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A Pleasant Peasant Top
Bursting at the Seams

When I bought this rather large shirt (a men’s 4X!!) at the dollar-a-pound Goodwill, I had no idea what I would end up doing with it.  I figured it was worth buying  just for the fabric.

Life cereal brings out the kid in me!

This shirt sat in my “before” pile for about a week before I came up with an idea of how to use it.  I decided to turn this huge shirt into a cute khaki shirt dress, like the ones I’ve been seeing/coveting in stores lately.

I seam-ripped the breast pocket off, and put it aside.  I couldn’t keep it where it was, as a seam would end up going through it.  Don’t worry!  It’s coming back later, I promise!

Don't call it a comeback!

Now, I had to begin the taking-in part.  This wasn’t easy.  I put in on inside-out and pinned it at my underarms (where the new sleeves would start), bust, waist, and hips.  It was difficult to see exactly how much I would be taking in, given how huge this thing was.  I kept my estimates conservative.  I knew I could go back and tweak it more later.

I took the shirt off, and marked in chalk where the pins were, using my measuring tape to keep each side even.  Then, I drew a chalk line between the points to give me a better idea of the shape.

Prepping for the big operation!

Then, I pinned each side down, being careful to keep the fabric smooth.


Next, I carefully ran each side under my machine, making sure the fabric didn’t bunch up, which it realllllly wanted to!

Reshaping in progress!

I used my pinking shears to trim off that excess material.

It's starting to shape up!

Now, as you can see in the pic above, it still doesn’t have much shape.  That’s okay.  I planned on having to tweak it a bit more after I got the size down.  As it was still a bit too big up top for me, I put it back on and pinned the arms, bust, and waist a tad more to give it a curvier shape.  I ran it through my machine, and cut off the excess material.  No biggie!

I wasn’t done yet!  I took that sad, neglected pocket, and pinned it near the bottom of my new dress.  I love pockets, and would hate to see this one go!

One hand holder...coming right up!

I used a contrasting maroon thread to sew it on.

Hooray for Pockets!

Now…my new dress was fitting much nicer, and was made even better with its new pocket.  However, I wanted a nice sash to cinch my waist, and give my new safari dress a bit of flair.  Luckily, I had plennnnnnty of leftover material from the sides of the original shirt. 

I cut three strips like so:

Uno! Dos! Tres!

Then, I sewed them to each other, keeping the raw edges tucked in, like so:

Hiding those raw edges!

Now, I had one, long strip of fabric.  I pinned the long ends together, with the raw-edgy side facing out.

making a tube 'o fabric!

I ran this through my machine, making a seam on the long raw edge.

Here comes your sash!

I trimmed off the excess material, turned my tube ‘o fabric inside out, and pressed it, making a smashing new sash!

There was one more issue to deal with.  The bottom of the dress needed to be secured, below the bottom button.  In its previous life as a shirt, this would have been the part that was tucked in to some guys trousers (ewwwwwwww!!!!!!!I literally just thought about this!!!!).  I just can’t have that level of gappage at my upper thighs, so I pinned that part down.

Pinning the bottom of the dress to prevent any unladylike flashing!

After a quick sew, it was good to go!  I pressed my new seams, and was done! 

Ready for Safari!

Oh, and check out my cute lil handkerchief!  I used a scrap from my most recent refashion.  I thought it tied in the contrast stitching and my burgundy brogues quite nicely!

All hankie! No panky!

I patted myself on the back further for creating my own version of a similar dress by Michael Kors that sells for $130.

She's not invited on my safari.


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