I love doing refashions, turning something boring, old or unfashionable into something completely different is immensely fatisfying.
I found this checkered mens shirt in an op shop although I could have used one of hubby's old ones. This one appealed to me because of the colours. All you need to do this refashion yourself is a shirt, some 2-3cm wide non roll elastic and a sewing machine.
This part is where you need to be brave, chopping it up, I went with around 10cm above the pocket and cut pretty much straight across, but I would recommend curving your cut slightly up like in the picture below, when you reach the sleeves so it balances better when you wear it.
For the sleeves, I basically went with what I knew Id need to make them wider as I wantd them to be bell shaled so I literally cut them at half way. This would ensure I'd have enough fabric to use for the insert which in image 4 you will see where I cut it from and in image 5 you will see I simly cut the sleeve underneath and overlocked the trinagle cut from the sleeve piece into the slot then neaten the seam edge and turn up and sew a 2cm hem.
You can skip this step if you cant be bothered or prefer straight sleeves. Another option is to not cut them at all and simply roll up which also looks pretty good.
I wanted a contrasting panel in the back as well as wanting the bottom of the shirt to flare out so I cut through the centre of the back of the shirt and added in a strip of white fabric 4cm wide at the top and 6cm wide at the bottom then sewed it together. (Please note i ened up tapering it further at the top as it ended up too big, so I would suggest 1cm through to 6cm maximum. Make sure you cut enough fabric to leave some to turn over and neaten as shown in image 7
I cut a piece of the cuff off as it was already sewen around the edges and used this for a placket at the back to pull the white panel in for a more flattering fit, this I placed just above the small of my back and sewed it on with buttons from the discared cuffs. As you will see in image 9 I had the white fabric meet together at the top rather then adding extra fabric width to the top. It was gaping too much so check beofre you sew up the elastic casing that this isnt happening, if it is tighten the elastic a bit more, an easier fix than what I ended up having to do!
To do the top part you need to measure around your shoulders where you want the top to sit. This is the length you want for your piece of elastic. I had tried to do this all on my dressmakers manequin but she has no arms so it didnt work duh! Neaten the raw edges on your top and then turn over to create a casing for the elastic, leaving a 3cm gap to allow you to thread the eleastic through. once you have it in th casing, check it isnt twisted then ooverlap and sew ends together. Sew the gap closed and spread the material out evenly around the elastic band.
Adding the straps is the next part so to measure where they should be and how long, put the shirt on over a bra and place pins where your bra straps meet the top, you will probably nneed to get someone to do the back for you, make sure they check that they are even with the centre back. Then measure across your shoulder for the legth of the strpas, again a helper will be necessary but if its not possible you can sew the straps to the back and flick them over and pin to the front where it feels comfortable. I prefer to hand sew the straps so you cant see them from the front of the fabric.
Using some strips of fabric cut from the discarded collar piece I added iron on inferfacing to give them more strength then sewed them into tubes and pressed before hand sewing to the top ast the inned points and adjusting where necessary.
I also popped in a couple of darts on the front to bring the shape in for my womanly figure. This is what it should look like finished.
Posted: Saturday 7 January 2017