Dear Friend,

How often do you find things in a thrift store or market that have the makings of greatness…they have a great colour and quality fabric but have the wrong shape, or are too big or too small?

If you are like me, the answer is all the time.

I have found many a skirt that was exactly the right colour I had been looking for, but was a tiny bit small in the waist, or too boxy through the legs. These problems can generally be remedied quite easily with a bit of investigation and simple sewing and often be turned into great wardrobe staples. I will only do this with garments of good quality fabric like wool, heavy gaberdine, silk and fine cotton.

I am going to share some of these successful thrifty sewing projects in this ‘Make Do and Mend’ series.

A couple of weeks ago, whilst perusing my favourite thrift store, I spotted this silk blouse;

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I adore novelty fabrics. They are not easy to come by, especially in such wonderful colours, in near new condition, in silk and for $5.

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Unfortunately, it was way too big for me in the body and the shoulders, the blouse had no shape through the middle and bad shoulder pads. I was in two minds about buying it as I didn’t need to take on yet another sewing project before Christmas. After a few minutes consideration I decided to leave it up to the ‘thrift fairies’… if it was there when I went back the next week I would buy it.

I’m so glad it was because when I saw it on my second visit I couldn’t believe that I had left it there! Despite dubious looks from the Darling Girl I bought it straight away. (she thought it was the type of blouse the ‘Matron’ would have worn in her Enid Blyton books Naughtiest Girl in School series).

Ok..maybe it is a bit matronly…but it won’t be for long…I swear.

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When I am re-styling any garment I decide what era I am trying to recreate and what clothes in my wardrobe I am going to wear this blouse with. This will affect the shape and style and how loose or firm fitting the garment needs to be.

 I decided that I wanted to give this blouse a 1940’s feel.

 First things first…I removed those unattractive shoulder pads, they weren’t giving any shape to my shoulders and they just added bulk.

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Then I removed the sleeves so that I could resize and shape them. Remove excess fabric from the shoulder seams, notice that I am taking slightly more from the neckline than the shoulder, this will lift the bust area.

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 To reshape the sleeves I added three darts at the shoulder and two at the base of the sleeve.

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This makes the sleeves soft, fluffy and young-looking.

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To re-shape the body I started by running the side seams in 3/4 inch.

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Then I pinned darts up the back and front of bodice;

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When I reached the bust-line I curved the dart round to the side seam. This was create a nice shape to the bust, giving it lift and definition.

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At this point try the blouse on and check your happy with the fit. If your happy stitch your darts in place and re-attach the sleeves and you are done.

One super cute silk novelty print blouse for only $5!

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I am really happy with the result and glad I rolled the dice and took a gamble on this little blouse (pun intended) and I will share some more photos of it in my next post.

xx

Princess Pin Curls