Monday, July 6, 2009

Refashioned Linen Shirt-Jacket

100_1597  100_1546

I have finished my two-month Wardrobe Refashion pledge, and signed on for another two months.  This means that I will not buy any new clothes for the duration of my contract.  Instead, I will change what I already have to make it work better for me. 

wardroberefashionbutton report on the last two months

Given the selection where I live, and my tightwad nature, it was easy to avoid buying new clothes for two months.  For my last contract, I also pledged not to buy any thrift store clothes. This was harder.  I broke down once on a stressful day.  

One of the items I thrifted that day was the linen shirt-jacket pictured above.  I bought it for its nice quality (Nygard) and espresso brown color—my favorite neutral. 

The garment had issues, though. 

Many details would have to go, and it was way, way too big.   

Here’s what I did to it.  

  1. Removed pockets, sleeve-rolling-up straps, cuffs, belt and belt loops.  
  2. Took in the side seams a lot.  A more skilled sewer might have removed the sleeves and cut a new armhole, but I don’t know how to do that.  This was a learning experience. 
  3. Took in the sleeves by about two inches. 
  4. Put in six new vertical pleats.  There were already four—hard to see in the top photo.  
  5. Topstitched in white to add vertical lines and interest.   
  6. Shortened the hem by about 3”.
  7. Finished the sleeves and hem with a raw edge. 

here’s what the back looks like now:


Back pleats:  Two were there already, and two are new.  (Now that I can see the back when it’s on, I think I need to take it in further to remove that flappy stuff in the middle.) 

here’s part of the front:


Front pleats: two are new and two were already there.  Two other new ones were not topstitched—they’re kind of acting like bust darts and were not entirely successful.  You can just make one of them out on the right side. 

You can also kind of see the raw edged hem in this shot.  This is to make the blouse a little less staid-looking.  I used my new thrifted 75-cent pinking shears after putting in a row of black stitches near the fabric edge—hoping that after washing, the pinked look will rough out into a cute but not stringy raw edge.   

here’s the collar and some new stitching:


This part was fun.  The collar and placket each had single rows of white stitches.  I added more in irregular lines to make it more interesting. 

Do you have a Wardrobe Refashioning story to share?

Here are my other posts on Wardrobe Refashioning.  And if you’re interested in learning more about this cool website and how the pledge works, visit Wardrobe Refashion here

thanks for visiting…Sallymandy  


notSupermum said...

Well done, that would be beyond me. I can sew a button on but that's about it!

Protege said...

Ah, you are so talented.;)) As many other of my blog friends here.
I think it is time for me to get that sewing machine. I have to admit that I can not go 2 months without buying new clothes. I just love clothes to much. But I do end up with a lot of old clothes, which I try to give to charity and Red Cross. Recently I have been thinking of selling some of it to second hand stores.
But to re-furbish what I already have has not been on my schedule; perhaps it is time to change that and start trying.;)))

Anonymous said...

I love when you post your refashoning pics - they are so clever, and I am intrigued by what you do to create a whole new look. I also love the idea of pledging to not buy new clothes, but to update/refashion existing pieces in your wardrobe! Very creative, very fun, very productive. Hope you post more!

Tessa said...

Amazingly well done, Sallymandy. I'm very impressed.

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

What a fabulous idea. I have not gone so far as to re-fashion any items, but I have been avoiding buying anything new, determined to find new ways to match and style what I have. It is so doable.

I also do this with entertaining and cooking. I love to decide that I will make a beautiful spread with only what I have on hand. It becomes an interesting challenge, and I always surprise myself. Friends and family have no idea that it is a pantry meal.

This goes with my belief that the opposite of "consume" is to "create". If we can be creative with what we have, we will not use up the earth's resources at such an incredible rate.

Love this blog.

Pyzahn said...

Very nice! You are fortunate to be so creative and talented. I lack fashion vision. But dark brown is also now one of my favorites. And thanks to Mark Jacobs, I'm comfortable wearing it with black. (Ah, I heard that shudder.)

My big splurg this week...I found a great pair of Ralph Lauren khakis (yay, long enough) and a Gap cotton long sleeved shirt with very thin blue/white stripes. Each $3. It takes so little to make me happy these days.

Profoundly Superficial said...

Come on over to sunny Amsterdam! I have a wardrobe full of clothes waiting to be refashioned!!

Ingrid Mida said...

Nicely done! I think the best way to learn is just to jump in and do it!!

Duchesse said...

I applaud your spirit of adventure; experimenting on thrift shop items is a low cost way to practice skills. (I canpt believe how much expensive fabric I've wrecked experimenting.)

Poetikat said...

Wow! You are very clever with a sewing machine. I envy that! I liked the original styling, but I can see where the new version would be very comfy.



Impressively done lady!
I made(errr... attempted) a simple top using 2 vintage scarves, but it was a horrrible...but no regrets!

Stephanie N. said...

Hooray, sallymandy! That looks like it was a really complicated project, with lots of steps involved. I admire the freedom you incorporated, especially the artsy stitching. I can see how this shade of brown would look great on you.

And you thrifted pinking shears for 75 cents? I think your small temptation was actually guided by the refashioning gods. It was meant to be!

Marie Lemondrop said...

Love the pretty contrasting stitching, fabulous job and I admire the contract to keep the buying at bay. I need to follow your lead!

Maria Killam said...

That is so inspiring! I love it!! I need to do this too!

Lori ann said...

Wow, so fun and creative. I love the touches that you gave it, the topstitching especially. I am going to get out my machine soon. Soon as my kids are off to college!

Imogen Lamport said...

It looks fab!

Mardel said...

I really like what you did with that, and the topstitching is just a stroke of genius. Have a pile of refashioning building up. hmmm.

see you there! said...

Great job. I really like the asymetrical detail on the collar. Made me stop and really look.


Heidi said...

That's lovely!

studioJudith said...

Brilliant !
Really love your stitching details .. .

justlinen said...

This is a wonderful post! Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us! I hope to read more of your post which is very informative and useful to all the readers about linen shirts. I salute writers like you for doing a great job!