The Refashioners 2015 – Me (gulp!)

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Aaaaand here we are! Unbelievably, at the end of an entire month of refashioning inspiration and…lets face it….more than a little genius thrown in for good measure! Helloooo again everyone! Feel like I haven’t seen you for aaaaaages!!

The trouble with organising an event like this is that, as the host, there’s an inevitable weight of expectation. Real or imagined. Actual or self imposed. Playing alongside this line up of talent is mildly intimidating. I can’t lie! But “comparison is the thief of joy” so let’s be real and stay true to ourselves. I’m not a couture technique kind of gal.  Never will be. I like simplicity. Both in terms of process and the finished garment. If I churned out something amazingly clever that just wasn’t me and I would never wear, you guys would know in an instant.  Trying to be something I’m not is not really my bag. So true to form, here’s a simple but oh so effective little refashion for you…..(secret squirell…..shhhh…..I actually really love this….just because it’s easy…don’t mean it doesn’t count, ha ha!)PORTIA LAWRIE - THE REFASHIONERS 2015 (2)

Ever noticed how an oversized man’s shirt, when worn, has the perfect armhole size, dropped shoulder and wide sleeve configuration for a kimono jacket??! That was my starting point….

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This shirt had been sat in my stash for months. Even before my first email went out about this series. I think it was originally intended for a magazine article. But I ended up taking a different direction so it sat there. What I loved about this shirt was it’s size. Lots of fabric to work with. It’s colour. I love a versatile neutral. and last but not least, the fabric. Not easy to photograph, but it’s medium weight and drapey with a very slight sheen.

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I started by removing the pocket. Often the biggest obstacle in a shirt refashion is having a pocket when you absolutely don’t want one. Luckily I managed to all but vanish the stitch marks using this technique.

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Next, cut all around the button bands and collar to remove…

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Stay stitch the neckline so it doesn’t distort as you work. If you’re like me and do lots of trying on and test pinning as you work out what you’re going to do (I tend to work things out on the fly rather than have a plan) then stabilising that neckline curve is a 2 minute job that’s well worth doing…THE REFASHIONERS 2015 - PORTIA LAWRIE (1)

Here’s how it looked at this stage. (I actually quite like this shape too!) But I continued…

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Fold up your shirt along the length, lining up the shoulders and armhole curves…

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This enables you to cut both sleeves equally in one go. I cut mine just below the elbow…

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I reviewed the shape and proportions at this stage and decided on my next steps…

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Lop off the shaped hem to shorten and create a boxier hemline…

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Take a line from the shoulder point/neckline curve right down to the hem….it’s a gentle diagonal in this pic…but you could also go straight down at right angles. Either will work.

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Mark a cutting line on both sides (eyeball if you’re brave…but I had a rep to protect on this occasion, lol!)…

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And there you have your basic kimono shape. Just the neckline, hem and sleeves to finish…

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Enter “donor” shirt number two! I had a moment of panic here. The stuff that I had planned to use for the kimono bands didn’t work out ( it was the remnants of this top and the combo really worked but in truth I bodged it!!) and I had nothing left in my stash that worked. So I nipped out to the local charity shop 10 minutes down the road and bought this one!

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I pieced a band from the sleeves, interfacing the pieces before I joined them….you’ll want the finished band to be about an inch shorter than the neckline/opening or your jacket so measure accordingly…if you want a less structured, more fluid lapel, you could try skipping the interfacing. Which I may try next time.

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Folded in half , RS together, the ends sewn, then turned through and pressed. (use a point turner or knitting needle to get those corners crisp) I had my neckline band…

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Two important steps before applying the band. First press up the raw edge of the bottom hem by about half an inch.THE REFASHIONERS 2015 - PORTIA LAWRIE (15)

And notch into that neckline curve…up to but not through the stay stitching.

