I have once again been absent here far too long. I would apologize, but let's put the blame where it belongs, shall we? Squarely on the shoulders on this shirt.
I look so excited about the refashion possibilities, don't I? You see, when we moved, I joined the local Freecycle community in order to find homes for some stuff our home's previous owner left behind and some stuff we really needed to purge anyway (having forgotten we even owned them until we had to pack them). As it turns out, people offer clothes on Freecycle fairly regularly. Most of the time it's their garage sale leftovers, or maybe those few items just aren't enough to warrant a garage sale in the first place. Anywho, it's totally random, sometimes damaged clothing very very rarely in my size. But hey, I like a challenge!
So that's how this shirt came into my life - FOR FREE as someone else's wardrobe cast-off that would fit my husband and me both simultaneously (not that we tried). It had bleach stains at the bottom of the button placket and on one side. And there was a small hole on the front, near the left shoulder, above the pocket. But just look at all that fabric! Certainly I could work around the stains and holes and come out with a lovely feminine garment in the end. Right? Right?
My vision was another Sorbetto-esque sleeveless top with the original buttons down the back. In my head it was fantastic. Simple, elegant, versatile. So I got going. I removed the pocket carefully with my seam ripper.
Then I cut my pieces. First the back, making sure to avoid the bleach spots and the hole.
Then I figured, with all that extra fabric, why don't I make the front piece even wider and do more pleats? It would be even blousier and drapier and just perfect.
I added my bust darts.
And I sewed my side and shoulder seams.
I pinned my pleats and tried it on...
...and immediately realized my chest is too big for that. If I sewed the pleats all the way down, it would be too tight. But if I just sewed the pleats along the top and bottom hems, it would pouf out weirdly in the middle and look like a maternity shirt.
So I sewed the pleats only at the top. Maybe if I left the rest loose, it would drape nicely like my previous polka-dotted Sorbetto.
But no such luck. If anything it was worse. I called it a night and told myself I would get back to it the next day. And I did. I picked out my pleats and repinned them in a different way and tried it on, forgoing the photography completely out of pure frustration. Nope, don't like that. How about this? No, no, no. And this is how it went for a few weeks. Seriously. I'm a pretty monogamous crafter, so I like to finish one project before I begin the next. Only, every time I went into my craft room, I saw this staring back at me. Taunting me. Some days, I wouldn't even go into that room. I'd walk down the hallway and pretend it wasn't even there.
I filled my evenings and weekends with other activities. I knitted (sorry, super secret design submission - as is most of my knitting nowadays). I hung out with friends. I took a weekend road trip back to my hometown to visit family. I went to a tattoo parlor to provide moral support during a friend's inking. I played trivia. I did hard labor in the alley behind our house, digging and digging and digging and laying pavers so our trash/recycling bins would have a home and not have to be rolled down the big hill that is our driveway every week on trash day. See? I think it came out nicely.
And now you've completely forgotten about the-shirt-that-shall-not-be-named too, right? But then on Friday, I was called out for my absence by an anonymous commenter (see, I do read my comments!). And it was just the kick in the pants I needed. So I decided that Friday evening, that shirt would be finished before my head hit the pillow. Or at least finished enough that I could feel okay putting it aside and doing something new. I decided to go with a compromise on the pleats. I did four pleats at the top, as above, but only carried the center two folds down to the bottom hem.
I finished off the raw edges at the bottom, collar, and sleeves, and called it good.
Well, good-ish. It looks totally fine if I arrange it just so and stand still all day.
But if I move at all, that center pleats pops out and makes me look like I'm hiding a baby bump.
I'm really digging the buttons down the back though, so I would love to salvage this project if possible.
So there's no before-and-after photo today, since I don't feel like the current 'after' is truly finished. What do you think I should do?
(a) I could try to sew the inner folds of the center pleat together on the inside (if that makes sense) to hold the pleat in place.
(b) I could nix the pleats, cut a chunk out of the middle, and have a seam straight down the center of my shirt.
(c) I could cut it apart again and use the pieces to make something completely different. I still have the original sleeves untouched as well.
(d) I could toss the whole thing in the garbage (on my new paver platform!), and pretend it never happened.
(e) You got something better?
On the plus side, now that that top is no longer plaguing me, I've sewn five more garments this weekend. So I'll be back soon, promise!