Queen of Hearts

Yay for feeling better (and incidently boo for boys yo yo ing out of bed instead of staying there long enough to fall asleep, but you can’t win ’em all). I finished sewing another thing.

coming ready or not where are you

coming ready or not where are you

The original idea Use some left over very soft and lovely knit fabric from my prototype tunic dress to make some kind of long sleeved top for my daughter. This was fairly obviously to me the thing to do as it’s “her” colour, she likes the feel of it and I struggle to get her to wear long sleeves/layers and yet the weather round here (plus her tendency to asthma) means that even she needs to wrap up a little sometimes.

velvet ribbon hanging loop from great grandma's stash

velvet ribbon hanging loop from great grandma’s stash

The design brief A cardy was requested rather than a long sleeved top. She drew a lovely picture of a cardy, with round neck, buttons and two squarish patch pockets. I left it in the middle of the table carefully saved it to scan in for the blog but due to my carelessness despite my best efforts hubby threw it away when tidying up. It was a cute picture, honest.

Contrast cuff action plus hold the seam allowance down twin needle topstitching

Contrast cuff action plus hold the seam allowance down twin needle topstitching

The distraction I wasn’t going to buy buttons until it was finished, to check they were right. I was eyeing some up alright, but I was not going to buy any. And then I ended up in Guthrie and Ghani when I was away and my patient friend suggested I look at buttons and they had these amazing clear circular buttons with red hearts outlined on. I didn’t stand a chance. (They don’t seem to have them in the online shop. I also got some with turquoise cat heads on, which are much nicer than that sounds).

Button Love

Button Love

The pattern Simplicity 1573. Again. I used the long sleeved t shirt (technically a pajama top but hey), in a size 8 rather than the usual size 7 (so she can wear it over the other t shirts that I’ve made from this pattern) and hacked it after rather breifly looking at some tutorials on hacking t shirts patterns into adult cardies (sorry, links lost in the mists of time, but I’m sure you’d find something if you’re interested).

Pocket design to mimic buttons,. Note hand width plus ease lines I marked as my starting point to get the size right. The pockets are lined in the softer turquoise fabric for extra snuggle factor.

Pocket design to mimic buttons. Note hand width (plus ease) lines that I marked as my starting point to get the size right. The pockets are lined in the softer turquoise fabric for extra snuggle factor.

The design element I realised that I had pretty much all of the red t shirt left that I’d cut up to make a neckband for me and that the pockets could be heart shaped like the buttons. And before you know it it had red heart shaped pockets, red cuffs, collar, bottom band and cuffs.

Pocket and lining stitched together and clipped ready to turn. Then the top "M" shape was topstitched before placing on the cardy and sewing the rest into place.

Pocket and lining stitched together and clipped ready to turn. Then the top “M” shape was topstitched before placing on the cardy and sewing the rest into place.

Glorious pocket action (yeah, ok, they bag out a little, but I still like 'em)

Glorious pocket action (yeah, ok, they bag out a little, but I still like ’em)

The technical bits. The front was cut as two pieces (instead of on the fold) and extended slightly so the edges could fold over and be the button band. (Originally I was going to have the button bands as separate pieces added on. I think actually that might have been neater after all. I was swayed by what others had done). I also lowered the front curve of the neckline slightly and I stay stitched it to prevent stretching. The button band was reinforced with interfacing, as were the shoulder seams. I forgot to turn under the edge of the first button band I sewed down so it looks a bit messy, grr. The “ribbing” is standard t shirt fabric and I cut it 90% of the width required plus seam allowances, I was worried it wouldn’t cope with 85%, actually I think it would’ve but it looks fine as it is. The seams are all finished with my overlocker foot as I don’t trust the turquoise fabric not to fray. I had to trim the edge of the ribbing/main fabric seam at 45 degrees (as if you’re going to turn something) as it was poking out the front of the sitching band slightly, so then topstitched all the ribbing seam allowance in place with my twin needle, which makes the bottom a bit uneven as the overlocking had made the seam allowance wavy.

Interfacing the button band before folding it over and sewing it down.

Interfacing the button band before folding it over and sewing it down.

The finish Could do better. My cardy pattern hack worked fine but as my finished piece ended up more complicated than I orignally planned (no seperate ribbing bands) I hadn’t thought through how to hide the raw seams and on a cardy they may well show if it’s unbuttoned and flaps open. So I think a proper pattern could have led to a neater finish. (For instance, I realised after reading Sparkleneedles recent cardigan adventures that the side/shoulder/armhole seams would have been better as french seams, which would’ve been easy enough with the 5/8″ seam allowance). The top buttonhole messed up too (it would be that one) and is a little wonky. And why oh why did I decide to use turquoise thread and twin needles to topstitch a red heart pocket? That’s just asking for trouble, especially with the curved edges. So, I think it definitely looks home made to me. But it doesn’t scream home made to all and sundry, so I can live with that because it’s so fun.

Hiding the raw ends. Also the buttonholes in the middle, that were done flat rather than half over extra layers, worked much better, unsurprisingly.

Hiding the raw ends. Also the buttonholes in the middle, that were done flat rather than half over extra layers, worked much better, unsurprisingly.


The result Great, I’m really happy with it.

Ready for the big reveal photo(s)?….

The Girl likes pretty things

Cuffs folded over as the sleeves have growing room 😉

Now, where are those pockets

Now, where are those pockets

Ta Da

Ta Da


Here's looking at you kid. (and yes, she's wearing that over polka dot pajama's and with a skirt. Long story)

Here’s looking at you kid. (and yes, she’s wearing that over polka dot pajama’s and with a skirt. Long story)

9 thoughts on “Queen of Hearts

  1. So adorable. I want heart pockets and buttons!

  2. I love the way your children are currently designing and ordering clothes! I think the heart pockets are very cute. One of my girls had heart shape knee patches on her trousers when she was younger and I loved her in those trousers.

    • All 3 of them design and order clothes, but mainly it’s the male members of my family that come up with the complicated requests, the girl is pretty easy to please.

      Heart shape knee patches sound great!

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