You know I love an upcycle. It’s the post-war ‘waste not, want not’ mentality that was drilled into me by my parents! Ah, these Northerner have a lot to answer for. So, I recently signed up for The Refashioners 2015. This is a month long project where a bunch of sewing bloggers are challenged to refashion a garment to highlight how cool, creative, economically and ethically sound refashioning old garments actually is. The catch is that these sewing bloggers don’t get to decide what the garment is. The garment is mailed to them. This year it’s a men’s shirt. Anyone can get involved in this project, I like a challenge so decided to sew along. I bought a shirt from Vinnies, down the road. I did try to raid my husbands wardrobe but it was slim pickings and not all that inspiring. The shirt I found cost me $6. It is a lovely quality herringbone in sea blue and white and is a super soft cotton with a lovely drape. It’s a large size, probably an XL, which gave me plenty to go at.
I had a few ideas in my head and drew up a few sketches but I kept coming back to a jacket I made about 18 months ago and thought that a version of that would work a treat. It is called the Ruffle-Front Jacket from the Japanese sewing book, Simple Modern Sewing by Shufu To Seikatsu Sha. It’s a raglan sleeve jacket with a large open neckline. I like the idea of adding a raglan sleeve into this formal shirt, it gives it a more casual style and a looser fit. The tie closure runs through the facing from one centre front hem to the other. You can also add a contrasting fabric to the facing as it will be visible when you shirr the ruffles. I pulled the whole shirt apart and started to lay the pattern pieces out. This is the raglan sleeve. As you can see I had to shorten the sleeve length considerably and also reduce the width of the sleeve. The back panel was placed on the fold so I had plenty of fabric to play with. I just had to reduce the ‘swing’ of the jacket by about 2-3cm. The front panel worked but it did mean that I had to include the buttons. Again I reduced the ‘swing’ of the jacket by about 2-3cm. This was the point that I realised it probably wasn’t going to look much like the Ruffle-Front Jacket. I think it’s a case of just going with it. I experimented with adding the double cuffs onto the end of the sleeves but that didn’t work very well. They were too stiff and the overall jacket is very soft and draped.
In the end, it morphed into a very girlie blouse!
Instead of running the facing along the neckline and down the front, I stopped it at the neckline and drew up a bow at the front. I used some floral Liberty London fabric for the neck facing, you can just about see it peaking through. I decided that the button and buttonholes were too good to loose so I just replaced the buttons with some self covered buttons in the Liberty London fabric. I am pretty pleased with the results. I think the contrast between the geometric herringbone and the random floral fabric works really well. What do you think, is it a successful refashion?