Thursday, 30 July 2020

Crew Neck Sweatshirt Update

Like many parents, I try to keep an eye on my kids' clothing selection to avoid getting caught out when a growth spurt occurs. I think this is particularly necessary if, like me, you don't buy new clothing for your kids, because getting what they need can take a bit more time and planning. My children's wardrobes are comprised of handmade, hand-me-downs, thrifted and the odd new item given to them as a present from someone else. 

A recent sort through of Frankie's future-selection of clothes showed me that he has very few items for the next size up (aged 4/size 98+), which he is rapidly hurtling towards. I had a rummage in my clothes-to-upcycle/reuse pile and found a couple of sweatshirts, the first being a sweatshirt that has already had a number of incarnations! I made it (see below) when I worked for Traid about 8 years ago by combining a couple of red, donated sweatshirts and adding a leather anchor applique.   

Adding the navy leather shape was a gamble because I had no idea how it would wash, but actually it came out perfectly well from each wash cycle. Obviously I have no idea how much wear the original sweatshirts received, but I wore mine a lot over the years. 

I used the Brindille & Twig crew neck sweatshirt pattern for these upcycles, as I already had it in my stash and have enjoyed using it previously. I had to make seams at the shoulder for Frankie's version, just as I had to when making my adult-version. I like the additional detail that it brings. 

The second sweatshirt started out as a plain, turquoise, Damart sweatshirt that I picked up in a charity shop for 50p a few years ago. I really liked the colour but it was too small for me so it had been hanging around waiting for a purpose.  

I took the opportunity to finally bust out my Bobbinhood screen printing kit that I had got for my 40th birthday last October. I'd wanted one of these kits ever since I got to have a play with my friend Emily's last summer. But as soon as I got one of my own, all my print ideas seem to evaporate! 

Just to finally give my kit a go, I decided to use someone else's design as a starting point. I found this awesome Octopus design in one of my kids' copies of DOT magazine (which I highly recommend, BTW). I obtained permission from the designer (@annalisedunn) via Instagram, explaining that I was only going to use the design for my son's sweatshirt, and got going. Cutting the stencil out of the special plastic-y paper was the trickiest and most time-consuming part. The actual printing took literally 10min, including prepping the screen! The Bobbinhood kits are designed for stencils, so there's no exposing the screen or anything like that required.


I love how both these sweatshirts came out! The journey the red sweatshirt has been on reminds me how good quality fabric can have many incarnations. Hopefully I can pass this on to someone else when Frankie eventually grows out of it. And I'm thrilled to have been able to have found an opportunity to break the seal on my awesome printing kit! I can't wait to get some new inks (I currently only have black) to give me more options for customising my clothing projects. 

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