I have a golden rule when it comes to sourcing second-hand fabric from thrift stores – always buy fabulous fabric no matter what form it comes in. At the Burlingame Goodwill Outlet store, I plucked a beautiful ikat scarf that wasn’t large enough to make a garment but could be mixed with other fabric, like this button-down shirt. I’ve used this handy refashion hack many times when I had to make do with a shortage of fabric.
I chose Simplicity 1461* because the center panel of the tunic made a great focal point for the scarf. The last thing I need is another tunic, but I’m hopelessly addicted to them. Tunics are comfortable to wear when my weight fluctuates and impart a boho-chic vibe I adore. When I want to look dressy without trying too hard, I throw on a tunic with skinny jeans and boots.
Simplicity 1461 view D is a simple, straightforward pattern to sew. I don’t sew princess seams often, but it’s almost like straight line sewing with a bit of ease around the bust. If you are new to princess seams, check out this Itch to Stitch tutorial.
Everything was coming along beautifully until I decided to hack the back.
The back of the pattern has 2 panels with a center seam. I thought it would be smart to add another scarf panel with princess seams that mimicked the front. How cute would that be? With my basic pattern drafting experience, I knew I could easily extend the front of the princess seam to the back.
I got overconfident with my pattern drafting and didn’t do a reality check with the front. My hubris got the best of me when I sewed the shoulder seams and saw the princess seams didn’t line up. The back panel was 2″ larger than the front panel!!! I intended to make a seamless center of ikat from front to back. Instead, I have this ugly jog of seams on the shoulders. I could recut the ikat panel, but I didn’t have enough black fabric for a do-over. That’s the bummer about refashioning – you can’t run to the store and get more fabric when you mess up.
Here’s a view from the back. Wouldn’t this look lovely if the center panel was 2″ thinner?
I encourage my son to see the bright side when something seems bad, and it would be hypocritical if I didn’t do the same, so here goes:
- I love the fringe sleeves.
- I like the front slash of the neckline that’s finished with a facing and topstitched with a 1″ seam allowance.
- The pattern is easy to sew. View D looks like the simplest pattern, but the other options have some interesting necklines and trim I’m eager to play with.
- The fit is perfect. The pattern has separate pieces for B, C, D cup sizes for misses and C, D, DD for plus sizes. I’m an A cup, and the B size was spot on.
- The top is easy to pull on and off. No buttons, zippers or closures to get in the way.
- The fabric is made of scrumptious cotton. The scarf and shirt have a high thread count, and it was a pleasure to sew.
The main take away with this project is to measure twice and cut once (such a cliche but so true!). I’m not sure if I want to keep this shirt. Most people probably won’t notice the mistake, especially if I grow my hair longer, but it will always bug me when I wear it. It’s like a canker sore – you try to ignore it, but you know it’s there.
What do you think? Is this a keeper?
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