This is a slightly longer story than I usually tell. Bear with me.
A couple of years ago I bought a very expensive silk shirt with horses on it. It made me very happy until the dye bled all through the underarm area (overshare alert: I seem to have Acid Rain strength sweat). I took it to the dry-cleaners and they said they couldn’t do much without destroying the fabric and I didn’t want to try water in case of more bleedage. I was about to give it up as lost, when husband asked how much I had paid for the shirt. EEEEK! When I told him, he then said “Return it” which I hadn’t actually considered. The shop were awesome about it which was great but sadly no more shirt.
Husband then asked what was so special (read: Why was it so expensive?) about the shirt. The answer was, of course, the print. He enquired as to why didn’t I just make myself something similar to which I replied I wouldn’t be able to find fabric like it anywhere.
He then suggested that I bought some fabric from Spoonflower because he is awesome and knows about sites such as this, because he (mostly) listens to me yabber on about these things. My response was that it was *very expensive* to buy fabric from this site to which he queried “As expensive as that shirt?”
So I went online shopping and found some amazing fabric on Spoonflower, which made my heart sing as much as the horsies had, to make a replacement shirt with. I purchased some in a lovely organic silk cotton and made it up into a shirt using Simplicity 7214, a vintage pattern from the late 60s.
May I present Exhibit A – The Mermaid Shirt. I fussy cut my keister off with this one, every piece individually placed and carefully cut. I also french seamed and hand sewed where appropriate. Much care was taken.
I thought this shirt was going to be the answer to all my prayers. Sadly no. I wore it about four times and felt all wrong in it.
- I meant it for ‘going out’ wear, however when I go out I usually wear dresses
- For casual going out, paired with skinnies and heels, it felt ‘not me’ – I felt like I was dressed up as another woman
- The collar sat too high and the points weren’t even, which ground my gears
- It pulled a little across my (enormous – not) bust
It sat unloved in my wardrobe and in the meantime I made a jacket with some of the remainders.
I discussed with my number one sewing buddy: my sister. Her wisdom was to start with the part of the shirt that irked the most. So out came my scissors and I whacked off the top of the collar.
It was a good start. But I needed to do more. So I cut the bottom off to make it straight, and also cunningly stitched a little dome into the placket to keep it from pulling.
Much happier with the outcome. And I wore it out recently on a hot, muggy evening as a soft, light jacket.
Think the process has gone swimmingly.
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