Archive | April, 2010

Brown Shirt Refashion

30 Apr

Brown Rayon Opshop Shirt

I bought this rayon shirt at the opshop when I was very pregnant. I assumed that just because the shirt fit at the shoulders, it would fit fine after I gave birth. However, I discovered that it was extremely billowyat the bottom and completely shapelesss. The collar was too high as well and the bow didn’t sit properly. I decided to do something about it.


Knowing how well my first refashion turned out, I decided to do the same to this shirt. I planned to lower the collar and cut off the midsection and substitute it with stretch blue ribbed material.

Below I cut off the midsection about 8 inches above the hem.

Cut off midsection of shirt

I then measured myself around the waist and cut off a swatch of blue knit ribbed fabric less 2-3 inches in length, and the same width as the midsection that I cut off from the shirt.

My deep blue ribbed knit

I joined the two raw edges of the ribbed knit to make a tube and overlocked the other raw edges.

Overlocking the raw edges of the blue ribbed knit

Here below I’m overlocking the edges of the brown shirt.

Overlocking the raw edges of the brown shirt.

Next I pinned the ribbed knit tube to the brown shirt right sides together, pinning in quarterly intervals.

Pinning right sides together

This is what it looks like after the tube is sewn on.

Half way there.

To lower the collar, I unpicked the the collar seam and recut the collar to where I wanted it to be.

The unpicked collar

The new collar position.

And I sewed the collar band back on.


The finished refashioned shirt.

I like it so much better. Wyld Man likes it too.

Encounter Bay Op Shops

8 Apr

Went on a trip to Kangaroo Island and Encounter Bay over the Easter long weekend. Thought I’d try my luck at the opshops there. Wyld Man was very accomodating-knowing my love for bargains. There were two opshops that I knew of, a Salvos one, and a Lifeline one. However, on this trip I found 2 more, a Save the Children’s Opshop, and one more which seemed new, but didn’t have a name.

I didn’t expect them to be open on Monday, being a religious public holiday, and Salvos and Lifeline being run by volunteers, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I was wrong. I went into Salvos, looking for but not really expecting to find any sewing books-but what do you know, I found a 3 really good books between 1 and 2 dollars each as well as a really nice denim skirt with a flounce, a style which I really love.

Stretch Denim Flounced Skirt. AUD4.50

Another view

I was really glad I found this, because I was actually planning to make one. I already have a similar one which I made with a maternity stretch panel…

My maternity flounced denim skirt

…but it’s become too loose to wear since I gave birth. So this will do nicely.

The books I picked up were these:

1. Singer: How to Sew Fashion Knits

Singer: How to Sew Fashion Knits


Another look inside

Boring line drawings, but useful information on knits. 99 cents.

2. The Bastford Book of Sewing by Ann Ladbury

The Batsford Book of Sewing

I’ve got no idea why it’s called the BATSFORD book of sewing-there is not explanation inside as to why, and the author is called Ann Ladbury, so I assume it’s not sewing methods that she’s invented, but someone elses. Printed in 1977, has 500 drawings and phtographs, and divided into alphabetical sections starting from Alterations, Belts, to Waistbands and Zips. A little counter-intuitive, as I was puzzled when I first turned the page and straigthaway saw the section on Alterations. Normally sewing books start with fabric and equipment first, before graduating to techniques. I suppose the author decided to make it into a sort of alphabetical sewing dictionary.  Below is an inside look.


Another page

Another inside look

For 99 cents, a pretty good find.

3. Singer: Children’s Clothes, Toys & Gifts

I was really happy with this one. It’s a Reader’s Digest publication, and I love their books. I have a Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Sewing, the 70’s edition, and I love it. I found that book at the same Salvos store too.

Singer: Children's Clothes, Toys & Gifts

Elastic Waistbands


Rugby Plackets

Collars with Faggoting

Insulated Jackets

This book was AUD1.99, but with tons of pictorial guides – totally worth it.

I got the fourth book at a second hand book shop next to Lifeline, called Creative Serging Illustrated by Palmer, Brown and Green. This wasn’t run by a charity organization, so I had to pay AUD5 for this one.

Creative Serging Illustrated

Failsafe Fundamentals

Heirloom Sewing

Flatlocking for a topstitched look.

Books on serging don’t come up very often, so I’m glad I got this one.

At Lifeline, I stumbled on a treasure trove of fabrics. It’s not often that you find fabrics at opshops. Maybe 1 out of 6 opshops will have them? I got at least 20 maters of fabric for AUD20.

My New Stash

I was extremely happy to pick up this all-wool luxury flannel from England, the type for men’s suits. There was at least 3 metres of it. I won’t quit be able to make a suit out of it I don’t think, but defintely a skirt.

Beautiful striped wool flannel.

All Wool Luxury Flannel

It’s been cut into, but there’s still a substantial yardage of it. Yay!

This was another piece of fabric that I picked up-I’m pretty confident it’s a wool, though not as high quality as the one above.

Another wool material

A pretty plaid

I thought the plaid would make great little pants for the Little Wyld Man.

A pretty rose cotton print

Really soft. Would make a pretty dress. Pity winter is coming up.


I was also lucky enough to come across a bunch of knits, which are quite expensive retail. I snapped up everything they had available.

I love the opshops at Encounter Bay!

White Shirt Refashion

7 Apr

My lovely mother-in-law picked up a size 10 white shirt from the op-shop for me. It was just my size and looked just like this.

White Shirt

But it’s a little boring. And a little too office-ey? And I don’t generally wear shirts like these. However, I had an idea brewing at the back of my mind to refashion it into something else.

I decided to cut off the sleeve and the midriff section.

Measuring the underbust

I had to determine how high the underbust line was.

Measuring the sleeve

I made a mark at the sleeve at the same height as the underbust line.


I then proceeded to cut the sleeve and the midriff off at the marks. My mum wasn’t convinced of the soundness of this-seemed a perfectly fine shirt to ruin. But I forged ahead.

The slashed and unrescuable shirt.

Replacing the cut sections with wide strips of black stretch material.

I intended to replace the lower bodice with black stretch fabric that I got from the op-shop, as well as make cuffs from the same material as the sleeve. I measured around my waist and cut a strip of fabric 2/3 my waist measurement in width, and twice the original cut-off bodice length. This is because I want a double fold of stretch black material to go around the my abdomen. I cut cuffs also 2/3 my arm measurement, and about 5 inches in lengh, which again will be doubled so that I have a double fold cuff.

I didn’t show the steps here, but I overlocked the edges of the white shirt at the sleeves and the bodice, and sewed the stretch material onto it.


My mum was impressed and conceded that I was right. Wyld Man loves this shirt and I wore it to the Little Wyld Man’s christening.