19 January 2009

106. Refashion 12: Laverne Drawstring Shirt from Men's Dress Shirt

Spurred on by the results from the last men's shirt refashion, I went for another instant gratification project:
Like the last men's shirt refashion, this one has a draped bodice (thank heaven for Clementine and her flawless posture and perfectly symmetrical body) and BurdaStyle JJ sleeves/ cuffs.  Unlike the last men's shirt refashion, I kept the entire collar, shoulder seam, and front placket from the original shirt.  Also, the casing is on the outside of the shirt instead of inside, features a natural waist instead of empire, and has self drawstrings sewn to elastic ends instead of just elastic.  That covers the major bases.

This is the first men's size Small I've refashioned from.  And there was very little left by way of fabric when the new shirt was done -- just the skinniest little scraps, seams from the old shirt, etc.  Adding to the challenge was this big gash (and a couple of smaller cuts in the fabric) in the right sleeve:

But you know me: always up for a challenge!  :)  Not sure I am in love with the waist at the sides -- too poufy.  I played around with the gathering forever and I can't get the sides to hang exactly how I see it in my head.  A strategically placed dart or two would probably help.  Maybe raising the waistline by 1/2 inch would, too.  Next time, next time...

I picked this shirt b/c it works well with black pants, the fabric is 100% cotton, it has a nice sheen and perfect collar, and the front placket is turned inside the shirt and is narrow.  It's so awesome to work with a high-quality garment.

Tomorrow I'm headed to Ottawa to work for a few days.  Yes, on one of the most historic days in our nation's history, I'm leaving the country.  Regardless, I'd like to prowl around the area for fabric, vintage, and thrift stores, so if you have any personal recommendations, please leave a comment with info!  [I've got a list from Google and some recommendations from sewists on PatternReview.com.]

Have a great week!!!


  1. wow this is awesome! i tried turning a shirt like this into something that would fit me. unfortunately it didn't work out so well.

    and ooohhh you're canadian! yay for ottawa. i've only been there once with a tour. we stayed for twenty minutes. argh. i couldn't believe they called it the ottawa-montreal-quebec city tour.
    have a great time!

  2. Hi Melissa -- I wouldn't attempt refashioning without a pattern or dress form because I have a hard time wearing clothes that look DIY and I'm not good enough to "wing" professional results! LOL. I was reallllly tired when I wrote this post so I take full responsibility for any miscommunication -- I'm from Austin, TX, visiting Canada and just happen to be starting my trip on inauguration day. The weather looks... cold... beyond anything I have ever experienced. And you've been living with this for months!

  3. Antoinette--I am bogged down. A nasty cold has still got my family in its nasty grip, this since pre-Christmas! Nothing sewing-related done since, except cleaning up my sewing corner. Okay, yesterday, there was mending done. But, ugh. Your refashions keep me inspired. Have you seen this book

    かわいいクチュールリメーク (単行本),

    ISBN 9784579110254?

    This book was my inspiration when I did a clothing SWAP a couple of years ago. It had several ideas on how to refashion sweaters, handkerchiefs, and t-shirts.

  4. Hey Diane, it stinks when you're not feeling well for a long time. Hope you all get a lot of rest and kick the bug soon. I'm in Canada right now and Google defaults to google.ca, so search results are not the same as what I'd get from google.com. Haven't tinkered with it, but I will search that ISBN eventually and see the cover for the book you're referring to. What's a SWAP?

  5. your skills are meticulous! I love how wildly or subtly you transform a button down into something cute. great job!

    p.s. I hope you get to view the inauguration ceremony when you return... it shut down my office for 90 minutes this morning and we all gathered in a conference room, watched, clapped and soaked it in.

  6. hey Antoinette! Hope you are having fun in Ottawa!! Your top is ADORABLE, as always! Those cap sleeves are so perfect! Have a great trip!

  7. As always...I LOVE this. So cute. The gray color is awesome and the drawstring is a nice touch.
    Good work!

  8. You need to offer a tutorial class on how to do this!!

  9. I second the motion on asking for a tutorial! I just nominated you for a blogger award. When you have the time please stop by to pick it up.

  10. Whooops on the CAPS. I had a feeling that you were already familiar with the swap-o-rama-rama. Were the machines you worked with provided by Janome?

  11. Diana... the machines were Singer. I have heard many, many good things about Janomes but have never sewn on one.

  12. The serger really does make such a huge difference in the knits, in avoiding that annoying wavy puckering! I do have to say that your men's shirt refashions have inspired me as well, though-- I went to the thrift store last night and picked up several men's button-down shirts to play with!

  13. Oh, yeah, and I nominated you for a blog award. :) (But I didn't write the post until after the previous comment.)

  14. I would love how to make a drawstring and cute puffy sleeves! Very adorable!

  15. Antoinette, this is so cute!
    I've been longingly eying men's shirts for a while, but your inspirations are the best!

    Check out my new venture at www.thegreenvixen.com :  an online boutique  offering a selection of resplendently re-fashioned apparel  and accessories. 


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