Shirt with lace doily insert

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I bought this white short sleeved shirt  for £3 from a charity shop.

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I  had read some fashion advice recently which said that 70% of your wardrobe should be ‘meat and potatoes’.  Upon reading this advice I realized that a lot of my wardrobe is gravy and puddings so I was shopping for some items to redress the balance.

I looked for something of a neutral colour to  wear with my many patterned items, but of course also had a refashion in mind.

The shirt brand is Papaya from Matalan, so would have been inexpensive when new, possibly not even much more than £3 and I’m normally a bit of a snob about buying cheap items second hand but I was pushed for time and this looked OK.

Fabric is 55% linen 45% cotton, made in Bangladesh.

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I didn’t try the shirt on in the shop but guessed it would more or less fit, maybe a little on the small side, but my refashion would add a bit of give.

Enter the doily:

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The plan was to use this doily as a lace insert to the back.

The open lacy nature of the doily would add a small amount of stretch.

I like the  old fashioned nature of doilies – there are many languishing unsold in charity shops and when a beautiful and talented shop manager (my daughter) brought this one to my attention  I was on a mission to do put it to good refashion use.  The texture had a slightly silky feel and the colour was off white.

First thing was to cut a hole out of the back of the blouse,  a side plate was the right size to use as a template.

There was a question of where exactly to place the hole so it showed the minimum combination of flesh and bra strap, difficult job given the rather large size of the doily.

I opted for approximately the middle of the below the yolk section of the blouse.

Next I hemmed the cut side of the blouse with the smallest hem possible – several cuts were necessary to make up for the curve of the circle.

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I didn’t want floppy bits of scalloping dangling loose so I used tiny hand stitches close to the scalloped edge for the initial attachment.  This was a bit of a job so I chanced a second layer of top stitching with the machine, using a medium zigzag close to the cut edge of the blouse, so there was a 2 to 3cm doily/blouse overlap.

Here is the result. The doily texture manages to hide all the stitching threads.

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The sleeves were a bit tight and I think they were on the original owner as well because the buttons were open when I bought it.

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I thought it would be nice  some introduce some colour, just a teeny bit, so I added a triangle of red check at the sleeve cuff, sewing the cuff opening open and tucking the button hole side under like so:

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I am pleased with this blouse, the lace improves the fit, is not too immodest and will add some welcome ventilation on a hot day, or when wearing a rucksack, or under a  lab coat at work, and its so meaty!

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The fashion expert was right, it will go with any colour or pattern.

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My stepson was brutally honest he said ‘you have sewn a cushion thing onto a shirt’

 

 

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