This is Bowling - there are rules!

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Hey guys,

Just wanted to get this post out there as I keep seeing the beautiful faces of the spoolettes popping up in my feed. I'm sure you have realised by now that I went bowling last weekend with some amazing sewists (who have become my favourite people in the entire world btw).

The first rule of Bowling is that you must do it wearing an amazing handmade shirt. And boy did everyone rise to the challenge. I myself had grandiose plans of a huge hand embroidered piece on the back and a hand embroidered name on the front. I did in fact manage the name on the front but the back fell off the wagon pretty fast. Maybe if I had started it when we first began to speak of it (but Alison was the only one who started work early, as seen by the embroidery below!)

I actually was pretty sure I wouldn't get my shirt done in time. I was pretty close to not even trying! I had put myself under a tight time schedule in the lead up to Christmas and then other things decided to come up at the same time. Needless to say, I've been a bit of a wreck recently, but everything should be right as rain come Christmas. 

However I decided to suck it up and whip up something. I used a vintage pattern from my stash that I got at the Chelsea vintage frock, if I remember correctly.

 And what ensued was a night of  random slashing and sewing of fabric, the addition and removal of a random inch here and there, ignoring pattern instructions and all that sort if thing (Malfy here I come). I'm ecstatic to say that something completely awesome emerged from the flames, and it is quite possibly my favourite thing I ever made.

I was worried about the pattern being too small, so I erred on the side of caution when cutting and putting it together. I reduced the back neck pleat by an inch and increased the placket by 1.5 inches. I sewed up the front shoulder dart but not the darts at the bottom front and back. I'm glad bowling shirts have suck a boxy front, they are so forgiving! I sewed the top back neck pleat down an extra inch or so, and I had kept the bottom pleat at the full 3 inches.

All of these alterations meant I had to adjust the collar, so I just traced It off and added in all the missing inches where I thought it made sense. Thankfully it worked! I had to cut out my placket facings a second time because I forgot about the extra I had added!

 I was pretty happy with the progress I had made in a couple of hours. 

I had intended to use the cuff from this pattern, but when I looked at the pattern piece held up to the shirt it kind of looked ridiculous. So what did I do? 

I looked at the pink fabric I had remaining, eyeballed it, and ripped a strip off. I used the cuff method from By Hand London's Victoria, and sewed the cuff onto the edge of the kimono sleeve, opened up the side seam, and sewed it all in flush. And it worked perfectly.

As I had already embroidered my name onto a piece of the poplin, I just cut around it and stitched it onto the front. I had intended appliquéing it properly, but there wasn't time for that sort of nonsense.

 The back was my biggest trial! I didn't want to let go of the lettering on the back, so after many iterations and trying different things, I had to settle for cutting out letters and stitching them down the centre. There was intended appliqué there too but this was down to the wire sewing at its best. Fraying edges and all. Some might say its a look? 

I was even running around all morning looking for buttons, and in the end, the ones I got in the first shop, as a back up, were prefect. More than perfect really, they are my favourite bit of the whole shirt!

And of course the pink buttonholes!

There's also some pink topstitching on the pocket, and the pocket is not functional because I decided I wanted to topstitch the top edge after I had stitched it on the shirt. Sorry (Not Sorry).

After all of that palaver, I ran for the train, and stripped on the street to get my shirt on before I met my girlies. I must have looked like a nutter :)

Anywho, what ensued was a wonderful evening of bowling, burgers and karaoke. Spoolette Karaoke is second to none ;)

I'll leave you with my pictures of the evening, hope it entices more Spoolettes into the fold!

Love Sally's face in this one!


Emmie xx


  1. So gorgeous! I love how you improvised, and it turned out perfectly. Particularly love the pink stitching against the black!

  2. rehanonmackenzie2 December 2013 at 14:13

    ah chicken you looked so lovely. As always great eyebrows too :) Really like that pic of Clare and me you are a sharp shooter xxx

  3. You got some great pics! Amazing job at hacking up that pattern to create your shirt, it's a real classic look! You can never go wrong with a black and baby pink combo. Looking forward to doing it all again I hope!


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