Monday, 15 August 2011

Tie Collar Shirt-Blouse

Here's another installment of my unofficial 'what the hell can I do with an old dude's shirt' series. This blouse is a version of a batch I made at work. But my one reuses two, yes two, unwanted mens shirts, unlike the work ones that used new fabric for the collar part. Here's one of the ratty unloved shirts:

Actually, both of the shirts I used were really nice quality cotton. Initially I wanted to use the shirt pictured above for the main part with some plain fabric for the collar, but on closer inspection I found one of the lower button holes was ripped so I couldn't use it afterall as functioning button holes are kind of the point of using a shirt in the first place. So I squeezed the collar pieces out of that one instead and found another that would work ok for the body.

I can't remember what pattern I used to develop the body shape, but it's very simple and easily imitable with bust darts and subtley curved side seams for its only shaping. I did my usual and made it a touch too wide. It seems I have contracted some form of 'fit-blindness': I nearly always make tops and bodices too big and trousers a bit too small. Anyway. I used one of the collar patterns from New Look 6808.

The collar doesn't actually tie at the front. You create a loop of fabric which the ends are threaded through. Pretty genius, as you can adjust it to create an effect you are most happy with, and leave it in that position. In case you were wondering, to get in and out of this blouse, you have to undo the buttons then pull the neck hole over your head, the collar stays closed. This was another reason to avoid adding too much shaping in the body, for ease when getting in and out.

The batch of these tops I made for work had a more basic (and therefore less time consuming) armhole finishing, but for mine I wanted a neater look, so I made bias strips from the sleeves of the shirt and bound the armholes before stitching up the side seams. I really like the way the stripe appears diagonally on the binding. I could have used some of the collar fabric to bind the armholes as an additional contrast feature, but I didn't really want to draw more attention to my underarm area than was actually necessary!

Sorry for the rubbish picture below, I was trying to show you how the collar looks from the back. It's quite a substantial collar, I'm really happy with the proportions (probably because an expert pattern cutter at New look figured that bit out for us already!).

Any better at showing the full collar? No, not really!:

So there you go. I'm not done finding things to do with unwanted mens shirts. As I mentioned before, mens shirts are so ubiquitous in charity shops (and in the studio at my work) and often made from such lovely fabric, I'm determined to find ever more useful and desirable projects for the refashioning community to get their teeth into!

31 comments:

Marie said...

This is ingenious Zoe, I really, really love the collar detail!

Andrea said...

Wow, this looks great - and I agree with you about the nice cotton used in men’s shirts. I actually just refashioned one of my husband’s dress shirts into a Sorbetto top but next time I get my hands on one of his shirts I will try something like this for sure.

J.A. Gough said...

I love the many things that can be done with men's shirts. Sewing books from the 1940s/50s sometimes have really great tips and cutting diagrams on making women's and children's garments from men's dress shirts, if you're ever looking for more things to do with dress shirts.

Kestrel said...

Looks great, I do love the collar. The cotton of mens shirts does tend to get nice and soft with wear if they are good quality too.

Jane said...

Oooh it looks great Zoe. I've got this pattern AND there's an old shirt of my husband's that's too nice to throw out - it's obvious what I should do next! x

Scruffybadger said...

OOO hugely excited by yet another possibility for the pile of ladies' shirts I have - thank you (you did forewarn me & I am not disappointed!) I also have that pattern - bingo! I am loving these inspirations :-)

Sølvi said...

Oh boy, oh boy, I am loving this. And I actually have that New Look blouse pattern in my stash.

Thanks for sharing! :-)

Alessa said...

Very cute! I love the fake bow in front!

molly said...

Using old men's shirts is great because the button band is already made for you (something that is fiddly for me to make from scratch). The detail binding around the arm hole is a great idea!

Bri said...

This top is adorable and very cool that its made with recycled clothes!

Radka said...

Looks fantastic, great idea and inspiration! I have some old men´s shirts at home, I should try to sew something alike from them :)

Shelly said...

Wow! Love the collar you used it looks fantastic. I love that you are using men's shirts to refashion into garments for yourself. Fab idea!

Tilly said...

Extreeeeeemely cute. In every way. What is it about tie collars (or fake tie collars) that is so appealing? x

Miss P said...

Consistently nautical!! I love it. It's absolute genius. Hmmmm, I wonder....

Pomme et Asperge said...

Very cute! I´ll try something similar and might even try to squeeze the collar out of the shirt sleeves.... Great job!

Cecili said...

What a great refashion, if I found this top in a store I'd buy it at once! The stripes work really well with that girly collar and the fit seems perfect (as usual!)

Tracy said...

Such as nice way of using the shirts. The variation of the colours of the stripes between the body and the collar really makes it. I've got a few of my husband's stored away for refashioning after the cuffs have got a little frayed so will use this as inspiration!

lexi said...

This is such a great idea Zoe - thanks! I actually never thought of using men's shirts for refashioning; it's a great idea cause there's so many around. The collar on yours is just fab.

Psycho Sue- Sew Misunderstood said...

Super awesome idea!

Donna said...

I love what you've done there :) I have that pattern and I couldn't picture the bow without it being too girly, but your version is genius.

Melizza said...

That shirt is so darling. Great re-fashion.

sewistafashionista said...

Your bias binding is really sweet. Just using men's shirts for neat cotton binding is an idea you have given me.

Vintage Girl said...

Just too cute! What a creative, happy way to use a dude's shirt. You got me thinking about hubby's stash. He has stuff from the 80's. Anyway, love the collar and all the details you put into this. Just fab!

jessica said...

Like you, I'm also on a quest to reuse more mens button down shirts - since they show up so often at thrift shops, have nice stripes, and are often made of really. nice. material. So thank you for the continued inspiration!!! I love this one as much as the previous (and I was going to comment on it that I don't think it's unflattering on you - I think it skims your curves nicely, accentuating your figure in a way that also leaves a bit to the imagination =) if that makes any sense)

Bunnykins said...

That's soooo cute on you! Who knew you could do that with an old shirt? Hmmm.

Dilly said...

Such a cute top! I like the contrast between a "men's" stripe pattern and the very feminine collar. The New Look pattern has been sitting on my "to sew" pile for aaaaages now, I think you may have given me the spur to make it up!

Nikki said...

I love that collar! Men's shirts are always made out of lovely cottons, I'm determined to see if there's one my other half doesn't wear anymore that I can use!

elle said...

Hi there, Just purchased this pattern (and a few others) and I am blogging about others who have made these patterns and you are one of them. Hope you do not mind. I have linked you from my site so others can see your lovely work. I know yours is a mix up of patterns but its kind of relevant :)

elationcreations.wordpress.com/2011/08/19/joh n-lewis-simp...

if this is an issue let me know. :) happy sewing. xx

prttynpnk said...

One of my fav go-to patterns- love yours!

Liz said...

That looks fab!

Kudzu said...

oh, this one is good! i love the collar on it, makes it so....just right :)
kudzu

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