Shirt Blouse Pattern

When I first started this pet project / blog, my mini-ambition was also to develop a set of patterns suitable for upcycling clothes, and it seemed to keep falling by the wayside.  I did up one last year….and its still on rough paper (but I hope to get that drafted and tested in the next month)

Two months ago, I changed jobs – I went back temping –  and wanted to make up some new ‘work’ tops.  When I used temp years ago, I would wear skirts more, whereas this year I have pretty much been wearing cigarette pants all summer, and wanted to make up a few ‘prepier’ looking shirts/tops to go with them.  One was this butterick shirt, which I made from a pale blue linen.  The one think I hadn’t thought of, was to cut the front up-side-down on the men’s shirt as the buttons go the wrong way!

butterick shirt upcycle

Anyway – while it has been a useful addition, I wanted a top with no collar, but still ‘crisp’ looking.  I had a white dress shirt from the sewing room in the cupboard and ran this one up.  I was very pleased with it, as I managed to get the whole top out of the shirt (and still have some usable scraps left – cuffs and collar).  I took off the pique panels and used them for the yokes and incorporated the button holes as a ‘feature’, and did a slash opening at the back.

I was very happy with the construction – its a lined yoke, and slash opening back, and sleeves are sewn in flat, and there are a small amount of gathers at the cuff of the sleeve.

white shirt upcycle

I then wondered how adaptable the pattern would be, and as I had a few stripe shirts in the workroom, so I started to experiment with some mix and match there (I had planned to use these with the teens in the sew summer camp) so started taking them apart and sampled up a few – tweaking as I went along, the main tweak really was adding shoulder darts.  I am rather pleased with the patchwork-ed ones and am now foisting some of the makes on friends, as I got carried away with the making…..

shirt blouse - upcycle shirt

 

So-with the making of the new Irish Dancing Dress looming I spent last weekend drafting and had it scanned yesterday.  I put it on craftsy and its free, and hope to have an A4 version up by the weekend.  I am hoping the explanations of each step is sufficiently informative without being too simplistic.  I have found in the sewing room – that I tend to assume that ‘everyone’ knows this – but then remember or am reminded that not everyone learned to sew in school etc.  So if you have any comments tips on the instructions and pattern if you wish to download/read/use, I would be delighted to hear them.

Originally I was to grade it also, but I was running out of time, and if my niece (irish dance dress) finds out I am doing extra-curricular activities – I thought it best to finish what I had, and get onto that!

 

red blouse remake, and a vogue skirt

Things have been rather hectic lately.  I have finished embroidering and sewing an irish dancing costume for my niece and due to go up to bling it on next week, and while that was being sewn, the sew social group started – no photos of either yet!.  The sew social group is great, there is a brilliant mix of people and skills, and extra people coming the second week.  It is to run for 4 evenings and 2 evenings to go, and I am hoping to be shown how to knit properly there soon.

I made this blouse and skirt a few weeks ago, and have worn both a fair bit, and I am still in the middle of crocheting the sweater (if a crochet project goes on too long there is always the danger of a change of heart and I will unravel it, so I am hoping to finish it this week)
meanwhile………………

The blouse



Red is a tough colour to photograph.  The red blouse was on the euro rail.  it was a light jacket/blouse with shoulder pads (and a few stains), and its silk

upcycle blouse

I laundered it, took it apart and thought to make a blouse which would also work as a base layer for under sweaters.  I don’t normally like collars, which was just as well as I barely had enough fabric but got their in the end.  I had to peel off the fusible which was on the facing of the original blouse to use as side panels in the front – which worked out fine.

upcycle blouse

I used a 50s dress pattern as a base for the tucks at the neckline, and I was going to face the neckline but used a simple binding instead, and a zip closure at the back.

The skirt

brown tweed skirt



The day after I got the blouse, I was cutting out the denim dress (2 or 3 posts back) and ran into a spot of bother with the cut, so I went out for a stroll to think it out (rather than cut any further), and I strolled towards the charity shop.  This tweed was in with some pillowcases, and about .75 of a metre, and 2euro.  When I got home, I put it with the ‘pile’ and it looked so well with the blouse – that I figured I had an instant outfit.  I had originally planned a box pleat skirt, but there was just slightly too little fabric.

vogue 7776 skirt upcycle

I used my TNT pattern, vogue 7776, and did the version with the front slit.  I pretty much did everything as per the pattern except I did a facing for the waistband (petersham is recommended).  I left the hem at 3 inch allowance which is a lovely weight for the tweed.  Had I known it would turn out so lovely, I should have considered interlining with organza (its a couture technique I think).  Its perfect for a long-life tweed skirt as it helps any potential bagging/sagging issues at the seat, and its perfect for holding the hem.

silk lining vogue 7776

I had some habatoi mock silk lining in a fun orange shade, but I didnt realise until I went to cut how off grain it was……………. I was a bit shocked.  So I cut on grain, one piece at a time and just about fitted it in – the photo above shows it laid out and going with grain.  I cut the back on the fold and the 2 fronts just about fitted it in.

I did a top stitich on the skirt but only used sewing thread so its barely noticible, and the only other blip (besides the low quality lining) was there was a tiny hole in the weave (probably due to age) in the back panel which I didn;t notice until I was holding towards the light to inspect the dart.  I put a small darn in it, and then ironed on some vilene.

so – an outfit for about a fiver – blouse 1 euro, tweed 2 euro, zips taken from other garments, lining would have been about 2euro……