It is 1977, I’m 6 years old and my mum has sewn me a red white and blue dress for the street party for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee. The street was closed and we had tables down the centre of the tarmac, sandwiches, cake and jelly. I don’t have a photo, only a memory.
Mum sewed many clothes for me and my younger brother when we were children. Before my brother was born I would sit in her lap whilst she sewed at the machine. She told me I could stay if I kept my fingers away from the needle and just watched! When I was older she sewed in the evenings and I remember falling asleep to the sound of the sewing machine.
For my t shirt I’ve used my favourite T pattern New Look 6735. I’ve incorporated the red, white and blue of the original childhood dress and used a thrifty approach of using up small fabric remnants, which mum often did for children’s clothes.
The front was cut from a man’s teeshirt and then overpainted with fabric paints – I had a lovely time doing this, something very therapeutic (and childlike) about painting.
I’ve added a silver painted ‘77’ to indicate the year and 25 silver buttons for the Silver Jubilee (25 years).
(As a child I was completely unaware of punk which was also happening at the time, but note with interest that the distressed union jack with silver studs has a slightly punkish look)
The back is plain dark blue jersey and the sleeves are a rose on denim print jersey.
I constructed the tee on my sewing machine, overlocker and coverhem, using navy and white threads in different places as I didn't want a blue hem on the front or a white hem on the back.