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!)

Green-Refashioners-Shirt-1

Green-Refashioners-Shirt-2

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.

Green-Refashioners-Shirt-3

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.

Green-Refashioners-Shirt-4

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!)

Green-Refashioners-Shirt-5

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.

Green-Refashioners-Shirt-6

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.
Green-Refashioners-Shirt-7

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)

Green-Refashioners-Shirt-9

Green-Refashioners-Shirt-11

Green-Refashioners-Shirt-10

I now can’t decide which way round I prefer it!
Green-Refashioners-Shirt-12

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?

The Refashioners: Dear Creatures rip off!

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!)

Beige-Refashioners-Shirt-1

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.

Beige-Refashioners-Shirt-2

As you can see, it was only £2.99, which is pretty cheap for the amount of fabric.

Beige-Refashioners-Shirt-3

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!

Dear Creatures inspiration 1

Dear Creatures inspiration 2(images source)

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:

Beige-Refashioners-Shirt-15

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.

Beige-Refashioners-Shirt-12

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:

Beige-Refashioners-Shirt-4And this is them all sewn together:

Beige-Refashioners-Shirt-5

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.

Beige-Refashioners-Shirt-13

Beige-Refashioners-Shirt-14
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….

Beige-Refashioners-Shirt-7

…..which means there are some really nice shapes on the side seams, where the various colours meet. I like the yellow sort-of-star.

Beige-Refashioners-Shirt-10

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.

Beige-Refashioners-Shirt-8

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!

Beige-Refashioners-Shirt-9Beige-Refashioners-Shirt-16All 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?