So after the success of finishing my Made Up Initiative dress, this is the second time I’ve finished a sewalong on time! Hopefully this is also the first of my 2 entries to the Refashioners. The second shirt is currently in the washing machine being dyed, so I haven’t got much time to then refashion it, so we’ll see if I get it done in time!
I decided to make this beige shirt into something that made it unrecognisable as a shirt. I bought the biggest size I could find in my local charity shop. (I maybe should have ironed it before these pictures!)
I also chose one in a solid colour, as I was planning to dye it, and this beige one seemed the best option for taking multiple colours of dye.
As you can see, it was only £2.99, which is pretty cheap for the amount of fabric.
I decided pretty early on that I would use a Dear Creatures top as my inspiration. It’s called the optimist sweater, which is quite lovely!
It looks like this top/ jumper has all the colours knitted together, but I had to cut out the pieces separately. I used my beloved Grainline Scout Tee pattern as the base, and traced it off in a size 6, a size larger than I’ve made before as I feel like the Scouts I’ve made before are a little short and perhaps snugger than I would like – I’ve developed a taste for more loose-fitting tops these days. I traced the pattern so that I had the back and front as whole pieces (so I traced the front one half, then flipped the paper and traced the other side. I think that makes sense!? I planned where the colours would go:
My colours don’t match the Dear Creatures one completely – because my shirt was beige, I didn’t have the white (if only I’d been able to find a white shirt!), so I added green where the white is in the original one.
Once I’d got my front and back traced off, I drew the lines on to divide where I wanted the colours, making sure to match the lines on the side seams and shoulder seam, where the colours bisected the seams. I then re-traced each of the little shapes, adding 1.5cm seam allowance to each part that needed to meet another part (I failed to take any pictures to illustrate this unfortunately).
Once I’d cut out all the pieces, I put them in 3 piles: yellow, blue, and green and dyed each little pile. The fabric is pretty synthetic so didn’t take the full colour, which I’m actually quite pleased about – I used Dylon’s hand dyes in Sunflower Yellow, Navy Blue and Dark Green. For reference of the colour, I put the trousers I’m wearing in these pictures in the navy dye to give them a bit of a lift, where they’d faded – obviously they were already navy blue, but the dye definitely made them a richer shade.
This is what the pieces looked like when dyed:
And this is them all sewn together:
It took quite a while to sew all the pieced together, and the corner where the blue and green both meet the yellow was really fiddley – I couldn’t get it to be a squarer corner. I clipped the yellow a bit to try to make it go around the corner, but the best I could do was the slightly corners you can see above.
To make sure the seams didn’t get annoying on the inside, I zig-zagged the seam allowances separately and then top stitched them with contrasting yellow thread.
I’m really glad I decided to do the top stitching as it makes the difference between the colours more accented somehow. I used the same thread for the hems and neckline, to give it some uniformity.
The back is the reverse of the front….
…..which means there are some really nice shapes on the side seams, where the various colours meet. I like the yellow sort-of-star.
And there’s a nice point on the other side, which I definitely don’t think you’d see so much if not for the top-stitching.
The only other change I made to the pattern, aside from the colour-blocking, was to make the sleeves a little longer – by 7cm. I considered doing the half-and-half sleeve (blue and yellow), but I couldn’t really be bothered to be honest!
All in all, I’m really pleased with how this turned out! It took a while to trace all the pattern pieces and cut it out, but once it was dyed, it was pretty quick to assemble – I’ve made the Scout Tee so many times I don’t need to think about it. I used French seams for the construction, so, with the zig-zagged and top-stitched colour block joins, the inside looks almost as nice as the outside!
Are you/ Have you made something for the refashioners?