Mens Sweatshirt to Ladies Tank Top *Refashion*

My boyfriend is one of those people who wears something once or twice and then gets bored of it.
This sweatshirt was one of those things.

Mens Sweatshirt Refashion Into Ladies Tank Top

When he said that he no longer wanted it, of course I swooped in and hung it on my to-refashion rail. I like the design, and it looks new because he probably wore it only once. Now it’s all miiiiiiine. I got out my scissors and sewing machine, and an hour later I had this:

Mens Sweatshirt Refashion Into Ladies Tank TopI love it!

Here’s a quick how-to if you’re interested:

Refashion a mens sweatshirt into a ladies tank top!

Firstly you need to find a tank top that fits and place it on top of the sweatshirt.

Mens Sweatshirt Refashion Into Ladies Tank Top

Cut around it, leaving some seam allowance. You should leave a good couple of inches if the top you’re using as a guide is stretchy and the sweatshirt isn’t. You might also want to cut off the store label!

Mens Sweatshirt Refashion Into Ladies Tank Top

I chose to leave the hem in place until I tried the top on. Only then did I decide to cut it away, too – but you could do this at the beginning. If so, put it, along with the sleeves and neckline, to one side (you may use these for something else; waste not, want not!)

Next, with right sides together, sew down the two sides.

Mens Sweatshirt Refashion Into Ladies Tank Top

You may leave the top like this if you like – after turning it right side out, of course – as the edges shouldn’t fray if it’s made of a normal sweatshirt material. However if you are not too keen on this look, you can turn under the edges of the hem, neckline and armholes and sew, close to the edge. (Which is what I did, after some deliberation!)

Mens Sweatshirt Refashion Into Ladies Tank Top

And there you have it – a new top in an evening, and an old sweatshirt saved from landfill.

Quick selfie!

*Refashion* Mens Sweatshirt into a Ladies Tank Top

Beth x

Sunday Sevens [Week 28]

I’ve grabbed a few minutes on this sunny Sunday to share with you some good news (for me!) and seven photos from my week, for Sunday Sevens!



I splashed out £5 on this lacy dress at a charity shop. It’s so pretty! I’m not sure the photo does it justice, though.

Lacy dress

Tuesday: (This is the day with exciting news!)

This is what I wore (do you recognise my Lottie skirt?) to my interview to be an Adult Learning Tutor, teaching sewing. And I got the job!!!!! So excited :D :D Who’d have thought it, eh?!

Just to say that the outfit did look nice on – it looks a bit odd in the photo!

interview outfit


Beautiful weather meant a spot of planting in the garden (that then came inside) after school with my daughter.

I’m not expecting anything to happen because I’m so dreadful at growing things!!

planting seeds


Today I was feeling awful, full of cold, so I watched Pocahontas with my little one!



This photo illustrates how dreadful the camera on my phone is. It doesn’t have a flash!

But you get the general idea; I spent a couple of hours proofreading my local newspaper.



 Saturday afternoon baking fun! We made 12. There are 2 left 24 hours later… we’re a family of 2 adults, 2 young kids!

baking cupcakes


We went on a trip to the car boot sale (I bought stuff this time!) and the park. Making the most of the sunshine!

sunday at the park

I hope you’ve had a great week!

Beth x

Joining the Coco Brigade!

Hallelujah, I made a Coco!

Coco dress in blue ponte roma

For those of you living under a rock (or, those who don’t sew/blog nowadays…) the Coco is a knit dress pattern by Tilly Walnes AKA Tilly and the Buttons.

I chose a cheap ponte roma from eBay and can’t get over how comfy it is. I have to check that I’m not actually wearing my pyjamas!

I finally understand what all the fuss is about these Cocos. It really was a quick and easy sew!

It would have been quicker if I sewed both sleeves on properly. Instead I decided to sew right to wrong sides…coco dress gone wrong...

NEVER SEW WHEN TIRED!! I called it a night after that.