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Baste or pin the band all the way around the RS of the neckline and opening like so. It’ll need a little bit of easing on around that notched neckline curve…

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When you get to the hem part flip it over like so.  The WS of the hem flips over to the RS and encloses the bottom of the neckline band like so. (Ignore the extra seam allowance of the shirt fabric on the right. I was just playing with the placement a bit)

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Sew right to the end of your hem fold like so and backstitch to secure…(I know this looks a bit odd if you’ve never used this technique before…but bear with me. It will make sense in a moment)

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I trimmed and bound my raw edges at this stage. I didn’t take the bias tape all the way down to the end. Because we’re going to turn that through in a minute and I didn’t want the extra bulk preventing a nice sharp corner….

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So here’s where we are at. This is the outside of the jacket. Looks a bit odd I know…

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But look what happens when you turn that corner RS out 🙂 Creates a lovely clean finish. THE REFASHIONERS 2015 - PORTIA LAWRIE (22)

Here it is from the outside. Simply hem along that line where the pin is, and up to the seam where the band is joined to secure the hem allowance.THE REFASHIONERS 2015 - PORTIA LAWRIE (4)THE REFASHIONERS 2015 - PORTIA LAWRIE (23)

Here’s where we’re at…

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Measure the sleeve opening….THE REFASHIONERS 2015 - PORTIA LAWRIE (25)

Create matching cuffs!THE REFASHIONERS 2015 - PORTIA LAWRIE (26)

Baste/apply…THE REFASHIONERS 2015 - PORTIA LAWRIE (27)

trim, bind, turn through, press everything…alot…

And you’re done!! Simples!PORTIA LAWRIE - THE REFASHIONERS 2015 (2)PORTIA LAWRIE - THE REFASHIONERS 2015 (1)PORTIA LAWRIE - THE REFASHIONERS 2015 (3)

And that’s it! Our job is done for another year and now it’s over to YOU!! Grab a shirt, get refashioning, share it, and be in with a chance of winning that awesome prize. Now worth just under £700!! Jaw dropping right?! We’ll be sharing a selection of your refashions right here throughout Sept and there’ll be inspiration posts to give you even more ideas and directions in which to go with your shirt refashioning. You have until 27th Sept to submit yours. 

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of the talented stitchers who shared their ideas with us this August. I for one, have a much longer sewing queue than I did at the start of August; there are so many ideas I want to try out!! Love and hugs and much gratitude to everyone involved. Phew…that’s it…we are done!

What now?

Over to YOU….show us what ya got!

 

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61 Comments

  1. Sasha August 28, 2015

    a kimono jacket ! love the idea Portia … and those pink fabric bound edges … wow

    Reply
    • portia August 30, 2015

      Aw thanks Sasha! I’m glad I took the time with that edging!

      Reply
  2. Seamsoddlouise August 28, 2015

    So simple, but so stylish. Very clever. Really suits your style too.

    Reply
    • portia August 30, 2015

      Thank you so much Louise! In the past I’ve refashioned stuff just to try an idea out and never worn it because it hasn’t been me! But I’m kinda done doing that!

      Reply
  3. Helen August 28, 2015

    Oh, this is perfect, and so you! What a great idea. Thanks, I have enjoyed this series soooo much. It’s been very inspirational, and just really enjoyable to read. You would never think you would have so many options with just one (or 3, or half a dozen) shirt(s)!! So, now I have no excuses, right? I just need to make up my mind what I want to do with mine (which is silk btw).

    Reply
    • portia August 30, 2015

      Silk would be perfect for this Helen!! So glad you enjoyed and have been inspired! I think our goal has been achieved!

      Reply
  4. Nicole McCarthy August 28, 2015

    sew, sew, clever. Brilliant concept. I can’t even sew, so this is even more remarkable.

    Reply
    • portia August 30, 2015

      Nicole, thank you! And can sew. You just haven’t started yet 😉

      Reply
  5. Zoe August 28, 2015

    Sooooo pretty! What an awesome and unusual shirt refashion, Portia! xxx

    Reply
    • portia August 30, 2015

      Wow, thanks Zoe! And thank you for your continued support with this. In in from the get go 😉

      Reply
  6. Hélène August 28, 2015

    Originality of the project: 10/10. Finishing techniques: 10/10. Bravo Portia! This initiative of yours was most inspiring – I thouroughly enjoyed the whole series.

