Hey gals! You all are well aware, I am sure, of my love of recycling clothing, and making something fresh and new out of a sartorial item that is lacking in functionality or style. My most recent remake-obsession has been tunics. I love the challenge of taking a too-short dress or shirt, and recreating it to work with skinny jeans.
A while back, Mom found some very basic blue blouses at Target (this was before we started boycotting them for their restroom policy, FYI) for our girls’ future Andrews Sisters military-style uniforms for our singing performances. Well, our route for those costumes took a different turn, and we girls had those button-downs hanging in our closets to wear at our leisure. Well, the material that they are made from is so stiff, it really isn’t suited to being tucked into skirts without looking overly poofy and awkward. Plus, the hem of the blouse hung down abnormally low in the back, making it very suitable to wearing with jeans, though at the time none of us were really keen on skinny jeans and the like.
When I eventually started adventuring into wearing tunics & skinny jeans, however, I went on a bit of a rampage through my closet trying to find shirts to remake into tunics. I came across my stiff, blue blouse, and finding the front sitting too high for my modesty standards, but the back hitting just perfectly, I began brainstorming and set right to work on my first edition of this style of blouse’s transformation…
Using the left-over scraps from my Marguerite dress, I cut across the middle of the blouse and added a panel to lengthen the overall shirt, pleating the blouse to fit. I then patched in the curved part of the hem of either side, which came up a little too high for me on the original shirt. I was a little concerned that it would turn out looking like a patch-work quilt, or that more “country style” that isn’t my cup of tea; but I was very satisfied with the über flattering tunic that was the result!
Remember me mentioning how my sisters and I each had an identical shirt? Well, Jessica donated hers to Goodwill before I could lay my hands on it, but Brigid recently purchased some “new” blouses from Goodwill, and gave up hers to me to remake 🙂 I don’t know about you, but I LOVE using the same pattern/design more than once, and tweaking small things here and there to create a different look. So I was more than happy to take on the challenge again of reworking this blouse design!
Instead of going for a fitted style like my first version, I had loose, swinging tunics with frilly ruffles bouncing about in my head. I completely cut off the curved hem of the original blouse, and added a rayon challis ruffle to the bottom, with a second ruffle at the back to provide a bit of a high-low effect. To tie in the bold, bright print to the rest of the blouse, I replaced the white thread of the buttons with red thread, and top stitched the collar with the same. Oh my, but is this blouse fun to wear with the flouncy, bouncy ruffle on the bottom 😀 I know that the loose, swing-style cut is not everyone’s cup of tea; but I adore it personally, and love the easy-breezy effortlessness that comes with such a silhouette.
So there you have it! One blouse, remade two ways!
Which version is your favorite?
-Charlotte, the youngest sister