I’ve been so awestruck by all the amazing transformations coming out of Portia’s challenge, I just had to take part. See here, here and here. Plus the prize package has some seriously good sewing booty.
The idea is to rework a man’s shirt into something new. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to raid man friend’s wardrobe as he’d recently had a massive clear out. So I picked up this number from Marks and Spencer in my local Samaritans shop. Coincidentally, man friend used to have the same shirt in beige.
I used a pattern as I was new to this and didn’t want to go free-style. I had in mind the Datura pattern from Deer and Doe. I thought it would be perfect for refashioning a man’s shirt as you could do away with needing to sew the back panel.
After positioning my pattern pieces, I found I had enough fabric to cut out the main bodice pieces but not enough for the back yoke. I had planned to cut just the back yoke from a scrap of white seersucker which matched perfectly with the slubby texture of my shirt. However I decided to do the front as well. This left enough fabric for the peter pan collar. I think this was a good call as the collar looks so cute in the minty green stripes and the white seersucker breaks everything up.
I left the original buttons in. The Blue Harbour inscribed shirt buttons give a hint of a former life. Plus the bottom shirt button is sewn in pink thread which is a cute detail.
I sewed up a size 40 and took 2cms off the length of the bodice. I found the finished blouse too roomy so took a further 1cm off the side seams at the hem, tapering up to nothing at the arm hole. The pattern is well drafted and my blouse fits well. I like how most seams are self enclosed and there is no need to bind the arm holes. I’ll definitely be re-visiting this pattern.
However, I was confused by this instruction, ‘press the seams open and pull the straps of the front yoke for about an inch’, but managed to sew the yoke regardless. One of the shoulder seams doesn’t sit very flat but maybe that’s a result of my seam allowance being a bit off.
I love the finished result and you’d never guess this blouse was once a man’s shirt. Thanks Portia for an amazing challenge. I really enjoyed refashioning, it forces you to think outside the box and see old garments in a new light. I found I wasn’t as precious about the project as I would be with fabric. I will be rummaging around charity shops more often in future.