I hope she isn't reading this

By John-Paul Flintoff

For a long time, I have taken the view that it would not be a good idea to sew anything for Harriet. She might not like it, and then she’d feel bad, and I’d feel bad and it would generally be bad all round (unless of course she liked it).

It would be better, I thought, for Harriet to see how much fun I’m having when I make my own stuff, and then one day she may decide to have a go herself. Or not: it’s up to her.

But last week I met an inspiring chap who made his wife some lingerie, not always successfully as it happens, but carries on regardless with good cheer.

So I decided I’d been copping out, and with a week to go I am making Harriet a blouse (is that what it’s called? some kind of top, anyway). First, I photographed the tops that she likes most at the moment, and drew pictures and made notes and put them all in a book.

Then I laid one of them out on a huge sheet of sellotaped-together pages of The Sunday Times (hurrah for large-format broadsheets) and copied a pattern. I was not vastly careful and precise, but felt confident about what I was doing, having first read up on it in general way in Patternmaking for a Perfect Fit, by Steffani Lincecum.

Next, I got myself a bit of fabric from Desai, round the corner: a big piece of cotton, in the kinds of colour Harriet likes.

Then I got sewing. Every so often, as necessary, I checked out how to do particular bits in The Dressmaker’s Technique Bible, by Lorna Knight. For instance, how to fit sleeves neatly into armholes.

Now most of the work is behind me, but I still have to do some kind of cuff on the sleeves.

I may not hem the bottom, yet, so I can take in the sides reasonably neatly if I’ve made it too roomy – which I probably have done. Also, that way Harriet can choose how long she wants the blouse/whatever it is called.

That is, if she wants it at all (see above).

Posted: May 6, 2012