Tuesday, 18 April 2017

The least transformative refashion ever

I made this shirt in the summer of 2016, around the same time as the tiny radish as a quick "saving from the recycling pile" project.

B was about to throw it out as it didn't fit, but I wasn't prepared to let this particular fabric go out the door. And I wanted a new shirt. And the placket was nicely interfaced. So y'know.

Ideally this would have become an investigation into what fundamentally makes a man's shirt different from a woman's one. But I didn't have the brain space to give it enough attention. At the time I needed a project I could do at a table in the London Hackspace.

As the title suggestes, I didn't want to transform the shirt into something new - only change it to something I could wear where the immediate impression wasn't that I'd thrown on a man's shirt. It's not a man's shirt. It's my shirt.

The undignified before

It's not simply a question of adding some darts at the waist because it was too big all over. Menswear and womenswear are different shapes all over, not just at the waist.

The placket stayed unchanged, there were no darts added. I kept the hem length unchanged as I wear some low-rise trousers on a regular basis in the office. Womens tailored shirts always come untucked. In the end my only disappointment was being unable to cut a sufficiently curved mandarin/grandpa collar from scraps. I had to go for a straight-ish one and I often wear it flat for a square-ish vibe. Otherwise I think it looks a bit odd, because it stands so far away from my neck. Oh well.

Comparing the collar to an existing shirt

Comparing shirt collars with an existing one
So most of my attention went on shoulders. It turns out men's sirts have a lot more space in that area! I pleated out some length across the shoulder blades, brought the underarm in a bit, trimmed the shoulder seams for a better slope to my shoulders and also trimmed the sleeve head to match. There wasn't much easing in the sleeve head as it's relatively wide and mobility was quite good (in contrast to a tall and narrow armscye which requires a tall sleeve head and a lot of easing to ensure mobility). The sleeve length was also spot on.

Reworking the armscye
 As always with my slim frame, I have to toe a sharp line between proportionately loose fit and downright baggy (think skeleton in a sack). I'm still npot sre if I fell on the right side of that line in this case - but hey, it's done now!

It has been worn a lot in the last 9 months, and I've accidentally dyed it a bit yellow in the laundry. Hopefully it's not too noticeable. 

What do you think...does the shirt look unassuming or does it stick out like a sore DIY thumb?



Yoke modification


P.S. You may have noticed some changes to the photos on this blog. I'm trying to get nicer pictures of these projects, but am often frustrated because I am not a competent photographer. And because daylight is a rare commodity. Any tips or reassurances would be much appreciated.

1 comment:

  1. photos are fine- I would love it if you went for 'large' or 'extra large' of some of them, though, so we could see more detail...
    And you could bash B over the head and get him to take more photos for you... Not REALLY, of course- his mother might mind... or perhaps you know her better?

    PS, love the shirt, and no, I would never guess it had been repurposed.