Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Summer Stripes

A few weeks back, I was given two button-up tops. They were the exact same shirt - same brand, same size, but with different stripe patterns. And although they were too large for me, I did really like the stripes.

I could have just taken in the sides, but I wanted something a little more unique, a little less blah than the standard 3/4-sleeve ladies' blouse. I knew I wanted to go sleeveless with both of them. Texas summers are incredibly warm, and I can always throw a cardigan over them as it gets cooler. I removed the sleeves from the first shirt, and then the collar and surrounding fabric to give a nice rounded neckline. I flipped it inside-out and took in the sides, and then hemmed the raw edges. I also sewed all the way down the front to keep the fabric from gaping between buttons. Since the fabric is a cotton-spandex blend, it has enough stretch to be able to pull it over my head, so no worries there. Finally, I used the top bits of the button placket I had removed to create little straps to cinch in the fabric just below my collar bone.

For the second, I decided to be a little more adventurous. I had seen a couple refashions on Pinterest where the collar was reused as a decorative element on a little spaghetti-strap top, so I thought I'd try my hand at that. Again, I started by removing the sleeves and collar, but this time, I took off a lot more fabric for a deeper neckline and thinner straps. As with the first, I took in the sides, hemmed the new edges, and sewed the front closed. However, I had some gaping issues at the underarms this time that weren't a problem with the first top because the cinched straps pulled in the excess fabric. So to fix that, I added a bust dart coming in from each side. And to finish it all off, I reattached the two halves of the collar to the top edge.

Not too shabby for a couple of those ubiquitous button-up blouses I'm sure we all have hanging in our closets. Go try it for yourself!

Summer Stripes Tops Before & After


  1. I love the shoulder straps on the top shirt! Very impressive. If only I could get my own act together to repurpose some of my not-quite-right clothes...

  2. They're both so cute! Nicely done, lady! :)

  3. Ok... Now I am doing some Refahions! Absolutely love the two models! They are SO lovely! Both so feminine! Congratulations Carissa! I came here throught refashion Co-op! Kisses from Portugal! :D

  4. I'd love to do something similar- how did you finish the edges on the neckline?

    1. Just a simple fold-over-twice-and-sew hem. I suppose you could use the fabric from the sleeves to make your own binding though.