The next day I quickly unpicked it and sewed it on the right way round. I stitched down the sides, hemmed it – with a cute zigzag which is not quite the right shade of blue but never mind…

Coco dress sleeve

… and ta-dah! It was done! The quickest dress ever.

Coco dress in blue ponte roma 2

Can you spot the little extra I added to the shoulders?

These are what I bought a couple of weeks ago in a bundle of vintage buttons:

vintage buttons

And I had a sudden lightbulb moment when I realised they’d be ideal to add a bit of something to an otherwise quite ordinary dress.

I stitched 3 on each shoulder, and I’m pretty happy with them. They stick up quite a bit, but I think that’s OK. My youngest daughter likes playing with them!

Coco dress with vintage buttons

I’m pretty damn impressed with how flat the neckline sits, seeing as it was my first attempt at the Coco. And I’ve seen others with wavy necklines, so that feels gooood :D No offence intended to anyone with wavy necklines! The fabric was just so nice to sew!

Coco dress in blue ponte roma  4

I have more of this lovely ponte roma so I am definitely knocking another Coco up ASAP. I added a little length of ribbon like a tag because it’s not obvious which is the front and the back unless you hold it up to check out the scoop of the neckline.

Sew happy coco

The reason it’s not obvious which is front or back is because I didn’t add any pockets. My reason? I wanted a quick sew! Next time I will put some pockets on. :)

I love the long sleeves. I added another inch or so to the length of them to make them extra long. This is personal preference, and what I love about sewing. You can make it how you want it!

Coco dress in blue ponte roma   3

I’m debating whether or not it’s too big. It is big… I measured a size 3 but really, I think I could cut a size 2. Or even smaller come to think of it. But I’m not sure if it’s TOO big. I quite like the cosiness of it. So I might just leave it as it is… I would hate to make it too tight!

One thing’s for sure though – I love the pattern and Tilly’s instructions are amazing, and I love love love the colour!

So that’s another goal ticked off my 2015 sewing goals list :) I should get started on that quilt I aim to make this year…

Beth x

Sunday Sevens [Week 27]

Happy Mother’s Day!

It’s been all about the kids this week, as you’ll see a lot of photos feature my baby girl!



Crafty Monday! This is to prove that you don’t need to spend a fortune on craft materials… my daughter was sticking bits I cut out from a plastic bag on to paper! She often likes to paint with the glue though!



This is a tub of hot chocolate flakes that I bought at the weekend. Check out the size of that flake!

Whittard hot choc


Today was a Tomato Soup day. Haha… love the spot on her nose!

Tomato soup!


I helped out on a school trip to the pet shop today. I liked this floppy-eared bunny called Babe!

Bunny rabbit at pet shop


Little one thought she’d help with finishing off my second elephant toy. She carefully stabbed pins through it and into the sofa (which is not leather! It’s kid-friendly!) Poor elephant! But it kept her happy for ages, and she didn’t prick herself!

Pinning elephant...


We made our second visit to the library in a week to research guinea pigs for home learning!

Library books


We’re having a chilled Mother’s Day. Here are my beautiful flowers :)

Mothers Day flowers

Happy Mother’s Day to all mummies! Have a lovely day – and week.

Beth x

Elmer the Elephant Outfit ~ World Book Day 2015

This year, World Book Day was so much fun. For the past couple of years my daughter has dressed up in shop-bought costumes – I think she’s been a fairy and Snow White. They weren’t the most imaginative costumes ever, but she was happy enough. This year was different.

On the 1st of January I made some sewing goals; one of them was to actually make a costume for WBD.

Now, a couple of weeks ago I asked my daughter what her favourite book is. She replied with “Cinderella.” Hmm. That could be true; we are looking forward to seeing the new film in the cinema soon. But, like Snow White and fairies, it’s not very original. She has a nice Cinderella dress in her dressing-up box. I guess I could have made her an outfit for another character from the story, but I had a different idea…

Elmer. Elmer book[Image pinched from Google Images!]

