A Grrrrroovy Tiger Shirt


I love this shirt, I think it’s brilliant. I think it looks cool, retro, funky, funny, different, smart…. but I can’t take any credit for it. I have to start this post by saying this is a total rip off of a shirt made by the very clever sewer and blogger at madebymamasha. She is also one of the brains behind the fantastic pattern shop Zonen09.

I haven’t sewn for my son for a while, and wanted to make him something he would choose to wear. He doesn’t normally wear shirts as he finds buttons fiddly, but said he would try one with snaps, and when he spotted this great ed emberley fabric he was hooked on the idea. I would have loved to use a true Zonen09 pattern for this, but their digital patterns are not yet available in English, so I used the Sis Boom Ethan shirt pattern I bought in a group purchase. It worked really well. I chose a size smaller than usual to get a slimmer fit, squared off the bottom and added extra interfacing for the snaps.

Just look at my first real go at pattern matching on the pocket- can you spot it? Not perfect, but I am chuffed.


This was my first shirt and with clear instructions was easier than I thought. The cuffs look professional, the topstitching gives it a professional finish, and it has passed the store bought test with friends.

I’m not sure how many shirts I will make, but I did enjoy this sewing and, though all my husband said when he first saw this was ” Now he just needs a moustache and some 70’s sunglasses”, he did ask if I was ever going to make him something.

Here is my boy striking a pose when asked – he hasn’t quite got the cool camera style down yet…


And our very own tiger getting in on the act!


This post comes just in time for Kids Clothes Week- I did make it before, but only a few days so I am counting it… and I am just finishing my next little sew. Hopefully I will have some pictures to share soon.


A flop to a top.


I recently purchased a couple of lovely sewing books by Yoshiko Tsukiori, one of which is the Girl’s Style Book.  The book itself is beautifully presented with lovely clear and simple photos, and some of the patterns really caught my eye.


I decided to start with what appeared to be a relatively easy garment, a sleeveless shirt with a round neck (no collar). The plain white linen example in the book looks gorgeous however, having none of that to hand, I settled on this fabric from my stash.  I think I had the idea that the flying cranes would lend a Japanese feel to the top.  I decided to make the shirt in a larger size for Little Boo, but not add any seam allowance (which is NOT printed on the pattern) so it wasn’t too big. Maybe this is where I went wrong.  I don’t think this should affect the actual working of the top and have been successful using this method before, but for whatever reason I came to a BIG problem part way thought the sewing.  I expect you could have some idea what this problem was by now, if you look at the finished top, and know that it is meant to be a shirt!


I sewed the plackets for the top as small as I could, already thinking there may be an issue, but when I tried lining up the side seams for sewing, it was clear that the front of the shirt was no where close to touching, let alone overlapping for button closure… Back to the drawing board!

Rather than scrapping the project I added a length of fabric to the front of the top to enclose it and added an ‘easy peasy button closure to the back (look on craftiness is not optional for a a tutorial). I toyed with adding buttons for a fake shirt effect, but decided to save them for another project.

Though this isn’t in my list of favourite projects, I am glad that I have ended up with something wearable as I love the fabric.  I’d love to hear from anyone else who has made this top to find out if theirs was a success.
Just to finish, a few extra pictures of my so compliant model!

Open your eyes, Boo!