Refashioning a Shirt

Remember this?

Shirt - beforeIt’s a shirt I bought in a charity shop because the linen was good quality. My aim was to turn it into something I could wear day to day.

Shirt - afterFront view

Shirt - afterBack view – I particularly like the back

I hung it on a door so that I could gradually work out what to do with it. It was a bit of a puzzle.

Below are the stages I went through to do it.  Obviously, the shirt might not be to your taste but the principles apply to remaking any large boxy shirt into something wearable.

Cut off the collarCut off the collar.  I wanted the shirt to have a Nehru collar so I used the collar stand.  It would fray left like this so I needed to bind it.  I chose linen left over from making a dress.

Making bias bindingAdd bias bindingAMake and add bias binding.

Cut to lengthHem

Cut to length & hem

New buttons

Remove old & add new buttons. Make extra buttonholes. The shirt just had too few buttons to hold together properly.

Back tabBack tabShape the back with tucks & cover with a tab made from left over fabric. Add buttons.

Making tabs

Make tabs to shape the front. Tabs are at the waist for both back & front.

Cut sleeves Bind sleeves

Decide on sleeve length. Cut, finish raw edge and bind sleeve.

And that’s it!

Shirt - after

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I should have had flowers in my hair

Flower power shirtMy new shirt and it’s a stash bust. Hooray! I’d bought some fabric, but I was having a coffee and the Scott Mackenzie song “San Francisco”  kept coming into my head. So I went back to buy it.  I’ve loved that song since I was a child.

I’m not usually a flowered dress person, certainly not little flowers like this fabric so it sat in a drawer for quite a long time.

Flower power!I should have had flowers in my hair

This shirt was the answer.  I used Simplicity 3684.  I made the same style a year or two ago from the good bits of an old duvet cover but sadly it’s worn out now. I think the Nehru collar gives it the look of a late 60s or maybe early 70s shirt and that’s a look I like.

The pattern has lots of frilly bits attached but I don’t suit frills so this is plain. The buttons were rescued from another blouse. They fitted the theme.

And I sang “San Francisco” whilst I made it.

DressRemember this?

After alteringIt’s now this – a few inches shorter. You can see my knees.

NecklaceThis is the necklace I’m wearing in the last photo. Can you believe that my other half found this in the garden?  It was in a bush.  I wonder what happenned?   It’s a bit more purple than this in reality so those of you who know me will appreciate that I was certain to like it, but I doubt it was left as a present for me.

Strange!

1950s Sewing Giveaway – the Winner

One of the fabulous 1950s patterns won by Carolyn who blogs at Handmade by Carolyn.  Congratulations!

Please email your details to me Carolyn and I will send you the patterns very soon.

1950s Sewing Giveaway

One of my giveaway patterns.

Who doesn’t like a gift?  If you like vintage sewing then this one is for you.

The suit pattern is from 1958 and in really good condition.  It’s a size 38 inch bust but I know lots of you can regrade patterns easily enough if the size isn’t right.  It even has a lining pattern. Weren’t patterns amazing back then?

This one is a fabulous blouse – much used by a previous owner.  It would be fun to see it made up again.   It’s from 1955 and a size 36 inch bust.

I’m giving them away as one package to someone who would like to make at least one of the garments and show the finished item on their blog.

If you would like to take part please leave a comment on this post saying which item you would like to make. I’m going to make the deadline midnight British Summer Time on 12th October 2012 and I’ll choose the lucky winner the next day.    You must have a live blog to take part as I would love to see the results of your sewing and link them here.

Good luck!

Experimental Pattern Free Top

Another attempt at pattern free sewing.  This is a lightweight linen – I’ve only tried cotton lawn before.

The top is made from fabric rectangles pleated to get the right width for me.  Previously I have used three rectangles, but this time I wanted to use up some leftover fabric I really like, so I made a separate waistband and pleated the top part and the peplum into it.

The back rectangle is half the width of 140cm fabric.  The front is the other half, divided into two so that I could have a button front.

The front only needed pleating to get it into the waistband because the button bands used up quite a bit of fabric.

Pleats sewn down the centre back to match the back width to the fronts.

The cap sleeves just appear when the side seams are sewn.

I made the front neckline by chalking around a dinner plate.  The back was cut to match.

I loved that leftover contrast fabric so much that I made bias binding for the neckline from it & covered buttons to match.

Am I happy with it?

I think the waistband needed to be smaller.  I was going for comfort, but I went too far.

Other than that, I love it. I think it will get lots of wear.

Other versions you might be interested in

Liberty print skirt to tunic seen here

Unloved skirt transformed seen here