I’ve not met a child who doesn’t like Elmer. Did you know it was originally published in 1968? And there are now nearly 30 spin-offs!

Elmer is a colourful patchwork elephant. He is the joker in the herd, but he wants to blend in with the other elephants. However he comes to realise that his colours are what makes him him, and that his friends love him in spite of his difference in appearance. It’s a sweet tale; I’m not sure that my eldest ‘gets’ the underlying message, but she enjoys the colourful pictures and humour.

So, I made an Elmer costume – here she is!

Elmer Dressing Up Outfit for World Book Day

Are you thinking ‘OH MY GOODNESS HOW CUTE!!’??!

I LOVE it, and luckily so does my daughter. She was so excited to wear it. And didn’t seem self-conscious at all… I’m not sure I would pull off that trunk!

So, how did I make it? I totally made it up as I went along.

I wanted some kind of dress, but I just dove in and started sewing together squares to make a big piece of patchwork fabric. I just guessed about the size – I kept going until I had a feeling that I had made enough!! I thought I could make a tabard sort of thing – a piece for the back, a piece for the front, and two tabs at the sides holding it together, but…. I should have bought a Lotto ticket that day because I made just the right amount of pieces to make a rectangular shape that could be turned into a tube and wrapped around my daughter. I did just that and thought – aha! Pillowcase dress!

So I sewed the sides together and cut curves out of the edges to make armholes. I totally winged it; I didn’t use a pattern, but luckily I cut them about the right size!

Elmer the Elephant dress in construction

That’s the only in-progress photo I have – I was far too busy to stop to take any more!

I sewed some bias binding round the armholes, and made casings at the front and back for a strip of ribbon to run through. I hemmed it, and it was finished!

Elmer Dressing Up Outfit for World Book Day

The construction of the actual dress was really straightforward – it was the piecing of all those squares that took forever. I did have a little helper who was passing the squares to me to sew. I also had a little monster who kept walking aimlessly through the carefully laid out pieces on the floor…

I was very aware that I was making it for one day’s wear so didn’t stress about matching the squares exactly – which was just as well, really. Also I didn’t finish any of the seams, so I’m glad it came home from school clean as it’ll probably fall apart in the wash!

The night before dress-up day I realised that the elephant dress was missing a vital part – a tail! So I grabbed  a strip of fabric (a red piece just the right kind of size was at the top of the bag!) and folded, sewed and knotted to make a cute little tail. I unpicked a hole at the back of the dress and stuffed neatly sewed it in.

Elmer the Elephant tail

That’s better!

Elmer Dressing Up Outfit for World Book Day

Next up: ears. This was a job for my glue gun. I literally glued squares of felt on to both sides of pieces of card that I had cut into big ear shapes. I also glued tabs in loops on to the card, wrapping them around a hairband. I finished by handsewing some little stitches on the tabs to tighten their grip on the hairband.

Elmer Dressing Up Outfit for World Book Day

The ears are big and floppy – a bit heavy, perhaps; my daughter didn’t wear them all day, but I couldn’t make a funky elephant costume with small ears!

Elmer ears

And finally – the trunk. Made out of a kitchen roll tube, of course! At this point, I’d had enough of cutting fabric squares out. So I got the kids’ felt tips and did some colouring in! I cut a curve at the top for nose space; it tilts down a little instead of sticking straight out like Pinocchio’s nose!

Elmer Costume - Trunk

My colouring is quite shameful but in my defence the pens were running out!

I punched a couple of holes, tied some elastic on and that was that…

Elmer Dressing Up Outfit for World Book Day

The costume was complete!

The icing on the cake was the fact that my girls got a free Elmer book with the £1 voucher.

If you didn’t know about Elmer before – you do now! :)

Beth x

Sunday Sevens [Week 26]

I’m on a roll with this Sunday Sevens business – haven’t missed a week for ages!



