Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Shop Your Own Closet: Turn an Old Shirt Into a New Shirt

Turn an Old Shirt Into a New Shirt 

I have been trying to make a habit of incorporating what I call “recession chic” into my design process. I thought I would bring you this shirt re-style today with a few more ideas in mind to come later. In the meantime, pull a few shirts from your closet you are not quite ready to part with, but know that they will be on their way to the thrift store if you do not find some new way to wear them. I chose a plain, stretchy sleeveless shirt with a wide jewel neck. There is nothing special about it, other than the university alumni color. Which is probably the only reason I bought it in the first place. 

In fact, it is sort of ill-fitting, as you can see. That actually worked to my advantage on this project. I was able to consume the excess in the arms-eye in the pleats. You want to choose a shirt with a very slight scoop or more of a jewel neck. A deep boat neck, which is sort of what this is will work too. (If you are unsure on these terms look back at the wedding week necklines post.) Just make sure you are able to create a straight line from the arms-eye side of the pleats to the neck line. 

Let’s change it! Using both hands, pinch pleats folding inward from each side of the shoulder strap. The reason you do not see me using both hands is that I was taking a picture with my other hand. 

This is the result you are looking to achieve. See how there is a straight (diagonal) line from one side of the shoulder strap to the other? 

Pin it in back so that the safety pin does not show on the front. 

If you are happy with this look you may want to stop here and sew it together instead of risking a pin showing through. 

If you are trying this idea on children’s clothing or something meant to have a very youthful appearance you may try something like this flower. This would be exceptionally great for kid's hand-me-downs. I found this flower pin in a bag of old costume jewelry my mother-in-law gave me. Rummage through forgotten jewelry and button boxes before buying anything. 

I tend to lean toward more simple design myself. So, I went for an interesting old, navy blue and gold shank button. I backed the pin halfway out holding the pleats together. Then I threaded the pin through the shank and wove the pin back through the remaining pleats. 

My apologizes for the “interesting” photography. Taking pictures of an entire outfit by yourself with short arms makes for some, well, different to say the least shots, but I wanted to talk you through the outfit too. I hope you have not tossed out those long layered skirts. I just almost sent this one away before I began noticing similar ones in summer clothing ads. Adding a belt to a fairly plain shirt ads style and interest...not to mention a waist. This belt cost something like $3. You can find fun, cheap, but age appropriate belts in most teen mall-type stores. 

So, Voila! I shopped in my own pre-thrift store bin for this whole outfit! 

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