The Refashioners 2015 – Sew Over It (London)

As a huge fan of customising and upcycling, I couldn’t have been happier when Portia asked me to be part of this year’s Refashioners project. I loved reading along in 2013 – so many great transformations! I knew I had to get involved.

The theme this year is shirts, and Portia asked us whether we’d like to be sent one “blind”, or if we’d prefer to source our own.  I got lucky as our Course Coordinator Andrea’s boyfriend was having a clear out, so I scored this lovely blue oxford shirt for my refashion. Very pleased not to have to scour the charity shops of Clapham on a shirt hunt!SEW OVER IT LONDON - LISA COMFORT - THE REFASHIONERS 2015

Initially I struggled with what I might make from my new shirt. I wanted it to be classic and wearable – it needed to look like I’d refashioned it with purpose. I wanted it to be able to integrate into my wardrobe so I could mix and match it and get a lot of wear from it. After a quick jolly on Pinterest I went for a good old dependable skirt!

I cut the whole skirt from the body of the shirt, cutting straight across the shoulders and lopping off the arms. With the side seams and the buttonholes already sewn, I fashioned a waistband from the top of the body, measuring around my waist to find the correct size. To give it some stability I interfaced it with a good quality medium-weight interfacing. I then gathered the skirt into the waistband, making sure to match up the side seams, before stitching a buttonhole onto the waistband.SEW OVER IT LONDON - LISA COMFORT - THE REFASHIONERS 2015

Waistband buttonholes take more strain than the rest of the buttonholes, so it’s best to make this one horizontal. I also did a line of decorative topstitching around the waistband as I thought it was in-keeping with the original shirt design.


It was as easy as that! It’s not the most exciting refashion in the world but I love my new skirt, especially as the original features of the shirt are still there.



The hem is slightly curved, and I am really enjoying the cute little tab details at the side seams.SEW OVER IT LONDON - LISA COMFORT - THE REFASHIONERS 2015

If you’re new to refashioning try this project out! If you’ve got a big enough shirt you could even just elasticate the top to make a waistband and leave the buttons as a decorative feature. Or if you’re feeling adventurous why not add some pockets? Easy to make out of the sleeves… Ooh I’m giving myself ideas now.SEW OVER IT LONDON - LISA COMFORT - THE REFASHIONERS 2015

A great big thank you for Portia for having me, long may the refashions continue!

Lisa x

Thank you so much Lisa! Refashioning needn’t be complex and this kind of project is a great starting point if you’re feeling trepidatious! Shirts come in all manner of fabrics. (Some of you may recall Tasha’s plaid flannel version from the last series). I’m thinking denim or corduroy shirts (oh yes they exist. I’ve seen them! So do velvet ones. Just ask Karen!) would be awesome for this too!

You can Sew Over It London here and here. Their Vintage Shirt Dress pattern is just one of the amazing prizes to be won as part of The Refashioners 2015 Community Challenge. So get involved for a chance to win!!! Grab a shirt and get refashioning! You have until Sunday 27th Sept to enter! Stay tuned for more inspiration throughout the WHOLE of August!


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  1. Marilla walker August 6, 2015

    Love it, especially the side tab detail and always a bonus to not have to sew buttonholes and hems 😉

  2. Vicki August 6, 2015

    Looks so good. Really inspired by the thought of corduroy or velvet versions. Clever!

  3. Elisalex August 6, 2015

    Perfect! I did something very similar with a plaid flannel shirt a few years ago and it gets more wear as a skirt than it ever did as a shirt!

  4. Marie August 6, 2015

    Super, super cute! I love the curved hem!!!

  5. Diane August 6, 2015

    I’m loving this challenge. I bought myself two shirts yesterday with some ideas for simple refashionings. I can’t wait to get started later today. I’m also kicking myself that I didn’t yank a lovely blue dress shirt that my adult son had pitched into my own charity donation. Ah well – I’ll just have to buy another, and support the charity twice.

  6. Seamsoddlouise August 6, 2015

    Cute, and inspiring.

  7. Hélène August 6, 2015

    This one is simple and effective. What a lovely little chambray skirt! Love your suggestion, Portia, about corduroy men’s shirts. I’ve seen some in fine wale corduroy in my local thrifty stores.

  8. Sasha August 6, 2015

    So simple and effective … love it!

  9. Helen S August 7, 2015

    I normally don’t like shirt to skirt re-makes, they can look a bit naff, but this is so professionally done you’ve made it work. I’m really enjoying the high standard of work from all the refashioners this year, so inspiring.


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