If you’d like to skip straight to the creative project and learn how to revamp a t-shirt using the smallest scraps of fabric then scroll down until you see Blue’s paw print below.
This episode is subtitled: ‘I’m the knight in shining armour…’
‘Is everything okay, Beryl?’ I asked.
‘Yes thanks,’ she replied and got on with her work, head down, looking like she had the weight of the world on her shoulders, not at all the glowing bride-to-be, despite the mass of sparkly diamonds on her finger.
I got side tracked by a customer and didn’t think anything more about it until I heard Kim say, ‘Cheer up, Beryl! Got to have you looking fresh and happy when you see Tommy this afternoon.’
‘I’m fine,’ she said without conviction, and plodded on with her work.
I sidled over to her and plonked myself down at the table she was clearing. ‘What is it?’ I said in as kind a voice as I could. She looked as though she was going to cry.
‘It’s Tommy,’ she said.
‘Oh, no, he’s not ill is he?’
‘He’s really sick with pneumonia at the moment,’ she said.
I gasped. I desperately didn’t want Beryl’s recently found happiness to be cut short. ‘He is going to be okay though, isn’t he?’ I asked tentatively.
‘The doctors say he should be fine in a few weeks.’ (Phew, I thought!) ‘But it’s given him a scare and he wants me to arrange the wedding for as soon as he gets out of hospital.’
‘Well, that’s a good thing, isn’t it?’ I asked, not really sure of her problem.
‘I’ve never organised a wedding before. I’m out of my depth.’
‘What about Kim?’ I asked her. I couldn’t believe Kim hadn’t completely taken over the arrangements already.
She looked sheepish. ‘I haven’t told her,’ she said. ‘Tommy wants us to show everyone we can put on the best party in town…but I’m not sure if I can.’
‘Maybe you should tell Kim,’ I suggested. ‘It will take the pressure off you.’
‘But I want it to be my wedding not Kim’s,’ she whispered and I knew exactly what she meant.
‘Would you like me to help? I could drive you round the see some venues…..help you choose your outfit. What do you think?’
The weight visibly lifted and she smiled. ‘Mum’s the word, though,’ she said.
‘Mum’s the word,’ I confirmed. And for the rest of the day I could hear her humming away to herself.
On Sunday, as planned, I picked her up and we started our tour of potential venues. Firstly The Grosvenor Hotel, which was very swish.
‘Does Madam have an appointment with our wedding manager?’ asked a very snooty man on reception. He looked down his nose and enquired, ‘No?’
Beryl shook her head and he handed her a price list. ‘Is Madam planning for next year or the year after?’
‘Next month!’ said Beryl.
‘We have nothing available this year, Madam,’ he said dismissively and took the price list off her. I was very glad to get through the revolving door and back outside. Beryl looked a bit shaken by the experience.
We tried another couple of hotels but the story was the same – either too pretentious, no availability or both.
‘I know, what about The March Hare? That would be handy for everyone,’ I said, triumphantly. The March Hare was the wine bar that Kim and I go to sometimes after work. It’s much closer to home than these city centre hotels.
We pulled into the car park but Beryl wouldn’t get out of the car. ‘Will you go in first, Jenny, and make sure Gary and Kim aren’t in having Sunday lunch?’
I scouted round each section and was about to confirm that we were safe when I heard my name. ‘Hi Jenny!’ It was my sister Laura. ‘You here for lunch?’
‘Erm…’ I’m a hopeless liar and Laura could see straight through me.
‘Must be a hot date then,’ she teased. ‘You can tell me all about it later. I thought I’d pop round with an old t-shirt – thought you might be able to work some of your upcycling magic on it.’
‘That would be lovely,’ I said, happy at the prospect of a catch up with my sister and a new project to work on.
I beckoned Beryl in and the function room upstairs at The March Hare excited us both, but sadly, they didn’t have a suitable date available either.
‘What about your local, The King’s Head?’ I suggested.
‘I was hoping for something a bit grander than that,’ she replied, ‘but at this rate I’ll settle for anything.’
Twenty minutes later she’d booked the function room at The King’s Head and, thankfully, item 1 had been crossed off her list. ◊
How to Revamp a T-shirt with Fabric Scraps
Laura called round with a t-shirt I’d seen her wearing for years. It was still fully functional but she fancied a bit of a change so I got out some very small pieces of fabric from my scraps jar.
Here’s the t-shirt and the same pile of scraps after I’d ironed them.
I thought this was also a great opportunity to use up some ends of thread.
I cut them roughly into strips and sewed them together, placing the right sides together each time so all the seams were on the back. I ironed the seams open. Do you like the tie dyed ironing board cover?
Then I ironed some Bondaweb onto the back and used one of my cardboard heart templates to draw round. I twisted the heart round so I got the stripes going in different directions.
When I cut them out they looked like this. Can you see I also cut a smaller one (bottom left of the picture)?
I chose my favourite three and positioned them along the bottom hem, left of centre. Then I ironed them into position.
I ironed the small heart onto the back of the t-shirt close to the neckline.
Then, as usual, I sewed a running stitch all round each one to secure it since it would be going through the washing machine a lot and I didn’t trust the Bondaweb to cope with the vigour.
And here’s the finished article, showing the back and the front!
- I do hearts because they are easy but this is another project that you can let your imagination run wild on.
- Make your seam allowances very small (or trim them well after you’ve stitched them). This will minimise the fraying of your edges because there will be fewer places where the Bondaweb is only attached to the seam allowance and not the upper layer of fabric. I don’t mind the slight casual look, though!
- Fabric scraps
Wonder what I’ll use my spare hearts for. You can be certain they won’t go to waste!
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