Anyone who has been shopping at a thrift store knows there are always A LOT of men's dress shirts on the racks. And for every shirt there seems to be a tutorial on how to re-fashion it. The challenge for this week at Project Run and Play is to create a look using a men's shirt. My goal this week was to make something I hadn't seen before. I actually began playing around with this design a few weekends ago because I didn't have a clear idea for this look. The inspiration came from two designers on last season's Project Runway, Dmitry and Melissa. Keeping in mind Melissa's cool collars and Dmitry's clean lines and tailored tucks, I tried to incorporate those elements while cutting and pinning this shirt.
One of my favorite details is that I swapped out the buttons for these vintage Czech glass buttons with little cats on them. I picked up the idea of blue and cats again in an embroidered detail on the tailored shorts I made to compliment the shirt. Two summers ago I scored several bundles of vintage suiting material at a yard sale.
This grey is a nice lightweight wool, and when lined, works well for pants or shorts. Besides the cat, I also added some piping detail on the front, from leftover shirt fabric. Also, this was my first time creating an adjustable elastic band on the inside of the shorts.
Re-fashioning the shirt was actually pretty simple. First I deconstructed the shirt by cutting off the sleeves and cutting the shirt up both of the seams. Then I turned the shirt sideways so the front button placket was over the left shoulder. Next I used a narrow t-shirt as a pattern for the bodice.
Using the existing hemline I drafted the bottom of the shirt. Originally, I thought about having a more flared out style, but after trying it on my daughter, I decided to keep it more tailored. After pinning and sewing those pieces together, I realized a side zip would be necessary. Although functional with a standard zipper (that's all I had on hand), a separating zipper makes the shirt a lot easier when dressing. The last step is creating half inch bias tape to finish the edges around the armholes. I used some fabric from the shirt, but you could use a contrasting fabric, too. I really like how unique this design is, and can't wait to make a summery white one for myself.
This piece was featured by Pam over at Threading My Way. She has created an amazing resource of tutorials through ongoing linky parties.