Being Frank…

Accepting my failings


FO: Artemis Fowl and the Easy Linen Shirt

Spider’s school, along with many others, celebrates World Book Day by letting the children dress up as characters from fiction. Most schools celebrate it on the 5th March but this year Spider’s school had an actual author coming in on the 28th so brought their world book day celebration forward a  few days.

 Last Saturday I had the following conversation

 Me   “so who do you want to dress up as for world book day ?”

Spider “Butler”

Me “er…why ?”

Spider “Because then I can take …(insert long list of assorted guns and records)  and a Victorian cosh to school”

 Butler for those who haven’t come across him is the bodyguard in the Artemis Fowl books by Eoin Colfer. Butler is Eurasian. Spider is not. Butler is tall, very tall. Spider is 1.25 m. Butler is approximately as wide across the shoulder as he is tall. If Spider turns sideways he pretty much disappears…oh and according to Artemis Fowl “The Arctic Incident” Butler has a shaved head…I used the clippers on Spider once when he was 18 months old and swore never again, my boy looks better with hair !

 Apart from the above mentioned difficulties, it is actually pretty easy to dress Spider as Butler…OK so it is unlikely that anyone is going to recognise that Spider and Butler are one and the same for the purposes of world book day and will simply assume that Spider is going to a funeral !

 Butler wears a suit (a designer suit as he’s a very well paid bodyguard). No problem. School trousers (black)?check. White button up school shirt ? check (thank you sainsbury’s ). Black Tie ? Check (thank you Husband). Armani Black button up suit jacket ?…hold that thought…

 At the time of our conversation I was slowly cutting out and sewing up the Easy Linen Shirt from Sewing for Boys…   I was unenthusiastic and had misgivings. Not with the pattern you understand, the problem was Spider. The ELS is, to be frank, a smock and at almost 8, Spider is beginning to have his own ideas about clothing and at 8 I guess you have to start moving away from the cute stuff you can get away putting smaller children in…at least with boys in any event.

 I just couldn’t for the life of me come up with any plan for the ELS that I thought Spider would go for, apart from a light cotton denim, or what I eventually went for which was a plain black cotton with a contrasting collar, jazzed up a bit by a ribbon around the bottom and maybe some iron on patches…

 The more I sewed though the more unsure I became and I gave up having completed pretty much all of it apart from the collar and one side seam.

 So where were we ? Ah yes, a designer suit jacket in black…”Mum !!!!”

 Spider is fortunate to have an A 1 Grandma. She took the Easy Linen Shirt, finished the side seam, unpicked my front centre seam, drafted her own suit collar, recut the neck and attached the new collar, added button holes and some large black buttons…Spider also has a star of a Granddad who donated the buttons off his suit  (I promise to sew them back on Dad)…

 Resulting in…


Oh and Mum even made a soft Victorian cosh…


Pattern: Easy Linen Shirt from sewing for boys

Material:  100% Black Cotton from Royal Fabrics in Leamington Spa

Thread:  Coats Duet in a dark charcoal

New: Working in collaboration !!!

Thanks Mum


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World Book Day, I’ve got nothing to wear

I am not sure whether yesterday was world book day or whether it was today. The school celebrated it yesterday and allowed the children to come dressed as a “character”. Spider likes having stories read to him but is also very into his none fiction so it was no surprise that when asked he opted to be a Roman “what sort of Roman ?” “A legionary”

Hmmm, legionary is not as easy as wrapping him up in a sheet and claiming he’s wearing a toga, but then its a bit cold for a toga and at least if he’s wearing armour he can wear proper clothes underneath…except that on tuesday night Husband turned round and insisted that if he was going as a Roman legionary it should look authentic…

So he went as Harry, because it’s much easier to stick 5 dinosaurs in a bucket then it is to get nifty with cardboard you don’t have (recycled) and a load of gaffer tape strips…and I’d been lawyer on tour so wasn’t in the mood to get arts and crafty.

As for me, well I’m going on a date and I’ve been invited to a wedding and guess what “I’ve got nothing to wear !”. No, come back it’s true ! Yes I know all women claim they have nothing to wear but everyone who knows me will tell you its true. My friend KTCupcake once threatened to do a Trinny and Suzanna on me, until it was pointed out that if we did throw away all the clothes that didn’t suit me there would be nothing left as I had so few clothes to begin with !

So how to get better clothes without the trauma of shopping ?  Oh and in case you are wondering about the date, it is with Husband, its just we so rarely get an evening out alone is definately a “date” and not simply going out for the evening (Thank you, thank you Mum !!!)

I have been toying with the idea of doing a sew along using this book here except my sewing is very rudimentary and well they are starting with a skirt that’s slightly more fitted than I’m ready for yet (I’m still feeling fat) so I thought I know, I’ll try a circle skirt instead from Sew What Skirts except the only bit of cloth I have enough of is black with white dots and sends your eyes screwy… so maybe I could use that as a lining and make a bustle skirt (the pattern was in an issue of Sew Hip a few months ago)…

Wish me luck…won’t have it done in time for the date but the wedding is not until September