Monday, November 12, 2012

Refashioning a Men's Shirt

One of the skills that I acquired in college was the ability to spot designer labels, thanks to a certain label-conscious male acquaintance who shall remain anonymous.  While I personally couldn't give two hoots about that crap, when I spotted this plaid beauty from about 30ft away in my local thrift store about two weeks ago, I knew right away that it was Burberry's signature plaid (oh la la!).  It was a men's XXL, which meant that it wouldn't fit me or my hubs, but I figured that at $2.50, it was worth buying even if I only ended up cutting it up and using the fabric for purse lining (oh the irony!).  My college acquaintance would probably faint upon hearing that!

When I got home and looked up men's Burberry shirts on their website, there wasn't a single one going for less than $250.  This, combined with the fact that the shirt is made up of the softest flannel ever (*sigh*), motivated me to find a refashion tutorial instead of sacrificing it to the purse lining gods.  

(PS: You like that "before" picture?  That's what I end up with when I don't have anyone around to take a picture for me!)

Luckily, I found the perfect tutorial for retrofitting a men's shirt to fit my girlish figure over at JLTFK.  I'm by no means a sewing expert--I know just enough to be able to use a sewing machine comfortably--but this tutorial was straightforward and easy to follow, so you should definitely check it out if you've ever gotten the urge to tailor something but don't know how to begin.  My seam ripper was my friend when I made mistakes, and I used a shirt that I already had in my closet for further reference when I couldn't quite figure out how big the make the darts.  

I can't emphasize the importance of measuring and trying stuff on before you trim off any excess fabric!  Of course, the shirt won't fit perfectly until you've got all the excess fabric trimmed out, but it will give you a good indication of how it's going to fit.  At the very end I got lazy and eye-balled the hemline, and accidentally hemmed it too short by about 2-3"!!  I was SO mad at myself, but you can bet that I'm not going to make the same mistake next time.  

Even though it's too short to wear on it's own (lest I bare my midriff every time I throw my hands in the air), I'm currently wearing it as a loose cover-up over a tank top, and it looks great.


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