I’ll confess: as a sewist I mostly stay in my comfort zone. Wrap dresses, tanks, jeans and the occasional coat, and I do just fine with my TNTs! But when Portia invited me to participate in the Refashioners 2015 challenge I took a deep breath and decided to try something new for the first time.
Unlike lots of people who learned to sew as teenagers, I never went through the “oooh I’ll hack up this old top” stage – no, I just jumped straight into the magical world of fabric shopping! But I’ve always been amazed by people like Portia and Charity Shop Chic, not to mention those refashioning challenges on the GBSB, so I thought I’d give it a go.
Off to the charity shop I went (Goodwill, in America) and I immediately looked for the biggest men’s shirts I could find – my bust rivals the chest measurement of a large chap, and I wanted as much to go around! I did make a rookie mistake – I bought an LLBean shirt because it looked in great condition.
Turns out, that’s because it’s been treated with something to make it stain resistant and crease resistant – which also means it doesn’t really press… at all! So, please excuse upcoming not-entirely-pressed-looking darts.
For my inspiration, this shirt from Pinterest popped up and it immediately stole my heart. So chic! I love the use of the floral on the collar, button placket and sporty stripes up the sides. I had remants of a blue floral rayon that sadly didn’t weather well in the wash, but was fine for details, so I dug that out to accompany my shirt.
Here’s how I went about my refashioning:
Placed an existing shirt pattern over the pieces, and cut around them – perhaps not entirely in the spirit of refashioning but it worked pretty well! I didn’t have enough width in the front once I put the darts in, but that was OK because I still needed to add the floral stripes. So, I marked where the existing shirt piece came to on my pattern, folded to remove the dart, and cut a princess seamed side piece.
Next time, I’ll pay more attention to fiber content, and might even try draping instead of using a pattern (which I suspect is “cheat” refashioning!). I’m also excited to find interesting fabrics and use them… I’m a sucker for a big print. All in all, a successful comfort zone challenge!
Thanks Jenny!! LOVE this too! And no…using patterns in refashioning IS NOT cheating, lol!! Nor is the addition of fabric which as you can see here, elevates a plain white shirt from bland to edgy. I think that’s the big take away from this. That beautiful contrast between the floral and white and the substitution of the original collar and placket is something I think I might have to copy! As a side note, (excuse the pun!) the addition of gussets (love that word) in the side seams is a great way to add fullness and/or detail. I have myself fallen prey to the unpressable fabric of some men’s shirts in the past!! I think they DO actually treat fabric with Teflon right?
You can find Jenny here and here. her Curvy Sketchbook is just one of the amazing prizes to be won as part of The Refashioners 2015 Community Challenge. So grab a shirt and get refashioning! You have until Sunday 27th Sept to enter! Stay tuned for more inspiration throughout August!