Thursday, 11 August 2016

Flashing my shoulders

It's really rare that I get on board with something as obviously on trend as the off the shoulder look and for a long time I was steadfastly ignoring it.  Particularly as lots of the tops have ruffles round the top and I'm a bit allergic to ruffles!  However, when this off the shoulder top popped up on my radar, it was love and the refashion lightbulb went off in my head.

And to create the look, I had the perfect shirt in my refashion pile. It was fate! 
This shirt was a seriously nice quality Ted Baker shirt and I had a momentary feeling of guilt as I cut into it. This was one refashion that really needed to work or the waste gods would smite me. *Spoiler alert* it did!

Obviously mine has shorter sleeves than the inspiration garment.  I figured that if it was warm enough for bare shoulders, this also meant short sleeves.

Red detail binding on the tie sleeves plus bonus glimpse of a friends bike (I really must take better care to take photos in an area free of random objects)

I really love this top which surprises me as I didn't think it would suit me at all!  If the UK weather was only a bit better, I make a few more but unfortunately this is really not an item I need too many of.  However, I'm happy with just this one great one.

For those of you who fancy jumping on board the off the shoulder trend, I've put together a mini tutorial. 

Cut off the top, using the back yoke as a cutting line. 
I was planning on using the front of the shirt as the back of my top and so I unpicked the pocket. Portia did a post as part of the refashioners series last year about getting rid of the holes when you unpick a pocket.  Next I cut a length of 1" wide elastic to fit around my shoulders where I wanted the top to sit. Just a tip, this needs to be quite snug, it's the only thing holding up the top.  I speak from experience, I had to unpick my top and tighten it, trust me that's an annoyance you don't want to have.   Finish the top edge in your preferred way. Then there are a couple of ways to do the next step; you could create a channel for the elastic and feed it through and then sew the ends of the elastic together.  Or do what I did which was to sew the elastic together and fold over the top edge of the top over the elastic and create the channel with the elastic in place.

One of the things I loved about my inspiration top was the sleeve detail.  To recreate these, I cut the sleeves into this kinda shape (I have no words for what this shape is):
The long thin bit is on the side of the sleeve furthest away from the body.

Slit down the middle, continuing to cut until your slit extends beyond the length of the other side of the sleeve.  This will give you nice long ties, maximising the decorative effect.

I got lucky with this shirt as it had some cute details like the contrasting yoke.  I made use of this by cutting it into binding to add detail to the sleeves.  
Sadly there was only enough to bind part of the sleeve but I made binding for the rest of the sleeve from other off-cuts from the shirt-maximising the refashioning!  However, you could use some other contrast binding if you felt like it.  Once the sleeve edges are bound, your shirt is pretty much done.

I tried the top on at this stage and I wanted it to be a bit less huge at the waist so I added some darts in the back but this is a matter of taste and personal preference.

Enjoy your new top!


  1. Really love this top and the idea of making it from a shirt, I think I'm going to try this as finally got a good strapless bra yesterday (tmi?) thanks for the tutorial.