Refashion Friday: Blue, Mustard and Orange shirt dress refashion

I was struggling to think how to start this post so The Boyfriend said I should say ‘hello, here is the start of my post’.

Hello, this is the start of my post. This original shirt dress, with a dropped-waist waist band was from my friend – the one who gave me the big pile of clothes which precipitated my big wardrobe clear out.  I immediately fell in love with the fabric. But this is possibly the most difficult fabric to photograph ever, in the whole world! This is possibly the most ‘first-world-problem’ ever…….

Also, sorry for the worst ‘before’ photo ever – but maybe it’s good to have a terrible before so the after looks even better by comparison!?

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There were a couple of buttons missing at the bottom of the dress, but I like how the buttons are in pairs – it’s a bit more interesting than them being evenly spaced!

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It also did have this cute little pocket – if you can make it out?

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Below is the best picture I could get of the ‘waist’ band, which sat on my hips – pretty much the least flattering silhouette on me. So I unpicked the waistband, removing the bottom part of the dress and removing the band from the top part. I measures I needed to raise the waist band by 15cm to put it on my natural waits, so I measured that and then sewed the inside part of the waist band back in using normal seams, cutting off the excess 15cm from the top part of the shirt. I then top-stitched the top part of the waist band, using the holes from the original stitching as a guide.

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Originally the bottom part of the dress was gathered, to give it a bit of fullness, but I decided I wanted a more sleek look so I replaced the gathers with pleats. I also used pleats to narrow the top part of the dress, which then attached to the waistband. I removed 13cm from the original waistband (to make it fit my waist instead of my hips) and then put in 2 pleats on the front and 2 on the back, evenly spaced, each of 3cm. I took the Deer and Doe Bruyere shirt as my inspiration. Though you can’t really see the waitsband or the pleats because of the pattern on the fabric!

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Once I’d put the waistband back in, I slotted the front edges back into the button bands where I’d unpicked them, topstitched both sides in place, trimmed the bottom and hemmed them. Then I just had to sew the buttons back on – I’d had to take them off when unpicking the button band. Sorry there aren’t any ‘in progress’ shots, I tried but none of them looked like anything!

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The fit of the sleeves, shoulders and collar fitted quite well from the beginning, so win! I’m glad I didn’t have to fiddle around with resizing the collar!

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Did I mention that I love my new top!? I’ve already worn it a couple of times – I refashioned it a couple of weeks ago. It goes well with my beloved mustard yellow cardigan and I’ll definitely get a lot more wear out of it as a top than if I’d left it as a dress. I’ve finally accepted I wear more separates – and especially trousers – than I do dresses. I do wear dresses sometimes, but not enough to keep making loads more! My friend who gave me the clothes pretty much always wears dresses, so most of what she gave me were dresses. So hopefully there will be some other ways to making tops out of dresses in my future!

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In the below photo you can actually make out the newly placed waist band! And you can almost make out the pleats. I think it was an advantage that the pattern is so busy as it meant it didn’t really matter how neat my sewing was!

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I’ll leave you with one more, slightly smug looking, photo!

Also, check out my matching coral nail varnish! That wasn’t on purpose, but a happy coincidence when I took these pictures!

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The Refashioners: Green Shirt into Shirtdress

After completing my first Refashioners refashion, I decided to do another one! I had bought 2 shirts at the same time,but I wasn’t sure whether I would get them both done in time. (Spoiler: I did!)

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I bought this one because it was another solid colour, and it was extra long, so figured it would be long enough to be a dress.

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I felt that this was a fairly insipid green so I decided to dye it. I actually dyed it twice. The first time was with the green sections of my other refashioners shirt, but it didn’t really change colour that much because it’s really synthetic. So then I decided to try to dye it black. Again, it didn’t really take the colour, but it made it quite a nice dark khaki-type colour.

I then unpicked the sleeves, pocket, collar and the yoke from the back of the shirt. I ended up not using the sleeves, pocket or collar yet (or, in fact, the collar and cuffs from the other shirt), but hopefully I’ll be able to use them at some point in the future.

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The unpicking was done in one evening and then I did the sewing in the next evening, so this was a pretty quick,and not very dramatic, refashion. I quite enjoyed doing it slightly against the clock, even though I try usually to take as long as it takes with sewing (otherwise I get stressed and annoyed!). Maybe I’ll make it onto the Great British Sewing Bee one day!?(They’re taking applications for the fourth series now!)

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I cut off 10cm from each side of the yoke (I measured I needed to cut off 12cm in total so 10cm left me with a seam allowance for neatening the arm holes). I then gathered the yoke so it sit the new yoke and sewed it in place.

I took in the side seams by 13cm at the armpit, tapering to 10cm at the waist and then to nothing at the hem – I wanted it to have a slight cocoon shape.

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I used bias binding to neaten the neck line (which I slightly reshaped) and the armholes. The the only other changes I made were to make the neckline at the back slightly v-shaped, so sew the buttons closed after the first 3 and to change the buttons from typical man-shirt-buttons to the ones I had left over from my parrot shirt refashion.
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After I’d take the above pictures, it occurred to me it might look good ‘backwards’ too. (Or the right way round according to the original shirt)

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I now can’t decide which way round I prefer it!
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I think I might wear it both ways round – 2 dresses for the price of 1! Which way do you prefer it? Have you entered the Refashioners competition?

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!