Following the success of the last series of ‘The Refashioners‘, Portia asked me to participate in her refashioning challenge again this year. You can see what I made in the last round of the challenge here.
This year, the raw materials for my refashion were chosen and sent to me by Elisalex from By Hand London. As you can see, naughty Elisalex (never one to play by the rules) selected not one but two shirts in similar sizes and colour schemes.
One shirt was stripy taupe and white.
The other was also taupe and white, but a subtle dotted pattern. The fabric was thinner and had an element of stretch to it.
I don’t know how she found two shirts in the exact same colours, but she’s right, they were destined to be together.
My ideas for combining contrasting fabrics in shirts were limited to bowling shirts and cowboy/country and western shirts. Since I already have a bowling shirt in my wardrobe, I went for a cowboy shirt.
To combine pieces of one shirt with pieces of another, some fairly drastic shirt surgery was required. I started by amputating the sleeves from both shirts.
I cut the yoke from the donor (stripy shirt), leaving a pointy edge. I just cut this by eye, but I did fold the shirt over to try and make it the same on the left and right.
Then I pinned the donated yoke to the recipient shirt and cut roughly around it.
I prepared the yoke for transplant by folding up 5mm and pressing. Then I grafted it onto the recipient with white topstitching.
I also took the opportunity to do some minor cosmetic work – just a minor nip and tuck, taking in the sides under the arms and using bias tape to finish the armholes.
I made flat felled seams at the sides, in keeping with the original shirt.
For decoration, I added some basic hand embroidery (chain stitch only) in a contrasting shade of pink. I also cut off the buttons and added pink ones, which I think really helps distance it from its origins.
Overall I liked the look of it but it was crying out for some pink piping to emphasise the yoke shape.
Luckily that was relatively easy to fix. I unpicked the front yoke and inserted a folded bias strip. I haven’t bothered with the back but may do in future.
All in all, a successful transplant! Thanks Portia for inviting me to be a part of the series again, I had a blast!
Of course, I also have plans to graft the remaining shirt parts together to form a sort of patchwork Frankenstein’s monster. Stay tuned for that in the coming weeks!