The Refashioners 2015 – Wendy (again!)

WENDY WARD - THE REFASHIONERS 2015

While I love denim, I used to think that “double denim” was a bit of a fashion sin. Now I’m a convert. What’s not to love about a unique denim shirt dress? I took 3 men’s Levis denim shirts in different denim washes, all size L and turned them into two very different shirt dresses.WENDY WARD - THE REFASHIONERS 2015

Yes, 3 denim shirts, 2 shirt dresses, there was one shirt casualty that was simply plundered for “spare parts”, but I think it was worth it. Here’s what I did.

What do I need?

2 large men’s denim shirts will make 1 shirt dress, 3 shirts will make 2 dresses(ideally all the same size, style and brand so that you know they’ll be the same dimensions) WENDY WARD - THE REFASHIONERS 2015

How to do it?

Remove the collars – using an unpicker, remove the stitching around the top of the collar stand until the collar can be removed. Don’t unpick any further than you need to. WENDY WARD - THE REFASHIONERS 2015WENDY WARD - THE REFASHIONERS 2015WENDY WARD - THE REFASHIONERS 2015

If you like a grandad style shirt collar you could leave your shirt like this and just restitch around the top edge of the stand – tack the edges together first to make the machining easier to do and more accurate. WENDY WARD - THE REFASHIONERS 2015WENDY WARD - THE REFASHIONERS 2015

Swap the collars around between the shirts. If any of the collars are worn or marked, turn them over so that the side that was on the top is now on the underside of the collar. This is what’s known as “turning a collar” and very thrifty 1940’s housewife business!

To reattach the collar, fold it in half to mark the centre.  Do the same to the open top edge of the collar stand. WENDY WARD - THE REFASHIONERS 2015WENDY WARD - THE REFASHIONERS 2015

Slot the collar inside the open edges of the stand matching the pins marking the centre back neck .WENDY WARD - THE REFASHIONERS 2015

Pin, tack and topstitch the collar in place trying to stitch along the original seamline as close as possible .WENDY WARD - THE REFASHIONERS 2015

Collars swapped! WENDY WARD - THE REFASHIONERS 2015

Now for the brutal stuff….I cut the bottom off shirt 1 as low as I could to keep as much length in the top of the shirt. Simply chalk a straight horizontal line across the shirt and cut it off! Try and go in the middle of two press studs or buttons.

I cut the bottom off shirt 2 as high as I could (just below the pockets) to keep as much length on the bottom as possible. Make sure this line also runs in the middle of two press studs or buttons.

I removed the patch pockets from shirt 3 so that I could remove as much length as possible from the bottom of the shirt. I cut the shirt across where I’d removed the pockets which gives that nice “shadow” of the pocket remaining where the denim has faded around it. WENDY WARD - THE REFASHIONERS 2015

To reassemble the long sleeved shirt dress (made from the top of shirt 1 and the bottom of shirt 2), pin the 2 cut edges together matching up the side seams. WENDY WARD - THE REFASHIONERS 2015

Make sure that the press studs or buttons down the centre front of the shirt will still fasten once the 2 parts of the shirt are joined. Machine, neaten the edges together and press the seam down towards the hem. It might need topstitching in place to keep it flat.

To reassemble the short sleeved shirt dress (made from the top of shirt 2 and the bottom of shirt 3), pin the 2 cut edges together matching up the side seams.WENDY WARD - THE REFASHIONERS 2015

Check that the press studs or buttons will still fasten once this seam is sewn. Machine, neaten the edges together and press the seam down towards the hem. It might need topstitching in place to keep it flat. WENDY WARD - THE REFASHIONERS 2015

Decide what length you want the sleeves and cut the sleeves straight off at right angles to the top sleeve, leaving enough for a hem (approx. 3cm).  Chalk a line 3cm above the cut edge of the shortened sleeve on the inside of the shirt. Press the hem up so that the cut edge is level with this line, then turn again along the chalk line and press. Pin in place and machine. WENDY WARD - THE REFASHIONERS 2015

And there you have it – 2 totally wearable new shirt dresses from 3 baggy denim shirts destined for the “decorating clothes” pile!

Refashioning “pick n mix” or denim “mash up”!  Whatever you call it, a GREAT way to mix things up and make plain shirts more interesting! As  a child of the 80’s double denim holds a little fear for me too, lol 😉  But I think I may have been swayed here Wendy …. Thank you so much for this and your previous post. Inspiration aplenty!

You can find Wendy here and here. And don’t forget amazing prizes to be won as part of The Refashioners 2015 Community Challenge*. Including a signed copy of Wendy’s Book! 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! After this week it’ll be over to you. So start sharing your shirt refashions for a chance to win!

*To clarify, the bloggers that have taken part in this year’s blogger challenge (ie the daily posts on this blog throughout August) are not entered to win that prize package. That is JUST for you! I wanted to clarify as a few comments made me think I haven’t made that clear. All of the posts throughout August have been for purely for your delight and inspiration. So go forth and refashion for a chance to win that awesome prize!

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6 Comments

  1. Barbara August 25, 2015

    I love it! Such a great 90s vibe about the silhouette!

    Reply
  2. New Model Lamé August 26, 2015

    Jean-eous! I love both dresses. They look like high end designer pieces, good work.

    Reply
  3. Marilla walker August 26, 2015

    Wendy, you know that if we ever meet I will steal this off your back! 😉

    Reply
  4. Sasha August 26, 2015

    I love these … the perfect approach to refashion !

    Reply
  5. Zoe August 26, 2015

    This is beyond awesome!!!!! Such a clever idea, but also really simple in a ‘why didn’t I think of that?’ kind of way! x

    Reply
  6. Egle September 2, 2015

    I love it! I actually have few vintage denim shirts i dont wear… i think its time for me to get them out and create something amazing out of it! Great idea!

    Reply

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