This started out life as a men’s checked flannel shirt.
I picked this up at Scope in Walthamstow for £5. The flannel is lovely and soft as the shirt has obviously been well worn.
Step one was to get rid of all the features that were not going to be needed. First things to go were the sleeves.
Unfortunately the collar was stained and yucky! So that was the second part to go. I unpicked the seam holding the collar to the collar stand and got rid of the offending collar.
Then the tiny buttons from the button down collar – adios!
The shirt pocket also came off. I was left with something like what you see below.
Second step was to make it fit. This meant new side seams. Since it’s a mens shirt I went for flat felled seams up the side. Flat felled seams are the kind that are often found on mens shirts which have the seam allowance sewn down with two parallel rows of stitching.
Here’s a quick summary of how I made my flat felled seams. There are many tutorials out there on the web, and they are all different. This is just my take on it.
(You can click on the images to make them larger)
1. Sew the seam as normal with right sides together. Press the allowances out.
2. Cut away a little more than half the seam allowance on ONE side.
3. Press the long side (RHS in these images) in half longways, folding it behind the short side.
4. Topstitch along the edge of the folded seam allowances (through all layers).
5. Topstitch about 1/8″ from the original seamline to make the two parallel rows of stitches that will be visible from the right side. Wrong side is shown on the LHS, right side is the RHS photo.
Pretty pleased with these seams despite the fact that they are pretty wonky!
To embellish the front, I wanted ruffles. This was easy enough to do. I cut two strips the desired width from what was left of the sleeves. To keep it less bulky I zigzagged the edges with a really small stitch on all four sides then turned a few millimetres over and hemmed on three sides, leaving the long side that will be attached to the shirt open. Rather than gather the ruffles I made small pleats all the way down and basted in place.
Attaching the ruffles to the front of the shirt was easier said than done.
Note that on the RHS the seam is hidden under the protruding edge of the placket. On the LHS the seam is positioned close to the buttons – this will be hidden by the other side of the placket once the buttons are fastened.
For the purposes of fit, I added some small bust darts which ended at the armscye.
I also topstitched the existing collar stand back together along the top edge… the old collar stand has become the new collar. Last step was to bind the armholes. There was just enough left of the former sleeves to cut some bias strips to bind the armscye edges. See this post for an explanation of how bias binding is made.
Et voila! Glastonbury chic!
Unfortunately I didn’t make it to Glastonbury this year so you’ll have to imagine what that would have been like….