Last summer, Portia, the writer behind Makery did something special as part of The Refashioners 2015… she opened it up to the public!! She challenged her chosen ones, and the rest of the internet, to ‘Get Shirty!’ and take a men’s shirt and turn it into something new! Sounds easy enough doesn’t it?! The general competition, which had a fantastic prize donated from those who originally took part in last years Refashioners, closed on September 30th 2015 and there were some fantastic entries, which you can see here on Portia’s Pinterest Board. If you want to see who won, check out this link here.
Now, I am pretty sure you’re all wondering why I am writing about this 4 months after the competition closed and a winner was announced. You see, I took part in this refashion but also kinda didn’t. I bought a shirt from one of my local charity shops, unpicked bits of it, stitched some of it back together and made a skirt… Before the deadline… But never entered it into the competition. It just sat on Mona, the Mannequin, until today, when I finally decided to photograph it (and wear it).
Let’s have a look at it, shall we? We started out with this paisley number, originally from M&S:
I’d already decided that my refashion would be of the shirt to skirt variety, all I had to do was find the right shirt to begin with! I really liked the print on this one and I knew the colours would be easy to pair up with other items in my wardrobe, so after walking out of the shop to see what else my work town had to offer and instantly regretting it (in case someone else bought it) I returned and purchased it for a meagre £6. Bargain!
I knew I wanted to keep the original hem and the button stand of the shirt as this would help keep the refashion rather simple, and I also wanted to use some of the discarded parts to make pockets!! Because skirts with pockets are up there with some of the best things in life: getting into bed with clean bedsheets, chocolate, wine, cat videos etc… But these wouldn’t be just any pockets as they would also feature part of the collar, a prominent feature on the majority of men’s shirts, to show some of the history of the original garment in its new form.
In order to start, I unpicked the collar stand from the body (this stays attached to the collar in order to, again, keep things simple), then the shoulders, sleeves and, finally, the back yoke. I then measured how long I wanted the skirt to be and cut straight across the front and the back of the garment.
Using half of the collar, I then worked out how big I could have the pocket and the angle of the pocket opening. I got to work creating the pocket bag pattern pieces, and stitched the pockets in place. All seams were either overlocked or caught into the collar stand seam (just like it would be on a shirt!).
Next I measured how long and deep I would need my waistband to be. I had to cut this out of the sleeves, so unfortunately it is not cut on the bias (which means it doesn’t have much give). I interfaced one half of the waistband to give it some structure and then got to work in gathering the top of the shirt in order to fit the waistband, I then stitched everything in place.
Finally, I took off all of the original navy buttons and replaced them with silver buttons, 4 of the same size as those originally on the skirt so that they’d fit the button holes, and one large sparkly shiny button for the waistband (that I needed to make a buttonhole for anyway).
All in all, the refashion was successful, and I actually love the skirt. Having worn it today, I feel it suits my personality and is something I will be wearing a lot of in 2016!
Thanks Portia for encouraging us all to get involved with The Refashioners 2015!! Sorry, I didn’t make the effort to send my photos in time, but it was fun all the same!!
I hope you’ve all had a lovely weekend!!