Friday, April 15, 2011

The Wrap Around Blouse

I have to admit, I'm totally in love with this shirt.  I wish I could wear it every day.  It all started a few weeks ago when I saw an article in the Sunday paper on the new trends for Spring.  In it was this beautiful shirt from Anthropologie:

Adorable, right?  Well, if you didn't click on the link I will tell you a few things about it.  First, it's $98.  Second, it's made out of silk and dry clean only.  Bummer!   I don't know about you, but I'm a stay at home mom on a tight budget.  Not only is a $98 shirt out of the question, but silk?!?  I would break down crying the first day I wore it when it was covered in either ketchup or bodily fluid of some kind (both equally as likely).

So, I set out to make this shirt out of jersey knit.  And, who wants to make a whole shirt?  I don't have time for that.  So, I did the next best thing.  Headed to the thrift store!  Pocket and environmentally friendly!  I had something specific in mind, a long sleeve, stripped t-shirt with a high collar.  I was really hoping for the same type of navy and white stripe, but you can't always get exactly what you want at a thrift store.  So, voila!  This is what I found.

Beautiful!  And totally worth $1.99!  Seriously, wouldn't be caught dead in public in this shirt.  Fortunately, I had a plan for it.

1) cut the sleeves off your shirt leaving 1 inch beyond the sleeve seam.  This inch is for your hem.

2) Fold down the extra inch in half.  Fold again and pin.  This is to finish the hem in the arm holes.

3) Hem the arm holes.  I used 1/4 inch seam going around.  I also started in the arm pit just to hide the doubling back.

4) Next we have to gather the front and back of the shirt.  I like to put pins in perpendicular to the seam to mark where I need to start and stop when I only need to sew some of it.  I put my pins about 4" down from the top center in the front and about 2" in the back.  Using a gathering stitch, sew across the front from one pin to the other.  Repeat for the back.

5) Pull one of the strings for the stitch to gather up the front.  It doesn't need to be really gathered, just enough to give a little pucker.  Repeat for the back.

6) Next, lay out the sleeves.  Cut them down the middle up against the seam.  Then cut one sleeve into 2 pieces, each 4" wide.  Cut the other one into 1 piece 4" wide.  So, you should have 3 pieces each 4" wide.  Cut the top where the sleeve curves straight so they are rectangular.

7) Lay the 3 pieces length wise next to each other and pin the right sides together on the short ends.  Line up the stripes (if you have them).  Sew the pieces together so now you have one really long piece.

8) Fold the two outer sections in half inside out.  These will be the ties that hang down.  Make sure to line up your stripes!  Pin them up to the seam at the middle section.  Once you have them pinned, cut the far ends at an angle.

9) Sew from the seam with the middle section to the end on both sides.  Clip the very top of the tip.  Turn them right side out.  You should now have the long strip with both ends finished and right side out and the middle section still open with the raw edges.

10) Fold the middle section in half.  Put up to the collar of the shirt lining the raw edge up against the top of the shirt collar.  Line up the beginning of the raw edge about 1 " down  from top center on the right side.  Pin the new collar piece to the old collar stopping at the top center.  This should take up the entirety of the raw middle section of the collar/ties.  Sew a 5/8" seam all around.

11) Take a deep breath and try it on!  


  1. Ohhhh!!! I am totally going to try this!!!

  2. Great refashion, I love it and so quick and easy too, I hear you on the silk, I own silk and love silk clothes however as a fellow Mum it stays in my wardrobe far from little hands!

  3. Very Clever Gal!!!

    You will probably end up making another as it is very sophisticated!!

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