Parrot Shirt Refashion

A few weeks ago I was mooching in our local charity shop (which normally has very little of interest) and I happened upon a shirt made of parrot-covered fabric in a size 18. Rather than try to think of anything weird and wonderful to change it into, I decided to make it into a smaller shirt – ooh, thinking outside the box there (not!). I just love the fabric.

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Here is the before:

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It had really ugly cuffs on the sleeves:

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And horrible pleated pockets:

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I started off by unpicking everything – the sleeves, the cuffs, the collar and the pockets.

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I took in the shirt at the sides and added a boob dart. I think it’s still a bit big on the back, so I probably should have added darts on the back too, but I didn’t think of it at the time.

Because the sleeves had cuffs on originally, they had cuts up them, for the cuff opening. I unpicked the tiny hems on these and sewed them up, because I just wanted to use the sleeve bit and not the cuff.

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I took 7cm of each shoulder (because the original shoulder seam was half way down my arm) and sewed the original seams back on, having gathered them a little to make sure they fitted. The only other main change I made were to make the collar rounded instead of pointed – it was pretty fiddly to sew the collar back on, but I figured I’d have to re-sew it whether I altered it or not, so I thought ‘what the hell’, and I took 10cm off the length. I measured the length at the front, forgetting that it goes up at the sides, so I think I shouldn’t have taken it up quite so much, but it’s done now and it looks okay. I think the thing that made the biggest difference was changing the buttons. The were grey-ish metal ones originally:

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I changed them for some little pink ones, to match the pink of the pink parrots. I kept all the old ones, and have 17 (8 on the shirt, 2 each for 2 pockets, 2 each for 2 cuffs and a spare sewn into the label) so I’m sure I’ll find something to use them for in the future.

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So here is the finished shirt, which I’ve already worn quite a few times.

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The Boyfriend’s mum gave me a couple more shirts, both I think size 16. Does anyone have any ideas of how I can change them, other than just taking them in and making them smaller shirts?