Hello all you Refashioners out there! I admit, I’m not usually much of a Refashioner. I get easily overwhelmed in giant thrift stores but I love this challenge and I’ve been participating since the beginning so how could I say no? Plus, I love getting surprise stuff in the mail, so exciting!
This go around I chose to exchange shirts with the lovely Heather Lou of Closet Case Files. She kindly sent me three shirts to work with so I was able to do two refashions.
First I made a loose-fit, sleeveless, peplum top out of a black and white shirt. The key to this top is getting the most fabric you can for the peplum and using a big enough shirt that can still be put on over your head as the buttons won’t be very useful in the end.
I started by taking off the sleeves. I used the front and back pieces from the Grainline Archer pattern to trim the sides off the shirt (the Archer has no darts which makes it a good base for a dart-less men’s shirt). Since the original shirt was only a men’s medium I didn’t have to cut the shirt much smaller to fit me.
Next I took some body measurements and lopped off the bottom third of the shirt.
With the leftover fabric from the shirt hem and the two sleeves I cut rectangular chunks out of the fabric, all the same length but varying widths.
I then stitched them all together, hemmed the bottom, and gathered the top.
This flannel check fabric hid the seamlines well and it was easy to match the print.I sewed the peplum to the bottom of the shirt.
Lastly, I adjusted the shoulder line as the shirt originally reached past my shoulders, and I bound the armhole with self bias tape.
The only problem was that this shirt was a little big on me but not big enough that I could re-draw an entirely new armhole. I had to work with the existing armhole which meant the opening is pretty low. Oh, well, I’ll just wear a tank top under it instead.
My second refashion used a 2XL men’s striped shirt and I turned it into shorts. This works best with a fabric that’s fairly thick (so you don’t end up with VPL) and a shirt that has the longest button placket you can find.
I wanted to try out the Katy and Laney Tap Shorts pattern but with a twist. I chose view A which allowed me to play with the angle of the stripes. This pattern originally uses a side zip opening but I decided to repurpose the shirt’s button placket and utilize that instead.
First I cut apart the whole shirt, including slicing off both sides of the button placket. This shirt was big enough to fit all my pieces easily.
I assembled the pattern like normal except I didn’t sew up the side seams or add the waistband yet.
From there I folded my seam allowances on the side seams to the right side and pressed. I went ahead and hemmed each leg at this point, too.
Now comes the placket – I split each placket in half, evenly distributing the buttons (three for each side of the shorts). I trimmed each section to make all the pieces the same length.
I folded up the very bottom of the placket pieces 1/4″ and stitched down.
I layered the plackets over the leg pieces with the center line of the placket sitting right on the folded edge of the leg pieces (buttons on the back side, button holes on the front).
Next, I sewed the plackets up the sides of the shorts following the two rows of original topstitching on the placket. This stitches down the seam allowances from the leg pieces.
As you can see in the photo above, the placket pieces were too short compared to the side seams. Rather than shorten the legs to compensate, I lowered the waistline and chopped off an extra inch from the top of the shorts.
That adjustment meant I needed to re-draft my waistband piece to be larger, as well as add another 5/8″ on the side seams to allow for the overlap of the button placket. I attached the waistband pieces, made a horizontal buttonhole on each side and added buttons I had cut off from the cuffs.
And finally, I know from experience that if you don’t at least partially sew the button plackets together you’ll get major gaping so I buttoned my shorts up to the second button from the bottom and stitched the plackets together on either side, again following the original topstitching.
I can still easily get in and out of the shorts by only opening the top two buttons.
Well, that’s it! Thanks for reading and I hope you’re inspired to do your own refashions. – Dixie
It’s fair to say the word “genius” can be over used. Not in the case of those shorts Dixie! A seriously ingenious placement of those button plackets!! Wow!! Wouldn’t a denim shirt be a great base garment for this?! Love the stripe play too. And Dixie makes a good point about the bonus of working with a shirt with a strong check like the first one. You basically have a fantastic cutting and measuring guide built into the fabric!
You can find Dixie here and here. And don’t forget amazing prizes to be won as part of The Refashioners 2015 Community Challenge. Including a copy of Dixie’s Bonnell Dress pattern! 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!