    Reply
    • portia August 30, 2015

      Ah, thanks Helene! So glad you enjoyed it. The response has been even better than I had hoped for thanks to all of you 🙂

      Reply
  7. Patti August 28, 2015

    I love this refashion!! A great way to use that shirt and I love the trim and the way you covered the raw edges. Thank you for hosting this series!! Such inspiration!! I will never look at a man’s shirt the same way again. LOL

    Reply
    • portia August 30, 2015

      You’re so welcome Patti and so glad you found it inspiring! You’ll be eyeing up every man’s shirt you see from now on, ha ha!!

      Reply
  8. That’s SUCH a gorgeous jacket Portia!! And that hem technique is pure genius – my brain was boggling a bit at first but the beautiful neat finish made it worthwhile haha! My refashion is definitely next on the list. I took a mini break for a week or so but I’m determined to get it done now 🙂

    Reply
    • portia August 30, 2015

      Natalie thank you so much! I’m really excited to see yours!!

      Reply
  9. Kristy August 28, 2015

    well I have just asked to be added to the board – now its trying to find time – and a shirt (!) to refashion – excited!

    Reply
    • portia August 30, 2015

      Ooooh! Excited to see it! I’ve added you top the board!!!

      Reply
  10. Renee Gibson August 28, 2015

    Beautiful jacket Portia! You have given me another wonderful idea !
    Many thanks for letting me join such an inspirational group of women in Refashion 2015.

    Reply
    • portia August 30, 2015

      Renee thanks so much and thank YOU for joining us!!

      Reply
  11. Wendy Ward August 28, 2015

    I ABSOLUTELY bloomin love this! Wanna make me one?! Thanks so much for organising Portia and inviting me to take part, I’ve loved it. Wendyx

    Reply
    • portia August 30, 2015

      Ha ha! Thank you Wendy, for being part of it. You’ve been so awesome I can’t thank you enough. Now it’s just a race between us to see who can churn out a denim shirt version of this first, lol! Something tells me you might win that one!

      Reply
  12. Helen S August 28, 2015

    I think your kimono works well with the typical colours you get in a men’s shirt.
    Thanks so much to you for this year’s refashioners project and to all the contributers for sharing their talent and inspiration. Who would have thought that a men’s shirt could be so versatile?

    Reply
    • portia August 30, 2015

      I know! Who knew right! 😉 😉 You’re welcome Helen and so glad you enjoyed it!

      Reply
  13. JJ August 28, 2015

    That is a technique I know how to do, but forget all about it and end up with less than smooth edges when adding a trim! Thanks for the reminder!!!!!!!

    JJ
    http://www.dressupnotdown.blogspot.com

    Reply
    • portia August 30, 2015

      I do that all the time JJ! If I don’t use a technique for a while some of the steps go clean out of my head!!

      Reply
  14. Lisa D August 28, 2015

    I have loved the daily shirt refashions, very inspiring and numerous new ideas to try out. I’ve been wanting to make a kimono jacket so I love your refashion – so chic and tasteful and I’ve never seen it done before from two men’s shirts. Thank you for hosting this, and to all the participants who shared their creations and how-to information as well.

    Reply
    • portia August 30, 2015

      Lisa I’m so glad you enjoyed the series and that it’s given you ideas you want to try out! Woohoo!!

      Reply
  15. Kate August 28, 2015

    It’s a great sew, Portia. I love the simplicity of the design, inspired!

    Reply
    • portia August 30, 2015

      Thank you Kate! Simplicity is my mantra, lol!

      Reply
  16. Margo August 28, 2015

    Love your kimono! What a great refashion…so impressive!

    Reply
    • portia August 30, 2015

      Margo, thank you! I think I might make another when the right shirts come along!

      Reply
  17. Sarah August 28, 2015

    You clever lady! It looks terrific.

    Reply
    • portia August 30, 2015

      Thank you so much Sarah. I confess I was pretty pleased with the way this turned out considering I winged it all the way, ha ha!

