Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Guest Post: Vicki Halliday Gets Shirty for The Refashioners 2015 #getshirty #therefashioners2015

I am very excited today, this is the first guest post on Dressmakers Social! 

You may remember Portia Laurie's Refashioners #getshirty challenge from the summer and my own post on my 4 shirts, 1 dress here

Vicki Halliday aka as @vicki_mostly_sews (on Instagram) wrote an awesome blog post about her #therefashioners2015 garment and as she doesn't have a blog of her own (she totally should!) she is guest posting here. 

Over to you Vicki!

I got all inspired by Portia’s Refashioners project & dug out this shirt from my jumble-sourced stash of items that patiently await their time to shine. 

I had just made an Alder shirtdress & was struck by the idea of chopping the length off to make a short version.

I liked the classic stripe & crisp hand of this cotton men’s shirt. After chopping off the collar & cuffs, I found the seams were all sewn with (what I call) daisy chain - it’s machine made from one thread, so once you find which direction it’s been sewn in, you can pull the entire thread out. So it was fun & pretty quick to pull apart. 

I needed to make a couple of decisions & adjustments to fit the pattern onto the fabric of the shirt. I traced off new skirt pieces to preserve the original pattern. I wanted to make a new collar but keep the button stands - I cut the fronts carefully to make sure I was happy with where the top & bustline buttons would be. 

I taped the yoke & back pieces of the pattern together to keep the shirt’s original yoke. I pieced the upper collar but the stripes were easy to hide the seam in. I cut the pockets on the bias & turned the top hem to the outside to take advantage of the fun chevron effect. I had to trim the skirt pattern a little shorter & piece bits of the sleeves together to get everything to fit the remaining fabric. And of course I saved the care label that was sewn to the button stand.

I really enjoy sewing the Alders, and this fabric was crisp & lovely to cut, sew & press. I overlocked all my seam allowances for neatness. I didn’t have enough fabric left for binding so trawled my scraps & picked out the tiny rose print. It’s a semi-sheer lawn, I inherited it from somewhere long ago & have never been sure what to do with it. The navy & gold buttons are from my stash but I remember buying them at a car boot sale this summer. 

I have got dodgy phone pics of me wearing the shirt, but I don’t like them. I was feeling bloated on the day I took them & the crisp fabric stands away from my body & I’m not sure how I feel about it. Which is a good thing. I mean, I think this shirt would look great on an associate lawyer in Suits, and I’m really proud of my sewing & I even think it looks great on the hanger. I thought maybe I’d picked the wrong fabric for this shirt, but now I think I’m just not into the crispness on my body. So it’s good because that could change. I might have a day when I want to dress for office-battle, you know? 

I guess I love what this make represents more than the finished article. It’s been created in a context of many other people feeling inspired & flexing their skills, it’s a part of something. For helping me to be a part of The Refashioners 2015, I love it. 


It is a fantastic refashion Vicki! I love the stripe matching on the yoke, the care label, bound edges and your perfect stitching! I also like your honesty, we don't have to love everything we make, sometimes the process and lessons learnt are more valuable than another item in our wardrobes, sometimes! Thank you for guest posting you are welcome back anytime!


I would love it if this blog had other "voices", if you would like to guest post get in touch!