After the success of my first shirt refashion, I decided to have a go at another one.
I bought this very soft red shirt from The British Heart Foundation. It is really big so I thought it would give me a lot of options.
This week my parcel arrived from Megan Nielsen for her Darling Ranges, so I decided to try to use the blouse pattern as a starting point for this refashion.
I have realised that whilst many people just start cutting up their shirts and are then struck with inspiration, I have to have a plan and a reasonable idea that it will work before I can make a start. This is probably the architect in me!
I deconstructed the shirt as a starting point and placed my pattern pieces on the flat fabric. I tried to keep the front pocket but the positioning of it was all wrong once I had cut the pieces, so it had to be unpicked. Luckily the fabric steams like a dream, so the marks from the pocket are not very noticeable and should disappear more after a wash. I had to pleat the front pattern piece a little to reduce its width and enable it to fit on the shirt front. I also folded the pattern at the front button placket and lined up the edge with the existing button placket on the shirt fronts. I overlayed the buttonhole markings on the actual buttons and buttonholes. This was partly due to not having enough width across the shirt front and partly to save time and reuse as many of the existing shirt features as possible.
With the sleeves, I decided to reuse the existing hems. This allowed me to cut the sleeves to the length shown in the pattern and not have to shorten them.
I used the Megan Nielsen app when constructing this and found it really useful. The pattern instructions are the same as the printed ones, but the direct links to extra tutorials saves time when trying to get extra help on a technique.
This was the first time I had ever set in sleeves, and Megan's clear explanation made it easy to understand the process. I'm quite pleased with how they worked out. There are a couple of little puckers at the top, but overall not too shabby for a first attempt I don't think!
I had to improvise a little for the neck facing, as the button placket was pre-completed so I couldn't follow the instructions here. I used a pre-made bias tape as there was it enough fabric left for self-made. After sewing it on I folded the ends over and top stitched down from the right side. It is not as neat as I would hope, but I just didn't have time to redo it. I swapped the original beige buttons for some white ones to brighten it up, but I retained the original buttonholes.
This is the finished article and I'm pretty chuffed with the end result. It is the first blouse I have made and the colour is great for the turning weather here. We have had to put the heating on this week because it has been so chilly, so this soft red blouse is very cheering.
I absolutely loved my first experience using a Megan Nielsen pattern. I found it easy and straightforward and think it was perfect for me to learn a couple of new techniques. I have already chosen some actual fabric (not a previous garment!) to make another so that I can do the proper button placket. It is this drapey floral fabric, I think it will work well for my next version. I also want to have a go at the dress option, so I am going hunting for the perfect winter fabric... Any ideas?