As a huge fan of customising and upcycling, I couldn’t have been happier when Portia asked me to be part of this year’s Refashioners project. I loved reading along in 2013 – so many great transformations! I knew I had to get involved.
The theme this year is shirts, and Portia asked us whether we’d like to be sent one “blind”, or if we’d prefer to source our own. I got lucky as our Course Coordinator Andrea’s boyfriend was having a clear out, so I scored this lovely blue oxford shirt for my refashion. Very pleased not to have to scour the charity shops of Clapham on a shirt hunt!
Initially I struggled with what I might make from my new shirt. I wanted it to be classic and wearable – it needed to look like I’d refashioned it with purpose. I wanted it to be able to integrate into my wardrobe so I could mix and match it and get a lot of wear from it. After a quick jolly on Pinterest I went for a good old dependable skirt!
I cut the whole skirt from the body of the shirt, cutting straight across the shoulders and lopping off the arms. With the side seams and the buttonholes already sewn, I fashioned a waistband from the top of the body, measuring around my waist to find the correct size. To give it some stability I interfaced it with a good quality medium-weight interfacing. I then gathered the skirt into the waistband, making sure to match up the side seams, before stitching a buttonhole onto the waistband.
Waistband buttonholes take more strain than the rest of the buttonholes, so it’s best to make this one horizontal. I also did a line of decorative topstitching around the waistband as I thought it was in-keeping with the original shirt design.
It was as easy as that! It’s not the most exciting refashion in the world but I love my new skirt, especially as the original features of the shirt are still there.
If you’re new to refashioning try this project out! If you’ve got a big enough shirt you could even just elasticate the top to make a waistband and leave the buttons as a decorative feature. Or if you’re feeling adventurous why not add some pockets? Easy to make out of the sleeves… Ooh I’m giving myself ideas now.
A great big thank you for Portia for having me, long may the refashions continue!
Thank you so much Lisa! Refashioning needn’t be complex and this kind of project is a great starting point if you’re feeling trepidatious! Shirts come in all manner of fabrics. (Some of you may recall Tasha’s plaid flannel version from the last series). I’m thinking denim or corduroy shirts (oh yes they exist. I’ve seen them! So do velvet ones. Just ask Karen!) would be awesome for this too!
You can Sew Over It London here and here. Their Vintage Shirt Dress pattern is just one of the amazing prizes to be won as part of The Refashioners 2015 Community Challenge. So get involved for a chance to win!!! Grab a shirt and get refashioning! You have until Sunday 27th Sept to enter! Stay tuned for more inspiration throughout the WHOLE of August!