journal, wardrobe redress

Wardrobe Redress: One shirt, two ways

Hi there, it’s Karen again! A few weeks ago, Kristin let me share a few of my attempts to “fancy up” my wardrobe. This week I have two more projects to write about. Last time, I wrote about my two tactics: embellishment and reconstruction. I thought it might be interesting to see how both techniques can be used on the same shirt for different results.

the shirt

A few years ago, I was running errands with my kids and saw this shirt. (Yes, it’s another wrinkly picture.) It came in a few different colors/patterns and I couldn’t decide between two. Time is of the essence when out with my boys, so I tossed them both in the cart and hoped for the best. Unfortunately, I wore it a few times and decided that something wasn’t quite right. The neckline and fit are a bit off for my build but not so bad that it can’t be worn.

karen's blouse

embellish it

I got my hands on a copy of Crochet Adorned by Linda Permann and kept being drawn toward the “Pretty Petals Tank.” It’s a really fun and inspiring read with clear instructions. Even as a beginner, I was able to crochet the pattern below.

sc007d5585

(I found this picture on the web. Nice, eh?)

Somehow, I connected my not-quite-right shirt with this tank top. I followed the Permann’s instructions for the crochet and then used the elements to change the neckline on my shirt. I had to use fewer of the motifs but I like how it turned out. The most difficult part of the project was finding a yarn that was a perfect match. I ended up with a yarn that was close enough. Since the shirt is a gauzy fabric, it’s passable.crochet+shirt1

reconstruct it

For the second of the two shirts, I decided on a reconstruction. What I ended up doing was rather simple but it took three tries to get there. The second shirt had this fun pattern. I’m not a tall person–5-ish feet. So I think the print was too overwhelming. Still, I thought if reduced the visual impact it could work. First I tried using some elastic to make an empire waist. That didn’t look right. In the photo below you can still see the crease marks where I added and then removed a casing for the elastic.

shirt+tank1

A few months later, I was out shopping for my kids and found the blue tank in the picture. It was ultra cheap and the right size and color. Instead of trying to make a “new” shirt, I decided to make a dress. The rough sketch shows where I made my cuts. I used the bit from the bottom of the shirt to add ties to the sides of the dress to give it a bit more shape.

shirt+tank sketch

It took two attempts to get it right. The ties aren’t visible in the picture, but are sewn on the side seam where the two fabrics meet.

shirt+tank2

And, sadly, this was the best picture I could get. I probably should have dusted the mirror too but dusting is in the same category as ironing. You get the idea, right? It’s a very light and airy dress. It’ll work nicely for a beach coverup on a sweltering summer day. It’s not to early to talk about the beach is it?

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Karen Liao is a lifelong crafter and online editor for the Craft Leftovers blog. She sells her handmade goods for charity in her etsy shop, TurtleStar.

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