So, while they're off being all lovey dovey Stateside, we here in Blighty have been experiencing a rather pleasant early Autumn. But with the days getting undeniably chillier, Like most, I've been giving my Winter wardrobe some thought.
Now, I had a couple of problems.
1) I'm a big fan of layering, but not a big fan of the bulk that this can add. I like the contrast of different fabrics layered one on top the other, but not the way that shirt sleeves bunch up uncomfortably under the arms when I wear a cardigan over the top.
2) Add to that the fact that I had this vintage blouse that I loved but was 2 sizes to small for me. (The button plackets wouldn't even meet let alone do up!)
So how is it that I am managing to wear said vintage blouse, layered with a cardigan without a bunched up underarm bulge in sight?
This is the vintage blouse in question. Cute huh? Pity it doesn't even come close to fitting me AND puff sleeves don't suit me at all. The key bits I love about this blouse are the cute embroidery on the placket, the shape of the neckline (and the cute button) and the horizontal pleats at the bust. So I devised a refashion that allowed me to keep those elements, adjust it to fit me and use it as a basic for layering under my multitude of cardigans. (I do love a cardi!)
Very quick and simple this. My favourite kind of refashion! . I simply cut the sides of the shirt off so I was left with a kind of bib. Then I finished the raw edges with bias tape from my stash....
Using the fabric I removed from the sides I made two wide straps and sewed them on to join the front and back of the shirt at the sides. So the finished arrangement is rather like a tabbard apron.....
Add a cardigan, et voila! I must admit, at first it felt a bit odd putting this on. ( I kept one button of my cardigan buttoned up btw, for security purposes!) It doesn't really resemble any conventional garment I suppose, and it's probably one of my more "off the wall" refashions! What would you call it? A "layering accessory"? But I soon got used to it, and it was great to layer up without all that twisting and bunching that occurs with sleeves. Didn't flash a bit of flesh all day, didn't get too hot, and no-one was any the wiser as to what I was hiding under my cardi!
This particular refashion is designed to wear with a cardigan, really because it's what the decorative panel at the front dictated. But it's kind of a spin off of my original idea. I was on the lookout for the perfect white shirt to create a collar accessory that I could slip under my jumpers/sweaters to achieve that layered look without the bulk. A bit like this combo from Modcloth. Because a jumper is not open down the front, I'm picturing a much shorter simple bib shape that would literally just tuck under the neckline.
So in summary, here are my top tips for for refashioning your way to winter layering with shirts, but without the bulk:
1) If the shirt fits, just remove the sleeves. That way you can avoid bulk under a cardigan/sweater AND wear your shirt in the summer too.
2) If you have a shirt that is too small but you still want to layer it, then this refashion could be an option for you. It solves the fitting AND bulk problems in one go.
3) If like me you like the layered look but tend to get a bit hot with too many layers; grab yourself a shirt with a cute collar and make yourself a little collar accessory that you can tuck into your jumpers/sweaters
I'm still on the lookout for just the right little white shirt with a peter pan collar!