Re-fashioned blouses

blouse - unfinishedblouse - unfinished - inside

I thought for Blog Action Day, I should show off my recycled shirt(s?). I combined a knit pullover with a snap-front shirt. First I cut the sleeves off the knit pullover, and the cuffs off the snap-front shirt, and sewed the knit cuffs to the snap-front shirt. I put both blouses on Dolly (you can see her fancy stand underneath the refurbished blouse), removed the collar and some of the front of the snap-front shirt (on top of the knit pullover), then pinned the neckline from the knit shirt to the snap-front shirt. Then I turned the whole thing inside out and trimmed away the parts of the knit pullover I didn’t want to use.

finished blousedetail of neckline

After I had the basic foundation the way I wanted it, I took some wire organza ribbon and attached it to the raw edge of the bodice. The organza didn’t really cover the raw edge, so I laid down a piece of satin ribbon and attached it with a herringbone stitch using green cotton embroidery floss. I made a tiny yoyo out of a scrap of the printed cotton and covered up the join at the vee of the bodice, sewing down the yoyo with an invisible hem stitch and white cotton sewing thread. The last thing I did was to sew the plackets together and turn the shirt into a pullover.

I have all the scraps from both shirts, and I’m planning on making a baseball cap to go with the shirt. I’ll have to add some fabric, or maybe I can utilize the rest of the organza ribbon, to finish the cap. The only mistake I made was to ignore how the original snap-front shirt fit me; it was too large and I should have cut it down a little. But that would’ve made a lot more work, and I got the shirt done over a weekend rather than taking two or three weeks. And I like it! A little large is okay 🙂

In this day and age of cheapcheap throwaway clothes and stuffed-to-the-gills landfills, we’ve got to think about the consequences of throwing out those cheapcheap clothes. There is also the inputs to make new clothes to replace what we threw away-dyes, agricultural chemicals for growing more cotton, waste fabric from cutting out garment pieces, the impact on the employees that make the cheapcheap clothes, and on and on. I don’t buy much in the way of clothing, and tend to find things at the second-hand store or the transfer station (well, socks and undies I buy new!) rather than buy new. But I still think I make less impact, ecologically speaking, and have a lot more fun, re-fashioning old clothes rather than buying something.


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