Thursday, 23 April 2009

Shirt to Blouse



A tutorial detailing my spur-of-the-moment sewing last week:

You'll need a shirt, pins, a sewing machine and some elastic.

1 Cut the collar off.
2 Try it on. Pinch a pleat at the back so that the shoulder seams sit on your shoulders. Pin (you can do this by yourself, but it's tricky - estimate and lay the shirt flat to pin it neatly).
3 Push the fold flat and pin. Put the shirt on again. Measure and mark how long the sleeves should be, then add about 3 or 4 cm for a casing. Cut the sleeves off. (Cut one and use it to measure the second, so that they're the same.)
4 Put the shirt on again, mark with a pin, front and back, where you'd like the neckline to be. Mark the shoulders too. Consider that you'll have to be able to pull the shirt over your head.
5 Now it gets (only a little) tricky. Using chalk or a disappearing pen, connect up the pins.
6 Fold the shirt in half and pin together. Draw another line about 1 to 1,5cm inside the first line. Cut along this second line. Open the shirt out and correct the neckline if needed.

7 Try it on again. Pin pleats in the front, as many as you need. Accuracy is a matter of taste or time!

8 Fold neck edge inwards about 1cm, and stitch down all the way round. More intrepid sewers could use a facing or bias tape....

9 Topstitch the pleats a short distance if it's unlikely that you'll ever iron this shirt.

10 Try on yet again, and mark the narrowest part of your back. Stitch the pleat down at this point for a little bit of waist shaping.

11 Sleeves: Turn shirt inside out. Turn the cut edge of the sleeve up 1 cm, pin, then fold up again at your desired sleeve length. Stitch down, leaving a 2cm gap under the arm. You'll be gathering the sleeve, so don't worry if the turn-up doesn't fit the sleeve properly. Cut a piece of elastic to fit around your arm comfortably, with a bit extra. Thread through the casing, stitch the ends together, and close the gap in the casing with some handstitching.** I found inspiration for this project at clevergirl, in her fabulous shirt refashion series. If this kind of thing is your cup of tea, have a look at clevergirl to see what can be done with a shirt!

24 comments:

Lori said...

EEE!!! THank you for this tutorial! I loved the shirt when you posted it and would love to give this a go myself.

jules said...

Great tutorial! Such a good idea to make drawings! I'm always in such a rush to finish things that I almost never remember to take pictures of all the steps. The shirt is great too!

Cicada Studio said...

Clever you!

Chakra Pennywhistle said...

Wow! Thank you for this. My husbands shirts are in danger ;)

Dee Beale said...

This looks so good, I think I might have to have a go even though my sewing is terrible.

casserole said...

I love this!!! This is exactly the kind of shirt I'm needing as the warm weather approaches!

I posted a link to your tutorial at Craft Gossip Sewing Blog: http://sewing.craftgossip.com/tutorial-cool-blouse-from-a-boxy-dress-shirt/2009/04/26/
--Anne

Rachel@oneprettything.com said...

Oh great job, I love this! So perfect for spring. Thanks tons, I'll be linking.

strikk handknits said...

you are very clever!

sammon said...

Hee,hee. Loved the part of the tutorial where you mentioned top stitching the pleats. I rarely iron!!! I can't wait to try this out!!

EvaForeva said...

What a cool idea. I might do this for myself! Yeah! Love it!


Jenya

BarbaraS said...

Thank you for the tutorial--aren't you smart!

Stitching At Stone Cottage said...

great shirt...great tutorial... my husbands closet is in danger...

Faith said...

Oh my goodness - I just made this following your directions and it came out perfectly- this is one of the best sewing tutorials I have EVER seen on the net. I hope you do more!

Sarah said...

This is briliant! I am bargaining for a shirt at this very moment!

Terri said...

This is a great idea!

Jesse said...

Thanks, everyone :) Faith, I'm so pleased the instructions worked well!

Devona said...

I just made this and posted my results on my blog. I am going to make one or two more because if I make it roomy enough it makes a great maternity shirt, which I am in need of. ;)

http://www.clevernesting.com/

Pockafwye said...

Sheer brilliance! Thank you SO much for the tutorial.

hellejorgensen said...

Your shirt is very stylish. Thanks so much for the tutorial.

Michelle said...

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/29681756#32142812

i recognized the style from your tutorial immediately!

but not sure if this should sway me to give more credence to her words?

thanks for all the great tutorials.

Canada flower shops said...

Hey great stuff, thank you for sharing this useful information and i will let know my friends as well.

Artificial Silk Flowers said...

Wow, this is a fantastic idea, changing the design. Great work! and thanks for sharing the tutorial.

luxury caribbean villas said...

I never though I could do this myself but with your easy step by step tutorial I was able to change the style of 2 of my shirts in no time, I'm gonna rock this summer *-* Thanks

Anonymous said...

Thank you sooo much-iv een searching endlessly for a shirt like this.you explain the tutorial so well and your diagrams are easy to understand. Also another fellow south african!!-) well done<3