The Refashioners 2015 – Erin


Hello everyone, and a huge thanks to Portia for inviting me to take part in The Refashioners! First things first, I have to preface this by saying that I am a complete sewing novice who was absolutely terrified and intimidated by this project! But when Portia asked me if I’d be interested in participating, I knew it was just the kick in the butt that I needed to venture out and try something new. So I dove right in, scissors first, and completely destroyed my first “dummy” shirt. I suppose in retrospect that I could have drafted up some sort of pattern using butcher paper, but hindsight is 20/20, my friends. And it’s all a part of the learning process. So when it came to tackling my second try, I knew immediately that I was going to have to do something that maintained as much of the integrity of the original shirt as possible while still transforming it into something more wearable for me.THE REFASHIONERS 2015 - ERIN - CALIVINTAGE

Making this simple shirt took only a few little snips and stitches to complete. I tried it on to determine the length that I wanted to crop it up to, then used the excess fabric at the bottom of the shirt to fashion the ties for my wrap. Then I simply cut out the new neckline, sewed everything up, and added the wrap ties. Most wrap tops and dresses have a hole in one side to thread the tie, but because my ties were at the very bottom, I skipped that step entirely. In retrospect, I think I will probably add that little slit into the side, but it is still perfectly functional as is.THE REFASHIONERS 2015 - ERIN - CALIVINTAGE

I like the way the back of the shoulders is now a front yoke detail, and that it has a slightly oversized fit, but doesn’t leave me completely swimming in the garment. THE REFASHIONERS 2015 - ERIN - CALIVINTAGE

1. I started with a really nice vintage men’s shirt made in a textured cotton linen blend. I had actually bought it prior to the challenge thinking it might just hem it into a crop top and wear it with an oversized fit. At this point in the photo, I’d already removed the front pocket and inner tags using a seam ripper. The back of the shirt will eventually become the front, but don’t worry about the seam across the back! This will become the front bib of your new wrap top.

2. I tried on the shirt and marked where to cut the new hem, leaving a bit of sewing allowance. Then I simply chopped off the bottom of the shirt using the grid pattern on the shirt as a guide. If it had been a solid, I probably would have used a straight edge to help myself along. The remaining pieces of the shirt will later become the ties for the wrap!
3. After cutting the shirt, I simply ironed the new hem in place and took it for a pass through the sewing machine.
4. Since I don’t have a dress form, I just went ahead and put the shirt on again to mark the new neckline and wrap back with a few pins. To cut, I folded the shirt in half lengthwise to try and get both sides to mirror one another. Then I simply ironed the new hems and sewed them up!
5. The last step isn’t pictured, but all I did was cut the remaining fabric in half lengthwise and then sewed them into two simple fabric ties to affix to the ends of the wrap on the shirt. If you’d like your wrap to be a bit more secure, you can cut a hole along one side seam of the shirt to thread your belt through, but since I have them affixed to the very bottom of the shirt, it also works just fine like this.
 And that’s a wrap! (See what I did there?) It may not be the trickiest of ideas, but it works for me. The best part is that it’s something that I will genuinely wear and I’ve learned so much in the process!


Just goes to show, that even if you consider yourself a novice sewer, if you keep it simple you can still totally transform your shirt! I love this Erin . Thanks so much for leaping in and trying something new!  The yoke front and the fact that the wrap is at the back is an edgier twist on a classic wrap blouse. And of course, as ever, wonderful styling 🙂

You can find Erin here and here. And don’t forget amazing prizes to be won as part of The Refashioners 2015 Community Challenge. Including a little something handmade from Erin! So get involved for a chance to win!!! Grab a shirt and get refashioning! You have until Sunday 27th Sept to enter! Tomorrow is the last of the blogger inspiration posts and then it’s over to you!!!

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  1. Sasha August 27, 2015

    love this idea … simple and effective – perfect for linen and linen blends

  2. Patti August 27, 2015

    This looks cool and comfortable!! Great Job!

  3. Marilla walker August 27, 2015

    So stylish. Love it!

  4. Nathalie August 27, 2015

    great refashion! simple but stylish!

  5. Charlotte August 27, 2015

    So glamorous. I’m definitely going to give this a try

  6. awfully nice August 28, 2015

    This is my favorite so far – and a novice! So cool!

  7. Zoe August 28, 2015

    I love this one so much! It’s so wearable and looks amazing with denim x

  8. Margo August 28, 2015

    I love your idea of it crossing it over in the back! It’s perfect.

  9. FreeUrCloset August 28, 2015

    This refashion is genius! I love the fact that you added a crossover tie belt.
    xo Natasha

  10. Kat @ House of Lane August 28, 2015

    Omg I love this idea! So simple but so effective. I need to buy so many shirts to refashion after this series.

  11. Sarah August 29, 2015

    I love, love this!

  12. Anne August 29, 2015

    Cute top!! i’ve got a Craft Gossip post scheduled for later this morning that links to your tutorial:


    • portia August 30, 2015

      Anne thank you!!! Mwah!

  13. Egle September 2, 2015

    What a great idea! Love love loooove the way it looks on you! Well done, what a great inspiration! <3

  14. Lisa September 23, 2015

    That’s lovely!

  15. Audrey May 28, 2016

    How did you make the top wrap back like that? I see you cut the v neck but how did you get the cross over part? It’s beautiful!

    • Portia Lawrie May 30, 2016

      Hi Audrey, from what I can gather Erin cut the V so it started from the neck and ended at the side seam. Hence the bottom section overlaps. Hope that helps! Px


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