Thursday, May 20, 2010

How Resourceful! Alterations to a Red Blouse

This weekend I spent a couple hours browsing the local Habitat for Humanity just to see if I could find some thrifty goodies (read here to see what Craig's normal reaction is when I go to the thrift store...).

And after finding several charming mid-century dressers that I have absolutely no room for, I meandered over to the clothing and picked up three shirts for a grand total of $2.70.

This red blouse was one of them.

I was drawn to the shirt for three reasons:
1. the color. I think I must be going through a red phase because it's been popping up in my wardrobe a lot lately.
2. the front pleats. I love the way they drape down the front and remind me of a vintage-era.
3. the fabric. It's 100% silk. When you find 100% silk for less than a dollar, you buy it, people! You buy it!

BUT, as you can see by the image above, the blouse is rather frumpy. As in I'm pretty sure the last person to own it was in her sunset years. So I've brainstormed some alterations and I want you to tell me what you think...

First, I want to cut off those billowy sleeves! But rather than just take the sleeves off at the seam, I want to cut into the blouse yoke, exposing the shoulders. This line reminds me of a halter style except that the back will be closed rather than open.

What do you think so far?

Then I need to do some tailoring. I'm thinking that I will need some darts at the bustline for shape, and will probably also have to take-in the side seams a little too.

I'm hoping that these two quickie alterations will forever banish the potato-sack shape.

And this, my friends, is the final vision I have for this blouse. Silky, drapey, and not at all like your grandmother's Sunday top. Of course, this will be my first attempt at this combination of alterations, so we'll see how it goes. I suppose that if I make a total disaster out of it, I can create a lovely silk accessory out of the fabric instead.

Either way, this thrift store find for under a dollar has a lot of potential. I'll post the finished project when it's complete!

Any thoughts on my design or sewing tips you'd like to share? Post your comments below!


  1. I'm so excited to see your after. I love silk...and I've really been feeling red too lately.

  2. I think your plans are good ones. My only other thought is instead of taking in the sides, you could wear a big chunky belt on your actual waist with it. That would look super cute too.

  3. OMG I can't wait to see the finished product! You are amazing chicka! Oh - and Amy would love to have dinner or coffee sometime to get some tips from you!

  4. Thank you, ladies, for your thoughts!

    Kerri--I considered a belt, but am concerned that the blouse is not long enough to pull it off well. It is certainly worth a shot, though! Less sewing would be ideal!

    Sharry--Yay! I'd love to meet with Amy!


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