Sunday, 9 May 2010

Apples & plums


A couple of weeks ago I found this shirt buried deep inside a sprawling Brighton antique shop a shapeless behemoth of a garment with an asphyxiating collar, but in an amazing apples and plums print that made my heart sing. While the randomness of vintage shopping hasn't agreed with me in the past, with my new sewing skills at the ready I snapped it up with the words "upcycle project!" ringing in my ears.


To make it more shapely, I took in the side seams and added bust darts and contour darts at the waist and back.


I cut the sleeves down to three-quarter length, created gathers at the cuffs and finished the seams with bias binding (excuse the wiggly pen markings - they show how shamefully slapdash my sewing is!).


I cut the neckline into a more feminine v-shape and used the sleeve cuffs as the front collar! I also made some bias tape for a tie bow at the neckline.


I kinda made it all up as I went along - I know I don't look too happy in the photo (boyf was out so I was suspiciously eying up the self-timer on the camera) but I'm chuffed that it came off. Actually, I do look quite smug in this pic! Not working from a pattern has made my stitching confidence soar to new heights!

[Soundtrack: 'Dry Grass and Shadows' by Alela Diane]

45 comments:

  1. Very Cute! You've done a really nice job.

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  2. You look gorgeous! Congratulations on a great remake. It's inspiring me to go remake a huge shirt a friend handed off to me with lovely fabric but box-like shape. Did you use your form to do the re-shaping?

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  3. Wow! That is incredible! I love how it turned out! Great idea to use the sleeve cuffs for the collar and I love the bias bow! It looks fantastic on you!

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  4. Wait... didn't you claim to have JUST STARTED sewing?

    This is great. Good upcycling inspiration.

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  5. This looks great! The print is really spectacular. I want one!

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  6. that is some pretty impressive upcycling...love the back-drop too, i spy video cassettes!!!

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  7. I love the transformation! Great Job.

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  8. I'm dying! NEED ONE LIKE THIS! Seriously you did a great refashion job, your blouse is too gorgeous.

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  9. Beautiful! Maybe I could do this!

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  10. That's some gorgeous upcycling...I wish my "slapdash" sewing looked like that, you're very talented! The print is amazing too :D

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  11. This is a great upcycle! Love it. The blouse looks so much better.

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  12. I'm so impressed, it's completely gorgeous - I'd quite like one myself.

    p.s. you have every right to look smug, I would do too ;)

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  13. that looks great! I am the same with op shops but I really need to start looking at things for what that can be and not necessarily just what they already are.

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  14. So cut I could scream. Looks great on you.

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  15. What a beautiful shirt!! I'm lovin' the new collar!

    I linked to your refashion over at Craft Gossip Sewing:
    http://sewing.craftgossip.com/lookie-what-she-made-from-shapeless-shirt-to-retro-wow/2010/05/09/

    --Anne

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  16. I'd be pretty smug too with that result! Looks fabulous!

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  17. Wow!! Brilliant job. You're right, the print is adorable and the new collar is gorgeous. I hope to see lots more upcycling projects from you!

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  18. That is so beautiful. I love the feminine neck line! Fabric choice is great for the style!

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  19. That is just gorgeous! You did an amazing job. The little bow at the collar really makes it. :)

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  20. wow this is so cute! i was worried when i saw the first photo of the original shirt, but you really pulled it off

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  21. Beautiful!! I especially like how you used the sleeve cuffs as a collar, such a clever idea... Looks fabulous!

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  22. What a brilliant refashion! The sleeve cuffs as collar is true genius, it looks great!

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  23. Fabulous! That print is so cute, and the new top looks beautiful on you.

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  24. great job, you have every right to look smug :)

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  25. What a great upcycle! It looks so nice, I especially like the new collar (great work!) with the bow details. And the print... that's just beyond... So cool!

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  26. I came from Craft Gossip. I love the shirt. Please tell us how to do that collar!

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  27. Great restyle! And you have a good eye for spotting that garment and seeing its potential.

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  28. Aw... thanks for your kind words! Really nice :)

    Paisleyapron - I initially used my homemade dress form to reshape it, but then it burst at the back so I had to resort to my body! (I'd overstuffed it with pillow innards and the masking tape sealing the back just couldn't handle it.)

    Debbie - I used the cuffs as the collar because there wasn't enough spare fabric to make one from scratch... and because I'm lazy. I just inserted the neckline into the space between the join of the cuff pieces (sorry, don't know technical term) from where I'd unpicked them from the sleeves and then restitched. The new collar pieces only reach the shoulder seams, but no matter.

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  29. Man...I wish I could sew like you! ;)
    How very creative!!! Love it!

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  30. That is so cute and I love the fabric! Was the shirt in your size but shapeless initially, or did you have to take it in and cut all over the place? The sleeves are what intrigue me - whether you had to recut them, or do a more straightforward reshape (i.e. shortening and losing the cuff).

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  31. This is really beautiful - I love the new collar!

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  32. That looks fantastic! i love the print.

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  33. Such a sweet transformation. Love the collar, especially.

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  34. Wow! I am so impressed. That is amazing.

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  35. Absolutely darling! From another slapdash seamstress;D

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  36. You are so clever - that blouse is absolutely gorgeous. I am swiftly getting to the point where I am going to start upcycling. I have started one project and seeing what you have done as given me hope for my future sewing. It's gorgeous!

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  37. wow. you did such an amazing job. i had to comment, too, because i happened to be listening to Alela Diane when I read this. when I got to the bottom and saw that you listed it... i had to smile and laugh a little. right now I'm listening to "white as diamonds"

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  38. Love this! The fabric is so cute, I wish I could sew like that. You look very pretty too.

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  39. gorgeous. i love the print and what u did with the collar.

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  40. My jaw is hanging down!!! I'm new to your blog and I can't even cook dinner, I'm so thrilled over your blog - my kids may have to order in if they wan't to eat tonight! WOW, you are so talented. I'm so inspired and I am SO going to put the little ones early to bed so I can sew tonight... how did you get the confident to sew without pattern??!!!

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  41. beautiful job. hooray for fruit fabrics!

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  42. What a perfect pick and redo! Love it! Inspired, too!

    Renie

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  43. How clever! I am reading through your entire blog tonight and I am so impressed with how far you have come in a short time. And here I have sewn most of my life and I struggle. However, I am going to rethink outfits like this!
    Laurie

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