A great start to the week [that was sarcastic]… I got cracking with my sister’s apron, and my bobbin ran out without me knowing – arghhhh don’t you hate it when that happens?!

bobbin ran out...


I went to Refashion Oxford – ahhh it was loooovely… I bought my first piece of vintage clothing! I’m not a massive fan of vintage clothing but I did enjoy watching This Old Thing on Channel 4 last year. It’s Jaeger. You can see the swirls in it – it’s made of acetate. The only thing I know about acetate is that it’s not easy to clean. Whoops. I’m hoping to chop most of the length off because it’s a bit black and gothic for me at the moment. I do feel like that’s a dreadful thing to do, though!

I also bought loads of vintage buttons and two silk scarves that I hope to refashion into something… some when!

Vintage Jaegar Skirt, buttons and silk scarves


Time for the dentist! My daughter’s teeth are perfect :)

Smiling dentist sticker


Very random photo but we ate scrambled eggs for lunch, made with my grandma’s chickens’ eggs – oh I love the brightness of the yolks.

Free range scrambled eggs


World Book Day!! (OK it was technically yesterday, but my daughter’s school celebrated it today instead!)

Just a sneak peek – I’ll do a full post in a couple of days.

World Book Day Elmer Costume!


It’s taking me a while to get through this book…


We went to the Museum of Science in Oxford (as well as doing a spot of shopping, of course). This is a collection of instruments used in amputation, and a breast pump! It doesn’t look very comfortable!

I hope you’ve had an exciting first week of March. Spring’s coming!!

Beth x

Ellie the Elephant!

I’m in the middle of a couple of projects so I’m just going to share with you something cute that I made a couple of months ago.

‘Sew Punny’ made a little stuffed elephant back in January, and when I saw it I knew I had to make one for my elephant-mad daughter.

So I headed over to Plush Fabrics for the wonderful tutorial because I had the best fabric in my stash for it – the little colourful elephants I used to make my baby girl’s dress (which still fits my ‘baby’ but is now a top!!) last year. A big thumbs up for me sticking to my resolution of using up the smaller bits of fabric I have in my stash!

Are you ready for the cute-ness?!

elephant plush

Big flappy ears!! I made them out of a nice soft suede-type fabric that I bought a small amount of for about 10p at the car boot sale. It took me no time at all to decide which fabrics to use, which is unusual for me!

But I fell at the first hurdle when I began sewing down the side that’s meant to be open! What a numpty.

elephant ear!

The tutorial has patterns for large and small elephants, but because I didn’t have much of the elephant fabric I couldn’t make a large one. I cut out enough pieces to make two sisters instead. The other one just needs sewing together!

I made one change to the pattern – I folded the raw edge of the tail under. I suppose that because it’s knotted near the end it wouldn’t fall apart if it was left raw, but… I wanted to be safe and not sorry!

elephant plush

The pattern worked really well – I certainly recommend it! It was quite curvy though; if I make any more I might add a bigger seam allowance and then trim it down.

Because after I stuffed my first one I realised the seam was tearing near her trunk :( I repaired it but it’s messy because I stuffed it well and the fabric was fraying – grrr there’s always something.

elephant plush

I’m impressed with my slip stitch to secure her bottom back up, though.

I decided to sew clusters of French knots for the eyes. Mainly because I couldn’t be bothered to do satin stitch or anything else! I think it turned out all right – although I do think they look a bit close together… but they are in the right place according to the pattern.

That two-trunked red elephant that’s appeared above the eyes makes me laugh!

elephant plush

So there we have it – Ellie the Elephant, who is soon to have a sister, too.

elephant plush

And Daughter No. 2 was conveniently wearing her elephant top the day after the night I finished Ellie! Could you get any cuter?

elephant plush

elephant plush

The only very annoying thing is that she isn’t actually that taken by it!!

Beth x