      Reply
  18. Ute August 29, 2015

    I love this SO much! What a surprise! This is so good and clever! And I absolutely love that band finish! Need to copy….. (And I know what you are doing with your hair! ;-))) )

    Reply
    • portia August 30, 2015

      Ute thank you so much. Please copy away. It will be nothing but flattering to me if you do 🙂 Just had my hair cut on Wednesday actually (FINALLY) so I’m intrigued, ha ha!!

      Reply
  19. Annie August 29, 2015

    Nicely done!! Very clever of you to see the underlying shape. And I love how beautifully you finished everything.

    Reply
  20. Sarah August 30, 2015

    Wow! I truly love it. so beautifully finished too. Xx

    Reply
    • portia August 30, 2015

      Sarah, thank you so much. I’m glad I took the time on that binding! I usually wouldn’t bother, lol!

      Reply
    • portia August 30, 2015

      Thank you Sarah! Hope it get’s other peops refashioning too!

      Reply
  21. Anne August 31, 2015

    Nice!! I’ve got a Craft Gossip post scheduled for this evening that links to your tutorial:
    http://sewing.craftgossip.com/?p=84225 –Anne

    Reply
    • portia September 6, 2015

      Anne you’re a superstar! Thank you!

      Reply
  22. Trine August 31, 2015

    Seriously amazing! I would never have come up with that idea! You’re incredible! Love that kimono.

    Reply
    • portia September 6, 2015

      Ah Trine….I bet you would have, but thank you so much! Mwah!

      Reply
  23. Begum Sen August 31, 2015

    Awesome! I’ll try this technique soon, thank you for the inspiration!

    Reply
  24. Tasha September 1, 2015

    Oh my goodness this refashion couldn’t be more perfect on you! And the colors together are so interesting, I love it. Thank you so much for organizing such a wonderful event! xx (Anyone else having Refashioners withdrawal or is it just me? 😉 )

    Reply
    • portia September 6, 2015

      Thanks Tasha 🙂 Nope. Not just you 😉 and thank YOU for taking part!

      Reply
  25. Nancy Carter September 1, 2015

    This is brilliant! I so need several light weight jackets to cover up my bingo wings. This is perfect, perfect, perfect!

    Reply
    • portia September 6, 2015

      Ha ha! I have those Nancy 😉 So glad you like. Thanks you so much 🙂

      Reply
  26. Egle September 2, 2015

    I love it! Was looking for same color top, now i can actually make one, just need to search for some nice shirts in charity shops.

    You look lovely in this, well done! 🙂

    Reply
    • portia September 6, 2015

      Ah, thanks Egle! Get down that charity shop 😉

      Reply
  27. Michelle Mathis September 2, 2015

    I love it!!! Thank you for sharing it with the world 🙂

    Reply
    • portia September 6, 2015

      Thank you Michelle 🙂

      Reply
  28. Amelia September 3, 2015

    Wow, this is so chic! And it’s great to see how some relatively simple changes can completely transform something. And the result is something you’ll wear. Amazing. Definitely inspired to refashion me some shits!

    Reply
    • portia September 6, 2015

      Ah thanks Amelia! Glad you’ve been inspired by the series!

      Reply
  29. Bénédicte September 4, 2015

    c’est magnifique!! bravo
    very inspiring!

    Reply
  30. kathryn September 6, 2015

    This is such a brilliant re-fashion! You either have particularly brilliant charity shops where you live, or a very good eye, or both?! That’s such a great tip for the corners too.

    Reply
    • portia September 8, 2015

      Thank you so much! I was quite pleased with this one 🙂 We DO have awesome charity shops here Kathryn! Like, PROPER old school charity shops where everything is under a fiver. The perks of living in a small rural town!

      Reply
  31. mono September 13, 2015

    Super, very good idea.:-)

    Reply
  32. Chuleenan September 19, 2015

    I love it! Armholes on men’s shirts can be really huge. Such a clever idea to work with what you have and make kimono sleeves. Beautiful job on this refashion. The next time I run across a big men’s shirt, I’ll know what to do with it. 🙂

    Reply
  33. Lisa September 23, 2015

    Really love that pink binding on the inside. It’s one of those little details that really makes it.

    Reply

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