The “Half a Refashion is Better Than No Refashion” Blouse
Fabric: XXL Man’s rayon dress shirt from Village des Valeurs = $4.99
Year: contemporary refashion of ’90s thrift
First worn: October 2nd to work
Wear again: yes
Time to complete: about 2 hours for blouse; an infinite amount of time for the jeans
Total cost: $4.99
I used this tutorial on Pinterest to turn an old man’s shirt into a sleeveless tie-neck blouse. It was one of those projects that look like a hot mess when you are half-way along, but believe me, if you have a couple of hours and a seam ripper, you’re in business. I’m not sure if it would work as well with a crisp cotton shirt because you’d have to put bust darts in for proper fitting; this shirt is made from a soft, drapey rayon, so I could get away without them. In fact, there was a lot of interfacing in the collar, stand, and cuffs, and a lot of seam reinforcement….it seemed like the shirt was fighting to be something it really wasn’t. It was never meant to live a stiff, buttoned up corporate life. I set it free.
If anybody has a big ‘ol man’s shirt lying around in the donation pile that they would like to refashion, here are the steps:
- Try on and take funny “before” photo. There. Now don’t you feel slim?
- Cut off sleeves and cut along side seams.
- Now it looks like a dickey (snigger). Put it on and pin sides closely along the bodice.
- Sew sides. Try on again and fuss with fit.
- Serge armscyes and fold under, Topstitch.
- Either leave collar as is, reshape it, or remove it from the collar stand and topstitch the stand closed again.
- Hem at whatever length you like. I only took about 4 inches off the length because I want to be able to tuck it into lower rise trousers. Nothing worse than shirttail malfunctions at work.
- See if the breast pocket works for you at this position. If not, carefully pull out the stitches and remove it.
- Cut lengths from the sleeves and sew them into a long tie. Tie around neck and yer done.
I was going to include a second piece this week, but it’s far from finished. I am working on refashioning a pair of skinny jeans from way back before my first pregnancy. There is no way in hell I’ll ever fit into them again, even if I did go back to that slightly underweight size (which I don’t want to). One thing that no one tells you about having babies: your joints spread out. My hips and knees are still all loosey-goosey after 3 years, despite walking everywhere and working on my feet all day. So, rather than wallow in some misplaced and useless body issues, I decided to hack them ’80s style and insert narrow leather bands down the side leg seams to give me an extra few centimetres. Things are not going well, however. My old Husqvarna does not like the combo of leather / denim. I think I’ll put these aside until I get access to my brother-in-law’s industrial machines some weekend. I couldn’t leave you without these hilarious photos of me mid-refashion though, could I? Angelina Jolie’s Right Leg, eat your heart out.