Wednesday 26 August 2015

A super summery vintage shirt refashion

Hello everyone.  Have you guys been following the Refashioners series hosted by Portia.  If not, stop reading and get over there now as it's awesome!  I have been totally inspired by all these talented ladies and since I love a good refashion and it was one of my Goals for 2015 to do more, I jumped on board.

Like Marie, my refashion is also a refashion and vintage pledge mash-up.  I recently obtained this gorgeous 1976 halter dress pattern.

However, much as I desperately want a dress like this in my life, I don't currently have time to make it, nor does the Great British summer seem to want to commit to the kind of sun that I would need to wear it.  On the other hand I have been having slightly weird obsessive dreams about a stripey halter top, which my wardrobe has never needed before but apparently my subconscious is screaming 'you need this in you life now!'

When I discovered this lovely men's large stripey shirt in my stash, my subconscious could not be contained and so the current refashion was born.  I have no idea how this shirt made it into my stash, it was too trendy/unworn to have belonged to my Dad and too large to have belonged to my boyfriend but it didn't have a price tag on it which means it probably wasn't one of my charity shop finds-mystery!  Thanks to the unknown donor though, it was perfect for my needs, a gorgeous crisp cotton shirt is perfect for a woman's summer top!  Men beware, keep an eye on your wardrobes, we're coming for them!

I cut the bodice pieces of the dress out as usual, just extending the halter pieces by 4cm to accommodate for long torso. In hindsight I should also have lengthened the bodice pieces as the waist seam sits higher than I would like. It felt a little wrong cutting into this shirt which is not a feeling I've had before when refashioning but I guess this shirt felt like something special and I was temporarily ruining it.  I cut the midriff piece across the placket as I still wanted to retain some of the details of the original shirt and I thought it would be a nice feature for the middle of the top.  I was at this point that I discovered that even a men's large shirt does not have enough fabric for a fully lined halter top and had to head back into the stash.  Luckily I had some scraps of another shirt in there, which were left over from a shirt I had 'rescued' last time my boyfriend tried to give some clothes to the charity shop.  They were perfect for the lining pieces, even though my boyfriend is slim and his shirt really don't have the quantity of fabric that larger ones do.

For the bottom of the top I used the skirt pieces as  a guide but I  knew I didn't want a straight peplum top that doing this would have given me so I started to play around with the lengths of the different pieces I had left.  When trying on the top I thought the different lengths looked good and so I headed to the internet who confirmed for me that asymmetrical hems are a 'thing'! So it was time to start working out how to make this a design feature.  What do you think?  Can I pull it off as a design feature or does it just look like I was too lazy to hem it properly?

The pattern suggests using a hook and eye to close the halter but I created a couple of button holes and reused the buttons from the shirt. 

And ta da!  One (and a half) men's shirts into a vintage summery halter top.  Suitable for wearing in the glorious sunshine of the south of France which is where I've been on holiday for the last few days.  Although before you get too jealous, the last day was the only day warm and sunny enough for me to wear this top, we managed to get the only 2 days of rain that they've had in 3 months!  How about you, are you taking part in the refashioners?


  1. Hi Alexa! This is LOVELY! Like that you played with the hem detail too! Nice job! Px

    1. Thanks Portia. I really had fun fun with this make and enjoyed taking part in the Refashioners challenge!