really do mean huge so it's had me pretty foxed. I considered making a wide tote bag, the type you sling pretty much your entire life into, but in the end put it to one side (for yet more bed time analyticals - sure beats counting sheep) and took the easier option, a.k.a. changing to a different shirt altogether. And so the ever lovely Thomas Pink and I were reunited once again.

I've come to the conclusion that men are so lucky to have City shirts, beautiful soft and gentle fabrics that they are. Lovely to sew with too, although sadly there's not much room for mistakes. Every pin hole shows as I would find out soon enough.

I also did learn to my cost that sewing deep into the night really does not pay, since I made several errors and found myself unpicking pretty much all the work I'd lost sleep over. The biggest mistake came when I inadvertently snipped beyond the row of stitches around the neckline. I was using super large scissors at the time which even then I knew was a foolish way to behave. I know it even more now! At the time I thought I'd do a make and do, adding a further little bit of stitching just outside of the cut. The only trouble is I managed to get it puckered, not noticing of course until both the collar and binding had been pinned and sewn on. Rats. I couldn't make and do that one, which is how my sewing began the next day.

Whilst feeling particularly lucky because the children were deeply involved in a lovely little game, I quickly grabbed the chance to unpick and then re-pin. But sadly the game ended abruptly so rendering my ironing/pinning/working board an almost permanent fixture in the kitchen, taking up space and gathering dust at a rapid speed. Not too tidy but at least ready for action for when the next opportunity should arise. All this stop start is no good for the 'flow of the sew' which meant the stages were many and this little project took quite a time to complete. Slow progress being a very frustrating state of affairs.

In short, sewing way into the night is not to be recommended, but I must be thankful that it wasn't the cutting out I was doing at the time! And so, as I sewed the night hours away, listening to Il Divo on repeat (a CD which I do rather like but quite frankly had neither the time nor the inclination to get up and change) I made a mental note or two -

a) persuade husband that it is most definitely a good idea to buy shirts without pockets in the future, large ones being definitely outlawed;

b) any particularly lovely ones could possibly be bought by the pair? Not that I have my own interests in mind, naturally!

This blouse by the way, is based on one from this super book, Japanese of course, only I kept the original buttons intact so it still has its City shirt roots. I don't remember Daddy ever climbing trees in his though ..

Happy weekend! x


  1. That shirt looks gorgeous - I think I've heard that book mentioned before. I'll definitely keep an eye out for it. What a shame that my husband doesn't wear a shirt and tie to work...

  2. What a beautiful top, I'm so impressed you managed to fit it into a shirt. I'm not finding much time to sew either during the school hols, I agree with you on late night sewing though, it always ends in unpicking!

  3. Well done! It looks beautiful and how in keeping with the reduce, re-use, re-cycle ethos! Sorry to hear about the need to unpick but it's all a learning curve and you'll know better next time!

    I can see why you might want your husband to buy two shirts of the same fabric in future as that material is so lovely and soft and I am sure feels good against the skin I am sure you have ideas for something for Mummy too!

    Enjoy your weekend.


  4. It was worth all the effort, the top looks great.

  5. Oh it looks so lovely, worth all the effort, though I know what you mean about staying up into the small hours, it doesn't always pay!
    D x

  6. Again, this is lovely. I really look forward to your refashioning posts. Men's shirts are a goldmine. The colours look so nice on kids. My sewing is also, sadly, limited to the wee hours and not recommended for all the reasons you outlined :)

  7. This little shirt sure is pretty 9 and so is the model !!) You certainly are doing well with your recycling of your husbands shirts. How on earth do you get them off him when they are in such good condition?

  8. Soooo lovely!!! You are so clever my friend. I adore mens shirts and even more so now. xoxoxoxo

    Happy weekend.

  9. I saw this shirt on Flickr the other day (a quick iPhone moment that didn't allow for commenting, I think) and practically passed out at its cuteness - I love the little collar especially.

    Such a good idea to reuse the shirt in this way - I love it.

  10. That is so pretty - I love the way you use old shirts. The fabrics are lovely. xxxx

  11. I am lucky. Most nights I have no trouble in getting off to sleep. Counting sheep does seem to work if necessary. Not sure about unpicking stitches though! Another lovely little blouse for your daughter. Great to see her having so much fun outdoors too. x

  12. Oh, it's such a lovely little blouse!
    I have many similar stories when it comes to the late night sewing and hectic days.
    Beautifully done!

  13. Goodness, what a beautiful blouse. I am also very impressed at any sewing which gets done in the Summer holidays!

  14. Lovely blouse Kate - what a great way of recycling your hubby's shirts!

    Just had a catch up with your Cornish adventures. We stayed near Marazion last year on our hols and to save using the car we would take the little coastal train from St Erth station to St Ives. Wonderful! I'm missing my Cornish holiday this year - we are off to France in a fortnight - but hopefully we may get away for a week later in the year.

    Have a great weekend.


  15. Great! The top turned out so well. I love Thomas Pink shirts, they are quite gorgeous, and as you say, the fabric is so lovely and soft.


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