Thursday, January 29, 2009

From Shirt to Jacket/Shirt

I bought this shirt at a thrift store, thinking I can remake it into a new top. The tag says 2x but it seems more like a 3x because it is so big and roomy around me.

The picture on the left shows the sides held out and the right picture shows the difference when the sides are pulled back.

The Decades of Style 1092 pattern was to be used for the shirt but I changed my mind because the print on the shirt does not seem right for the pattern. I looked through my pattern stash and found Simplicity 5907, a jacket pattern. It was originally bought as a possible costume top for my daughter nearly five years ago. The largest size on the pattern is medium (14-16) but my upper bust measurement put me in the large size (18-20). So I drafted larger pieces using Nancy's technique from a Pattern Fitting with Confidence segment of her show on TV. I only saw it the one time so I hoped I did it right.

After tissue fitting, I made several adjustments to the pieces.

Narrow upper back 1".

Added 1" to front and back sides for the full stomach.

Considering that it is a loose fitting pattern, it has no bust darts. I wanted to give it more shape so I add them when doing the FBA of 1 1/4".

Slide front shoulder 3/4" to neck.

Move shoulder seam 1/2" forward.

Shorten sleeve length 4".

Seems like a lot of adjustments and I had to keep reminding myself that it is a jacket and not to get it fitted too close to my body. I did check the garment finished bust measurement against the measurement for the large size and there is 7" of ease, I think that is what it is called. I measured the pattern pieces and it added up to 7". I must not have measured correctly because after sewing the shoulder and side seams, I did a fitting and there is too much room in the bust area. I cut off 1" off the center of each front piece and repositioned the markings for the button holes. It fits better now.

There was not enough of the original shirt to make an even hem so I kept the curved hem.

These are the pieces left over. I used some of the pieces make up the rest of the sleeves.

The extra pieces were flatlocked together. I thought it would softened the look of the seams on the finished sleeves. I also flatlocked the shoulder and side seams to be consistent with the look of the sleeves.

Here is the close-up of the flatlock seams. The light from the flash seem to show the thread as dark brown but actually it is dark blue.
Yes, I added pockets in a jacket that had curved hem. I simply put the pockets in the marked places and cut off the excess where the jacket curved. There was still plenty of room in the pockets to put my hands in after that. There was not enough material left over to make the pockets so I used a black fabric from my stash that is similiar in thickness and type to the shirt. The original fabric is closely woven enough that you can't tell there is a different colored fabric behind it.

Shirt on the left is the original shirt. The shirt on the right has no collar and long sleeves.

Here is how it looks on me. I can wear it as a shirt and can also wear it as a jacket with a tank top underneath. Overall I thought it turned out well. I'm already thinking of making a tank top and pants in dark blue to go with this.


  1. You did a great job remaking this top. The fit you got after the remake is wonderful.

  2. This came out great! I love to see thrift store finds repurposed as fabric.