Sunday, October 05, 2014

Sunday Sew-Day: Tie a Bow Around It

This is my sewing desk sans beading supplies.

Sewing desk

Yep, that's right. It's back to sewing, for now at least.

I recently picked up this nice black blouse with cream-colored bows all over it. It was $3.99 at Goodwill, it's Lauren Conrad from Kohl's, and it's brand new.

Bow Blouse - Before

It still had the security device attached, in fact. I asked the cashier if that meant someone had stolen it. She said no, Kohl's, like a lot of retailers, donates their unsold clearance items to thrift stores, and apparently a security device just fell through the cracks. I figured, since I was planning on refashioning it anyway, I'd just cut that part out. No biggie. But before I had a chance to say that, the cashier says, if you take it back to Kohl's with your Goodwill receipt, they'll remove the device for you. So a short detour on my way home, and that baby was history! Hurray!

Bow Blouse - Before

I rather liked this blouse, just not the extra-large-ness of it, and the weather has finally started cooling off, so the idea of long sleeves is becoming more appealing. So a simple take-in was really all this piece needed. I removed the sleeves by cutting just on the body side of the seam, leaving the serged edges attached to the sleeves.

Bow Blouse - In Progress

Then I used a well-fitting blouse and pinned about an inch out from the sides on the bow blouse.

Bow Blouse - In Progress

I sewed new side seams with the shirt right-side-out, then cut about 1/8 inch away from that seam. I even snipped off and re-inserted the laundering tag in this new seam, which you'll see in the next shot.

Bow Blouse - In Progress

Next, I flipped it inside-out and sewed again about 1/2 inch from the previous seam, encasing my raw edges in a french seam.

Bow Blouse - In Progress

With the shirt folded and the armholes pinned together to ensure symmetry, I trimmed off a bit to make the shoulders narrower.

Bow Blouse - In Progress

Then I stuck my right-side-out sleeve into the inside-out armhole and stitched them back together. Cutting off a bit of the body at the shoulders pulled the too-long sleeves up a tad, making them a more appropriate length. This also means the tapered sleeve rides higher on my arm, making it fit better circumference-wise. Two birds, one stone.

Bow Blouse - In Progress

Since I left the original serged edges attached to the sleeve caps, I simply folded them downward on the inside, toward the body, and top-stitched all the way around. This not only encases the raw edges, but also gives it a more professional finish, quite similar to the original construction, actually.

Bow Blouse - In Progress

Now it fits much better, with a more hourglass shape rather than a boring box.

Bow Blouse - AfterBow Blouse - After

I paired it with jeans today for a casual look, but it'll also be perfect for the office with my black blazer and/or pencil skirt.

Bow Blouse - AfterBow Blouse - After


Bow Blouse - Before & After

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