shirt

Men’s linen shirt refashion

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It seems I am currently stuck in some kind of pale blue linen refashioning loop as the last item I tackled was also pale blue linen.

Inspired by the refashioners 2015 challenge, (refashion a shirt), I went looking for a good condition large size shirt to work on. The challenge had finished already but it had provided lots of fresh ideas.

The shirt cost £3.49 from a Salvation Army shop and was an extra large Marks and Spencer Blue Harbour range item in 100% linen, made in Bangladesh.  It looked barely worn and was a nice sky blue colour.

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The idea was to make some sort of simple loose linen top.

As it was plain blue, this other shirt in 100% cotton, given to me by my stepson, was going to be used to add interest.

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Unfortunately this checked shirt was a small size and had lots of seams all over it.  The pockets were also tiny and not much use for anything.

I cut off the arms and shoulders of the main shirt, sewed up the button placket, made new shoulder seams and ‘tried it on’.

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Because there was plenty of spare fabric I had already decided just to sew up the button placket and cut it off, but was undecided whether to have the resulting seam at the back or the front.  I went for the back ie the shirt would be refashioned with the back at the front, so the pocket had to come off.

Next step was to add a few darts from the neckline for shaping.

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Linen is not the most difficult fabric to work with but it is not the easiest either.  Its very good at fraying,  and you can iron it but 5 minutes later the creases are back. Those darts gave me some trouble getting them even on each side.

I finished the neck with bias binding made from the checked shirt.

Having the back at the front meant the shoulder seams did not sit exactly in the right place but it didn’t look too bad and making the armholes smaller helped a bit.

I was going to add sleeves from the contrast shirt and actually made some,  but they didn’t look as good as no sleeves.  Bias binding it was then, to finish the armholes.

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I made final adjustments to the fit by taking in more fabric at the back seam where the placket still sat, and a bit on the sides as well.  When I was happy with it I cut all the excess fabric from the now very thick seams. I try to leave this trimming to the last possible moment in case a mistake has been made.

Finally I reduced the top to the length I wanted.  As the top was so simple I made a curved hem at the side seams, using a small plate to draw the curve, but it would have been better if I’d made the curve less rounded. The contrast bias trim balanced the neckline.

Here is the finished top, 30 seconds after ironing.

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I haven’t got any more pale blue linen left so my next refashion will have to be something different.

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