Saturday, January 7, 2017

Zen again

For the past 36 hours I have been experimenting, off and on, with shirts I purchased for $2 each from my local thrift store. And what have I achieved? I have converted a shirt into, yes, a shirt.

It's hard to look at the result and see how much work went into it. That's what we do as sewers though, isn't it? And enjoy (almost) every minute.

This started as a man's shirt size XL. I was able to reuse the button band and buttons on the front, the plackets on the sleeves, portions of the hem, and the chest pocket. I'm convinced that I could have made this from scratch more quickly. But, of course, that was never the goal.

Here you can see the original shirt, second from the left - a classic man's shirt.

First I removed the collar and the cuffs. Then I removed the yoke. By keeping the shirt tail hem, I was able to cut the back from the back and the fronts from the fronts. For the fronts, I simply aligned CF with the buttons and buttonholes. The hem had to be reshaped in the final sewing, but I did not lose any fabric to hem allowances.

The yokes provided enough fabric for the final collar, and the side seam excess provided fabric for my narrow cuffs. It looks like I don't have enough space to cut out the sleeves, but by adding a narrow cuff, it all worked out just right.

You can see that I moved the chest pocket to hip level, much more useful IMO. And I added a little screen printing and stenciling on various pieces.

And here it is on me.


  1. Put me down as IMPRESSED! Wow. Great job! So creative.

    1. I am always excited when I see or hear of another Kansas sewer!

  2. I'm glad to see this! I have a refashioning challenge coming up at ASG, and you're giving me ideas. :)

  3. Nice, Martha! you sure are industrious to do this.

  4. A 36 hours well spent! Very nice shirt, Martha. It doesn't look like a refashion at all.

  5. $2.00, time and ingenuity = BRILLIANT!

  6. I always like to see what you are working on. Being a fan of making one thing out of another, I think this one was inspired! I look forward to seeing what you do with the other shirts.

  7. Oh I do love this, it's such a great colour and your embellishments are excellent. Good work!