Friday, January 11, 2013

Bloomin' a peplum: Converting a men's shirt into a peplume

Hi guys! I'm really excited to share my first refashion. I've always had issues finding clothes that fit my body type and I've found a way around it! Hope you guys enjoy it. I know I did :) I was up sewing until 1 am! Just like the good old days :)

Converting a men's dress shirt into a peplume


Things to consider...

  • Price- I got my men's shirt at Salvation Army's 50% off sale that they have every week. That means I paid around $2.50 for my materials. I would recommend buying refashioning materials from thrift sales, especially if you're new to sewing, instead of using clothes from your closet. 
  • Material- I chose a shirt with a heavy knit. This is a different material than what normal dress shirts are made from. If I had to give this shirt a personality, I would call it "brawny". The main reason for a heavy knit so that you can't see your mistakes are easily. When you use a seam ripper numerous times over an area, it leaves small holes from where your needle punctured the material. 
  • Size- Yes, larger is better. It gives your more room to manipulate the material. More importantly, the it has to be able to fit your curves. I've always had issues finding shirts that fit my bust, and this shirt was the perfect size. That also meant that I had less room to work with, so choose accordingly

I don't have pictures of every step I did because I made a couple mistakes along the way and got too involved to stop and take a picture. I'll try to summarize as best as I can.

  • I removed the breast pocket and sleeves from the shirt first. 
Shot of the new arm hole

It took me longer than expected to take these apart because I was being
careful not to rip the material

  • Adjust the arm hole. The men's shirt will have a gaping hole. This means putting on the shirt, keeping buttons from gaping, and pinching the arm holes to figure out how much to take in.
  • I sewed 2 darts in the front of the shirt to help take in excess material around my waist. I started the darts a little below my bust. I also took in 1/2 inch from the sides. I also sewed 2 darts in the back
After adding the front darts and taking  it
in on the sides
Not a boob shot, just a picture of a dart up close. Look
closely at the grain of the shirt

  • By now, the bodice of the shirt should fit. With chalk, mark where you want to the peplume to start. Try to draw a straight line across, and use that as your cutting diagram.
    • Note: With a men's shirt, you'll want to pay attention to where the buttons fall. I chose to cut after the 4th button.
  • You can then do the shoulders. I folded the material where I wanted it to fall, and hemmed the insides. That sounds a lot simpler that it is. This take a lot of practice.
  • On the bottom part, I undid any threads that are associated with the darts or taking it in on the sides so that I had more material to create a ruffle
  • I used this great tutorial to create and attach my ruffle. 
  • When attaching the ruffle, make sure the button/button holes match up with each other, AND the button on the top as well.
Use lots of pins to keep the buttons/button holes aligned

  • Once attached, time to hem the bottom. I measured the distance from the shortest part of the shirt to the attached waist, and kept that length for the entire bottom. YOU'RE DONE! yayyyy!!!!
Check it out!
I had some issues with the sewing machine around the
sleeves but I'll fix that later
I'll admit, it's a little loose in the back, but I'm fine with that

This shirt is totally adorbs. I'm happy with the result!
I hope you guys enjoyed my tutorial! I can't wait to show you more projects! 

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