Greetings, Refashioners! Long time no see. I have a few posts to share that I’m finally getting around to, starting with several on the theme of embellishment. This one is from earlier this year.
I was heading out on a holiday-season holiday to a hot place, but digging out my summer wardrobe in winter felt a bit strange. To spruce it up a bit, I wanted to add an off-the-shoulder top of the type that was really fashionable this summer. You know the ones. They were everywhere! This is a very straightforward idea that I’ve been thinking about for a while. If you’ve got an old summer shirt in your wardrobe that could do with a bit of TLC, this could be just the ticket.
I started with an old shirt belonging to Mr CSC (with his permission, of course!).
I cut the shirt into sections as you can see in the picture below. I cut the sleeves from the body, leaving the flat felled portion on the shirt. I also cut across the chest below the yoke.
I dissected the sleeves, removing the cuffs.
I wanted two rectangles from each, as big as possible. Here’s what I ended up with (I had to unpick the placket to get the most material out of it).
I finished the top edge of the body, sewing the button plackets together along the top edge. The button placket will become the centre back of the new top.
I didn’t finish the armholes as they were fairly secure and won’t be seen in the final blouse. I know, I’m lazy! I could have removed the remains of the seam and zig zagged it or something.
From the sleeve-rectangles, I made a tube, again finishing the edges with a zig zag stitch. I made sure to make it symmetrical.
I pinned the right side of the tube to the right side of the shirt and sewed it on.
Here’s how it looks flipped over to the right side.
I folded down the top edge of the ‘sleeves’ by the same amount to make a small hem at the top edge.
Then I added the elastic. I cut a long-ish piece, after measuring it around my shoulders to get the right length. You’ll want to stretch it a bit while you do this, especially if (like mine) your shirt material is relatively heavy, or it won’t stay up when worn.
On the body section, I sewed a seam about a centimetre from the top edge to make a channel and fed the elastic through. Then I joined the two ends of the elastic. I pinned opposite ends of the loop to the outermost shoulder points and then pinned it at the junction of the ‘sleeve’ and the body, allowing a reasonable amount of stretch (so there was more material than elastic). The elastic runs inside the folded over hem. To finish it, I zig zagged over while stretching it, and I think it looks about right.
To finish the free edge of the ruffle I made a crochet trim (crochet being my new obsession).
This one is from “Edgings” Book 182, published by Clark’s Mercerised Crochet Cotton in 1942, my favourite crochet book amongst a small cache I found in a charity shop a few years back. I’ve only just begun to work through these and I sense there are many more gems in it.
Here’s my trim, a bit wonky but I am a beginner. And a gentle press worked wonders.
It was easy enough to pin on and hand sew it over the zig zagged hem edge.
Here’s how it looks on! It was a very windy day off the coast of Barbuda, but you get the idea. And it stayed ‘up’ despite the breeze.
A little blurred (I think my photographer may have been slightly drunk).
The colour of the water against the pale sand was inspiring.
I do feel a little like a pillowcase in it, but it’s great for avoiding tan lines…