Now, I dont know about you, but I have more than once been fooled by the gorgeous pictures on somebody’s blog where they are showcasing a smart and remarkably good- looking garment, refashioned from a men´s shirt. Just as many times, I have become disappointed about the unsatisfactory result when I try to do something similar. Why oh why isn´t the pretty shirtdress working for me? The answer in 9 of 10 times is: I´m too tall… I can´t make a dress from only one shirt. It just isn´t enough fabric! 🙂 I have yet to successfully add a bust dart too, the shirts I am using are never that big. To illustrate: I rarely have enough fabric in one shirt to make a Sorbetto with a FBA out of it.
The largest refashion resource of mine is my darlings old shirts, which are usually in an European size XL. If you shorter and smaller than me, I can imagine that you can squeeze lots of different project out of a shirt like that, but for me (I´m 1.77), it´s just not that much fabric…Which is why I have been experimenting with optional ways of refashioning, and found a method I like. It really is quite simple, but I thought I´d share it with you all, and I hope it can be of help for others! I guess this method works for more body types than mine too, for instance if you’re plus- sized or busty, or if you just want to refashion a shirt that isn´t way too big.
For this refashion I am using the basic shape of New Look 6808:
I have made this top once before, but with a different view. The view I am making is using the same collar as Zoe used for a refashion a while back. Thanks for the idea, Zoe!
My first version using this pattern.
The first thing I did was to try on the shirt I wanted to use. This particular shirt is one I got at a charity shop a year ago, I just loved the print! Can you believe that this was in the men´s department? Fashion-wise it must have been so much more fun to be a guy in the 70´s than it is now…
When you are trying on the garment, look for changes you want to make:
- Is it too wide?
- Are the shoulder seams where they should be?
- How is the sleeve length?
- What about the hem, is it where you want it to be, or should your shorten it or alter it in another way?
- Do you like the collar?
- Are there any pockets?
- Is there a yoke that you have to take into consideration?
I already knew what I wanted to do with the neckline, I wanted to add a giant collar! I found the shirt to be a bit too big, and I wanted a more fitted look, so I decided to take it in 4 cm in both sides, from hem to arms. I wanted short sleeves, and for the hemline to be a bit shorter. Although the shoulder seams are not quite right, I decided to let it be, as they will more or less be hidden underneath the collar.
The first thing I did was to cut out the right shape for the neckline. I used the pattern pieces from my pattern to get it right.
After I had cut out the neckline I shortened the sleeves. I measured 18 cm from the shoulder seam, and cut a straight line using my cutting mat as reference. You can hopefully see it in the picture below how I did that.
Then I tried it on again, making sure that the sleeve length turned out alright.
The next thing I did was to take the shirt in. I stitched one continuous seam from the hem and trough the sleeve. When I had done that, I attached the collar, using the instructions from my pattern. I had a bit too much fabric in the back of the shirt for it to add up with the collar, so I folded it into a back pleat. Because of the huge collar, it is not even going to show.
At last I finished off the sleeves and the hem. I am quite satisfied with this one, although it is a bit off season…