Monday, March 2, 2015

More on purchased shirt transformation

A year or two ago I bought a nice linen-cotton white shirt at a thrift shop.  It proved to be unwearable,as the facings, even when ironed (as they were not in this photo), moved around and showed through the shirt:
Just kind of annoying, so I kept the shirt but didn't wear it.

If you've never seen the book "Fine Machine Sewing", by Carol Ahles, I recommend it.  I learned much more about sewing and my machine than just how to do fancier stitching, which is a big part of her focus. One of her common themes is taking ready-to-wear and improving on it, so an ordinary garment becomes special. And, one of her approaches is to use heirloom stitches to sew facings in place... just the ticket.

Unfortunately, my machine didn't have quite the
right stitch, which as I recall is the "Parisian".  Here's an example of a test stitch.  Carol recommends this for facings with a folded edge, but it didn't quite work.  Might also have been related to the size needle I was using at the time (too small).

I spent quite a bit of time testing stitches, and was grateful to have my little pile of linen scraps, very handy.

In the end, the finished shirt looks like this:

The stitches on the collar are original, the ones on the shirt front are new. One miscalculation was that the facings are not symmetrical when the shirt is buttoned, which to my eye looks a little off. So it's likely I'll wear it as an over blouse covering a tank, or maybe a sleeveless dress.

Happy sewing!  Kate

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