Doesn't that always feel fabulous? All that new space for new clothes! But then again, being a re-fashionista, the pile in my sewing-room grew bigger and bigger proportionally... even more so since my husband went ahead and cleaned out his side, too...
What was I to do? Well, nine shirts later I got to this:
I used up nine shirts, most of them from my husband, only two from myself - one is missing in the picture below:
Some were short-sleeves, some long, some had stains, others were just out of style, others worn-out in some places. I tried to keep as many elements from the shirts as possible, like the collar, hems, buttons... But see for yourself, I'll give you a little how-to:
I decided which shirt I wanted to be the main-piece for the bodice - it had to be one that was in good shape, especially the collar and the buttons, not the sleeves.
I made some pleats under the bust, to get to a more fitted, feminine shape, using my dress form:
I cut off as little as possible in the beginning, just to be on the sure side. Then I went ahead and marked some style-lines with tape, and hand-basted it to the fabric, tried it on, then finally cut it off...
I did the same in the back, then attached the side pieces out of a different blouse to the back. from there, I pinned it in place at the front:
...I still left all the extra fabric attached, as you can see... only when I was really sure of where the seams would be, I finally went ahead an cut it off.
For the skirt panels I used another dress as a reference and cut them out of yet another three shirts, always keeping the button/buttonholes attached!
I went back to the dress form to position the panels. First I thought I would keep the buttons in the back, as you see below, but decided against it later. The only problem with the waist line is that the dress form has a higher waist than me. Which is why it looks a bit off...
... I did however keep the button and buttonholes on the front panels, and instead of sewing them together, I only buttoned them closed. Seems like store-bought shirts always have the same distance between buttons, I was able to button different shirts together as I wished! I also positioned the shirt parts with pockets so they would be placed where I could actually use them:
This is what the skirt looked like at this point. I first thought I could keep the hem uneven and curvy like the pieces were automatically, but I realized it was too uneven and too short altogether:
So I decided to add on in length and use the curvy original hems of the shirts that way:
Of course I had to keep the slits open. I used some bias-tape on the inside of that seam, just in case the wind catches the skirt and you catch a glance of the inside...
... what was left to do now was the facing on the arm holes, which I also finished with bias-tape on the inside:
That was basically it!
I had a cute idea for the belt: I used the button-closure of one blouse, just sewing the two pieces together:
Kind of cute, right? I used the white blouse, one of mine, which had the buttons really close together - perfect for a belt! I sewed it to the back of the dress, to cover up the waist seam, which I wasn't entirely happy with:
Pockets, buttons, all intact and useful!
I can button the collar up and unbutton the skirt sides if I feel like it :-)
Perfect dress for a Sunday pick-nick right?
When I come back, I will start my next vintage sewing project. I got lucky at an auction and bought another really old sewing book, which I will use as a reference to make this amazing ensemble (the white dress with jacket):
Best to all of you,