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!