Spider t-shirt

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I had some fun with this simple t-shirt embellishment.

It started with a a plain cotton Marks and Spencer t-shirt, bought last year in a charity shop for £1, intending to tart it up in some way .

Inspiration came from pinterest.

I selected a suitable button from my stash and drew a spider on some tracing-type paper so I could copy it onto the fabric.


The original post involves drawing legs around the button but I wanted to sew them. A patch of interfacing was needed to stabilise the back of the t-shirt where the spider would be sited.  My idea was to sew through both paper and t-shirt with a contrasting yellow thread, then rip the paper off and be left with the spider transferred to the t-shirt.  It didn’t work that well to be honest, the paper I used was too thick and the yellow thread difficult to get rid of afterwards.


The spider legs involved hand sewing on the basic shape with a running stich then hand sewing at 90 degrees over the legs with small stiches until it looked about right.  If this sounds like quite a lot of hand sewing, it was, but I don’t mind hand sewing on this type of project, in fact I find  it quite relaxing, also this method produced a sort of spidery hairiness on the legs.


It looks better with the button sewn over the top.


I sewed on some lace from my stash to complete the web on the neckline, again with hand stitches, and finally got the machine out to sew the spider’s thread, finishing off by tying the loose threads in a knot instead of backstitching.


The spider looks like it’s dangling towards the centre, but when being worn it hangs down straight.

Pleased with my efforts I showed it to my husband and he said it looked like a spider was hiding behind  a button.


Lace insert top

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I bought this thin and silky polyester top for £4 from traid.


They were having a sale, everything £4, which is cheap for them.

It’s from Marks and Spencer and is a silky polyester fabric with a subtle swirly pattern, reminiscent of something you might see on the top layer of a bridal gown.


From the label, I estimate it to be 1980’s vintage, when they were still making things in the UK.


I bought it with this refashion in mind, I’d been looking for something white, but when I tried it on at home, the fit wasn’t too bad.  One of my first thoughts was that this was such a simple design it would be easy to copy in another fabric sourced from my growing stash.

I wore the top for a month or so, but it was a little too long and a little too tight on the bust so it was time for the refashion to happen.

I had some lace just the right size to insert as a side panel, which would make the top a bit wider.


I’d bought the lace in a sandwich box of mixed ribbons, lace and buttons for £1

On closer examination I wondered if it was actually lace, or a piece of broderie Anglaise which someone had already cut around on one side to make lace.  I cut around the other side to complete the process and make my ‘lace’.

I opened the side seams of the top, which had been serged.  This fabric frayed like hell and its also very slippery, so before attaching the lace I gave each seam edge a small hem.

There was the question of whether to put the lace on top or underneath.


I decided underneath looked neater.

Although the photo only shows pins, I tacked the lace down before sewing, and at places where there were multiple layers, secured the folds with some hand stitching before machine sewing.

I also tried on after the tacking which revealed that at the armhole end, the insert needed to be one flower shorter to improve the fit.



To complete the refashion I cut about an inch off the bottom edge of the top and re-hemmed to make it a bit shorter.




Bonus feature:

On a recent trip to Norway I found the most fantastic Salvation Army charity shop.  As I found this shop with no Kroner left, no room in my case and only 10 minutes before I had to leave, all I could do was take photos.



This was just part of the homeware section, there were 3 floors, the top floor was all bridal wear.

So many lovely Scandi table cloths and doilies, the photos don’t do it justice.