Shirt Refashion Entry

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Here I am modelling two XL men’s shirts. Why ?, you may ask ( a question I asked myself on more than one occasion during the following couple of days).

I belong to a local WI and for the first time our craft group decided to enter the local South of England show WI Craft & cookery competition. We entered a number of classes, one of which was a challenge to refashion 2 men’s shirts into something / anything without using any additional fabric other than interfacing and minor accessories. Unfortunately the lady who was going to do this challenge had to withdraw at the last minute , so as we had paid an entry fee I rashly volunteered to step in and produce something.

I was on holiday at the time in Manchester ( yes, I did visit Abakhans and Leon & Barry’s) so went searching in charity shops for 2 shirts I thought might work together. When did charity shops get so expensive? I swear it would have been cheaper to buy fabric in Abakhans. However, rules are rules and these were found in the RSPCA shop at a more reasonable price of £4 each.

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I decided to make a dress for myself using colour blocking on a Burda pattern ( not sure this was a good idea having never traced off and made a Burda style magazine pattern before but I started on the Wednesday afternoon with a deadline of 9.30 pm on the Friday.

Due to the large number of pattern pieces, and the two different fabrics, I first drew out the plan of what I planned to cut. Tracing off the pattern wasn’t too bad and then it was down to creative placement / use of the existing elements of the shirt. Luckily I am petite so just about squeezed a dress out of the shirts.

So here are the shirt design / construction elements reused( as opposed to fabric only)

Front with buttons from both shirts to make front of shirt dress

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Sleeve plackets with buttons from all shirts as design element on back of dress

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Contrast triangle insets from pink shirt to make design feature on split hem

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Shirt tails from both shirts to create curved hemline

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And , yes , it even fits!

I completed the dress at 9.25 pm ready for collection and submission at 9.30 pm fitting in as much time sewing as I could spare over the 2 days I had to complete the challenge when I got back from holiday.

It has confirmed one thing – I would never enter for the Great British Sewing Bee! I hated the time pressure and the need to get it right because this is going to be judged. I actually didn’t even go near my sewing machine for about 3 days after.

And the results were…..

I waited for the judging before publishing this . Afraid I didn’t get placed! The standard was high, and a lot of entries. The winner was actually a miniature dress mannequin doll – pretty off the wall for a shirt refashioning. Second prize was a lovely little toddler’s romper dress which I am told is reversible. 3rd place went to a tote bag. I’m told ( although I haven’t seen the judges comments on my item yet) that it was well received but no credit / points are given for utilising elements from the shirt.

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So  that was a new experience! At least I will know what to expect if I enter next year…..

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3 thoughts on “Shirt Refashion Entry”

  1. What a beautiful refashion and you’ve made a wonderful looking design using all kinds of element of both shirts. The result is awesome. Chapeau! And although you’re not one of the winners you’ve a stunning dress with a story to wear.

    Like

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