I bought this shirt at a thrift store in the dead of winter. As I rifled through the racks, pulling out wool sweater upon wool sweater, this shirt, in all of it’s breezy warm weather appeal, caught my eye. It felt like a nice reminder that warm weather would come again. I bought it because of it’s featherweight cotton and summer-perfect blue stripe, figuring that given the time of the year, I would surely have time to REjuvenate it by the time those first warm spring days came. Then, time went all hyper speed, and it became nearly the end of July.
My mom was watching Kian, and I was feeling a bit restless and creatively untapped. I hadn’t pulled out my sewing machine in MORE THAN TWO YEARS (!), and was feeling drawn to a project that was just for me. In that moment, I was reminded of this shirt, and that the season to wear it was nearly half way over. With only a few dollars to lose (if all went wrong), I jumped in. I had a vague idea of what I wanted – something sleeveless, and that would play with the stripe direction – and just rolled with it. It was honestly one of the most liberating things I’ve done in a while, to just let my creativity guide me.
These days, I find that I plan and organize my creativity more – partly because of this blog, and partly because I don’t have the time to free-think-and-do like I used to. While those projects are still fulfilling, nothing beats letting my ideas roam and form together until they ultimately click. In the end, this project took less time, and ran more smoothly than I would have thought it would. I attribute that to the process organically unfolding, versus fighting to make a particular vision fit.
It’s only fitting that this shirt, when worn, carries that same ease. It is lightweight and breezy, roomy but flattering, and it’s summer stripe has that carefree-yet-pulled-together feel the makes it easy to style. See my tips below on how to make your own version!
Want to make your own version?
Here are some tips & tricks to help guide you!
+ Use a shirt that is at least two sizes larger than what you normally wear. This will allow you some flexibility, and prevent it from becoming too small.
+ Cut the sleeves off first, leaving roughly 1/2-1″ remaining. You can either leave this raw (like I did), or fold it under for a clean finish.
+ With the shirt on, pinch out what amount you want to remove from the front. Measure or pin in place. Make sure to account for an additional 1/2″ on each side for seaming or clean finishing. Cut and sew front before cutting back.
+ Once front is fully finished, pinch out what amount you want to remove from the back. Measure or pin in place. Make sure to account for an additional 1/2″ on each side for seaming or clean finishing. Cut and sew front before cutting back.
+ After both front and back have been adjusted to your measurements, look at the armhole. Most likely, taking inches off of the front and back will correct the armhole to the right sitting position. If you find that it is farther over the shoulder than you’d like, redraw the armhole, and finish it to your liking (either raw, or clean finish).