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?

Boat Vest Top Refashion

I’ve been sewing like a mad thing this week, to get a dress finished for my friend’s wedding, which was yesterday – and I made 2 dresses: a wearable muslin and the actual one, so as soon as I take photos (and properly finish the muslin) I have lots of sewing to show off!

But in the mean time, here is a refashion I did ages ago and have only just got round to posting. I had a vest top with little boats on which I really liked, but it had become too small and too short:

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I decided to make it into a t shirt by adding some red fabric as the top half and using the vest as the bottom half. We had an old pillow case lying around so I used a t shirt I had as a template and cut out the top half of a t shirt:

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Unfortunately, as this was cotton and not jersey, I couldn’t get it over my head so I scrapped this idea and bought a cheap red t-shirt from Walthamstow market to cut up. Again unfortunately, the way I cut up the vest, meant that the new top was barely longer than before, so I added the bottom of the red t-shirt to the bottom of the new t-shirt. I don’t love it, but I have worn it quite a few times, so I’ve made something I never wore into something I do wear, so a successful refashion I think. (Sorry for the quality of the photos!).

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It looks kind of crap from the back, but I don’t know how to fix it – I have a very narrow back, so things always look baggy.

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Blue Shirt Dress to Shirt Refashion

So I finally totally finished a refashion that I started ages ago. I had a blue shirt dress which I bought from eBay but was originally from Primark. I went off the style so decided to cut off the bottom and make it into a shirt. Unfortunately I forgot to take any before pictures, because I’m an idiot!

I unpicked the 2 belt loops from the side of the dress and then measured roughly on me where the shirt should finish, adding a bit extra on for the hem. I also replaced the buttons because they used to look like this:

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Who would pick that colour button for that colour fabric?!

So I changed them for white ones:

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Much better!

This is what the ex-dress now looks like:

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And the back….

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I know this isn’t the most exciting refashion ever, but it’s turned something I never wore into something I’ve already worn several times! It also has the option of a bow, in the form of what used to be the belt/tie thingy:

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Sorry again for the blurry photos – I seriously need to do something about my photos on here. These are the only useable ones out of about 15 I made The Boyfriend take. Maybe I should get a tripod and a decent camera so I can be as vain as I want to and take a bajillion photos without having to impose on someone else to do it.

Hopefully as I get more experienced with refashioning, the more adventurous I’ll become and the more interesting they’ll get. I have several items of clothing I think I’m gong to give to a charity shop, but I’ll have a serious think about anything I can do with them before I do. Has anyone else been seeing all the refashioners on Miss P’s blog? It really shows you what you can do with an ugly, huge garment with a bit of imagination and skill!

3 High-Necked Tops Refashioned

Since I looked through all the clothes I own, and after realised how many of them I never wear, I decided to see which ones I could make into garments I would wear.

A few years ago, I bought 3 tops – I think from New Look – in blue, green and cream and at the time I liked them, but I’d gone off them recently, mostly because they were too tight on my neck and felt a bit strangle-y! Here they are before:

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They all look like this on the back. The blue and cream ones were a little big (the green one is a size smaller).

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The first thing I did was to unpick the collar from them all:

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I decided to just hem the neckline of the cream one. But for the green and blue ones I decided to make little peter pan collars for them – the blue one from its own collar and the green one from the cream collar, for a contrast.

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I used the collar from my refashioned dress as a pattern. I had to sew the collars down all the way around as they kept rolling up. The only other change I made was to take in the cream one by about an inch – the blue one turned out to not be as big in the end. I’m pretty pleased with all of the results as I now have 3 tops I can wear!

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The back of the cream one – I sewed one of the buttons and button loops from the original collar back on as a fastening.

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Close up of the neck hem – you can just about make out the interesting stitch I used on my sewing machine!

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And a close-up of the collar:

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I think the green one is my favourite:

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The back:

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I thought I would share this goofy photo to finish…..

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Peter Pan Collar Dress Refashion

Back in February, I bought a new dress from H&M. I say I bought it. It was actually free as it was only £5 in their sale and I had a £5 voucher. I really like peter pan collars so I liked this dress when I spotted it and it was a small, so perfect. It has little beads/ ‘pearls’ on the collar (not sure you can see it on the photos) and is a 60s-style shift dress. I did wear it once as it came, but I felt a bit too dressed up and it’s a big old expanse of cream!

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So I decided to take off the collar (thanks to an idea from a friend on Facebook)….

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….and dyed it green! (minus the collar)

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I dyed a skirt at the same time and here they are sloshing about in all their newly green glory!

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The skirt ended up a better colour, I think, because it was darker before. Also probably has something to do with their respective fabric contents. The stitching didn’t dye, which I was prepared for as the packet said it wouldn’t work on polyester thread. I kinda like it with the highlighted stitching!

Here is the closest photo I could get to their real-ish colour (dress on the left, skirt on the right):

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I added some darts to make the dress more fitted and sewed the collar back on and I’m pretty pleased with the result. When I wore it to work, I got lots of unsolicited compliments!

This is the back (with the facing sticking out, grrr!). The darts aren’t perfect, but I couldn’t be bothered to re-do them! It doesn’t look amazing from the back, but for a free dress, I’m not too bothered!

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Not a bad refashion for only the cost of the dye! I’ve already worn this more than I did before I dyed it.