When I first saw this reconstructed long-sleeve shirt project on Tomoko Nakamichi Pattern Magic Vol. 3, I thought I can bring new life to that ill-fitting grey long-sleeve shirt that I almost gave away to Goodwill. So I dug it out from my charity pile and a week later, this casual piece is born.
Out of all three pieces, this took me the longest since the fitting is rather…..interesting. Basically, you cut out the right arm of the long sleeve shirt and make it the place you slip your head in (yes, that’s right). From there, mark the place in the right seam where you need to make a hole for your right arm and make that right arm hole. Adjust the rest of the side seams and this shirt is born. Easy? Not for me.
For starters, it took me several fittings to mark the place to make the new right arm hole. Then I have to adjust the hole on the left shoulder (it was originally the place you slip your head in), decided that the left arm needs zipper to make it stand out more, and then I have to fix the neck line since the one outlined in the book doesn’t sit well with the fabric.
Of course, this finished garment is far from perfect. But I really enjoy making it and I’ll have fun wearing it as well :) I’ll wear it with sheer sleeveless black top underneath it or solid-colored tank top. Skinny jeans work best, I think, with high heels. A fedora hat or beanies can complete the look, as well as one arm warmer for the right arm. I can’t wait.
Have you ever reconstructed your shirt?
Earlier this month, I was thinking about transitional pieces that I can make before Spring 2011 comes and decided to do some easy-to-make top pieces using my two favorite books, Koko Yamase’s Kakkoii Couture Remake (the one I used to create Three New Additions to My Wardrobe) and Tomoko Nakamichi’s Pattern Magic Vol. 3. Using those awesome books’ guidance, I finished three tops.
This one, the convertible top, is the easiest to make. You just need about 3 yards of stretch fabric (depending on your torso length, you may get away with 2.5 yards) length-wise. The width depends on your hip’s diameter. For me, the fabric length is roughly 2.7 x 0.5 yard for a long piece of bias-cut, striped-pattern, blue nylon fabric.
Fold the fabric in half, wrong sides facing together, and sew together the long sides of the fabric (0.5 inch seam allowance), starting from the edges (not from the folded corners) for about 15 inches long. Seam the bottom part (the 0.5 yard in my case) and you’re done!
The 15-inch-diameter “tube” part is for your hips, and the rest is free for you to form on your upper body. Oh, and it’s backless :) You may want to use stretch fabric that has some friction on it so you don’t have to adjust your convertible top every so often. Otherwise, using safety pins in invisible places is totally handy.
I love this top, the bias cut is awesome, and it’s great for casual weekend shopping dates or work outfit (throw some black pencil skirt and tuck in the tube part of the top), some kitten heels and beige trench coat will do the trick). You can layer it with a lace shirt (preferably black) on the inside too.
Try it out,