Brought to You by the Letter S

Yes, another red jumper! This size 22-24 sweatshirt had a rather ugly motif embroidered on the front.


Again, this was £4.99 from Age UK in Orpington. It clearly had not been worn; the tags were still on it, claiming its original price was £17.


Obviously, the motif had to go. I wanted an American sportswear look in red, white and blue for my trip, so I had to come up with something to cover it up.


I decided on the letter “S”, partly because that’s my first initial, and partly because the top line of the S would cover the motif (that is, the letter A or number 1 would not have covered the motif).

I drew out the shape of my S on a piece of paper and transferred it to some scraps of blue and white fabric.



Now, I know there are probably easier ways of doing this, but this is what I did.

I pinned about 3mm back all around the blue S and then pinned it to the white S. This was fiddly in the extreme.


I just sewed around it using a small, straight stitch.


Then I folded under 3mm all around the white S, clipping corners where necessary, and pinned it to the sweatshirt. Again, fiddly as heck.


I appliqe’d it on using a small, tight zig zag.


Here’s a close-up!


All that was left to do was to make it fit. I took it in at both sides and the sleeves too. I used a narrow, long zig zag for the seam (so it had a bit of stretch) but ended up zig zagging the cut edge too as it was shedding fluff.



Here’s how it looks from the inside!


Here’s me wearing it in the US. It was snuggly warm, perfect for a cold day at Hancock Shaker Village in Western MA. In the centre of the main area is this beautiful tree.


The village itself is in a lovely setting, surrounded by forest on all sides.


The most interesting building is the round stone barn. We don’t have round barns in the UK (well, not to my knowledge; I am not a barn expert) so I found this fascinating.


The interior of the barn is actually separated into concentric circles on three different levels. At the centre is a circular air vent for the hay, to stop it spontaneously combusting. Around the vent is an inner circle in which hay is stored. Outside that is a circle where men would distribute the hay for the cattle to eat. The outer circle is where the cows are, facing inwards over a fence, eating hay. Wagons drive into the barn up a ramp to the upper level, where they deposit the hay down into the inner circle from above. The wagons go around the circle and back out the way they came in. The lower level collects manure for use as fertiliser.


Anyway, we also stopped off at Monument Mountain on the same day for a walk to see the Autumn colours.



We got a great view from the top, even though the weather wasn’t totally co-operating.




Here are some better pictures of the sweatshirt with the Connecticut foliage.






  1. Miss J

    Is there an easier way of doing this ‘S’? If there is, I can’t think of it! Nice refashion.
    Looks like you had a great holiday,


  2. Diana

    Nice refashion! You look great in red. :) Should point out, though, that Hancock Shaker Village is in western MA, not eastern CT. :)

  3. heidi

    Toll geworden . Ich bin absolut begeistert . Und diese warmen Pullis kann man jetzt richtig gut brauchen :))
    LG heidi

  4. blissinger

    Very nice “fiddly” work, you have a lot more patience than I do. Your results were very professional-looking.

  5. Frances

    You really are a clever girl ! My first attempt at a refashion was when I was 11 years old. A lady at a rummage sale gave me blouse made of white cotton with an iron burn mark on the front left side that had left a hole the size of a small orange. It would have been a disaster to wear it to school, because everyone knew everyone in our small town…I would have been teased for sure. My granny had some yellow dye on her shelf and an aunt help me to embroider a butterfly on a small square of cotton. I stitched the butterfly (on an old treadle sewing machine) onto the blouse to cover the hole…and ta da !! a new blouse that I wore many times and had many compliments on . I never did admit it`s origin….kids can be cruel at that age….although,today, I would shout it from the rooftops ! I love receiving your newsletters to see your creations. You look fantastic in everything you remake . Red really suits you ! xxx

  6. Toots Totes

    Superb! I’m just totally amazed at how you have the vision to know what something could become. Gonna write a hundred lines: I must be more imaginative. I must be more imaginative. I must…
    Thanks for the inspiration once again. Looking forward to the next one!

  7. Tracy H

    Great job such a practical solution the refashion has totally transformed an uninspiring top

  8. Kasia

    What a lovely change! No more granny, here comes sporty! And you look really great in red, no wonder you keep choosing it :)
    I’ve got a tiny technical sewing question, though. When you take in a garment and want to secure it so that it doesn’t fray – like you did here with the zigzag stitch – do you first cut off the excess fabric and then sew zigzag over it or first sew and then cut off whatever’s left? Or do you have an overlocker that does the cutting job for you? I’d be totally grateful for an answer :)

    • charityshopchic

      Thanks, Kasia! In the case of this sweatshirt, I cut the edges off, then made the seam, then zig zagged both edges together on my regular machine when I realised it was fraying/shedding. I could have zig zagged first. I could have zig zagged both edges separately to allow the seam to be pressed open (not really necessary here). I could have used my overlocker, but that would have meant buying 3-4 rolls of red thread. There isn’t a right or wrong answer.

  9. Mariyn

    Thanks so much for the inspiration and the scenery. You did a fantastic job on the fitting of the large shirt and your applique is great.

  10. cantswingacat

    I’m so glad I’ve found your blog! I wish I’d seen it sooner actually. There’s been so many times that I’ve decided against buying something from a charity shop because there was something not quite right about it, when really I just need to learn to see and practice some tricks! Bought a couple of charity shop dresses the other day that were just too long so will start by learning how to hem them before I give this sort of thing a go :)

  11. Jess

    I feel very inspired to start doing this kind of thing! It looks like allot of work but I like the end product :)

    • charityshopchic

      You should definitely have a go at refashioning, Jess! It doesn’t have to be this complicated – you can start with taking a hem up or cutting trousers into shorts. Be careful though, it can be addictive!

  12. Sam Brown

    You do some amazing things, im new to your blog but love this type of thing, I am a volunteer for EthicalStores which is much like a ethical form of etsy, maybe pop over and take a look at our stores.

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