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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Wearing the Blues

Blue skirt & blouse

My new clothes.  I feel smart enough to work in an office.   A blue cord skirt made from my own pattern.

Blue cord skirt

And my first Deer and Doe Airelle blouse. The main fabric is cotton lawn. The fabric has to be soft and drapey as the blouse can’t be very fitted: there are no fastenings at all.  Rather like a non-stretch tee shirt.

Airelle blouse

I love the pattern and will definitely make another.  Very French don’t you think?  The contrast collar and cuffs were made from a scrap of quilting fabric.

Airelle pattern

I have the Robe Sureau pattern to try too –  maybe some of my birthday fabric.

Cord skirt

I thought the skirt and blouse would be good together, but I made the skirt first and couldn’t wait to wear it.

Blue Airelle and skirt

I have started my purple Minoru jacket but it won’t be ready soon because I am making a dress for someone else – a customer! I have started a business to do repairs and alterations but I was asked to make a dress.  And yes, she has seen me wearing my me mades and was happy with the standard.  Exciting!

New clothes and a new business, I’m so happy  I’m linking this to Lakota’s Ta Dah Tuesday.

Refashioning old silk shirts and scarves

1990s silk shirt

This shirt is made from lovely soft silk.  I think it dates from the early 1990s and I bought it in a charity shop.  I repaired and wore it a few times but decided it would be better turned into something else.  There were quite a few worn patches to avoid so I had to make something small.

Silk shirt refashion 1

Made using an old pattern  from Sew Hip magazine. I had to  make these in four pieces but French seams make them very comfortable anyway.

And then I got carried away.

Silk Knickers 1

The broderie anglaise pair are from a silk shirt I made but hardly wore because the colour doesn’t suit my face. Ok as knickers though.  I’ve got enough fabric left to make another pair from that and from the delicate silk scarf I used to make the other pair.

I can’t do much sewing at the moment because the room I use is being redecorated & everything is bagged up for sorting.  I’m looking for new storage & I’m going to reduce what I have. A year of mainly using my stash doesn’t seem to have made much impression on the mounds of fabric bits I have.

And here is the top I made over the Christmas holiday……

Burda top in needlecord

Top is Burda 2934.  Another version shown here.  This one is from a  needlecord remnant I bought from Ditto when I went to a drawing class in Brighton just before Christmas. The remnant wasn’t quite big enough so I used some stash fabric for the facings & bias binding.  I will try to remember to do a close up photo as I think the conrast actually improves the look of  the top.

Thanks for all the suggestions about my 1970s dress.  I am going for mini length with three quarter length sleeves.  Roobeedoo suggested the longer length dress might make me look like a lady vicar & I think she could be right. I am going to the Goldhawk Road shops tomorrow to try to get some fabric.

Gorgeous Cupcakes and a New Shirt

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These gorgeous cupcakes were a present from my sister-in-law Jenny; she iced them herself.  Aren’t they gorgeous?  Isn’t she clever?

Thank you for all your good wishes – I am much better now.

I found a Marilyn Moore 1970s style shirt in a charity shop and I’m thrilled.  I bought it without trying it on because the fabric was so lovely I could always have used it in a quilt.  Glad I didn’t have to though.

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Marilyn Moore shirt – charity shop

brown wool top with button decoration – made by me (drew round a tee-shirt but it came out a bit big)

brown skirt – Per Una – I removed the ruffles and took about a foot off the length

boots by Green Shoes.

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