Friday, January 3, 2020

The Two-Shirt Dress: Smart Fashion Tricks for Modest Women on a Budget

Shirt Upcycling Technique #1

Cost Challenge

When you don't have funds readily available to buy clothes, you're always looking for ways to give yourself new clothes without spending money on them. When I discovered the following frugalista dressmaking technique, it opened to me an exciting world of fresh opportunities within my existing wardrobe.

Here are the items I started with. I had two favourite shirts that I could no longer wear because my biceps and wrists had increased in size (a novel problem for me). The shirts were still in good condition. I loved their fabric. Hated the thought of parting with them.

Inspiration suddenly bubbled when I realized they shared the same colour palette. I pulled out my unpicking tool (Quick Unpick) and carefully got to work.

Creative Challenge

Is there enough fabric in two shirts to make one modest dress?

I removed the long sleeves from one shirt and opened up the long arm seams. I used bias binding from my stash to neaten the armholes on the now-sleeveless shirt.
I removed the short sleeves and collar from the other shirt, and dismantled it at the shoulders and side seams.

Now to rearrange the parts, trim them to size, and put the jigsaw together. The trickiest part for me was lining up those two shirt pieces with the long sleeves and deciding how to get the most length out of them for the skirt. I used a coordinating crepe fabric from my stash to add fullness.

When I'd stitched the skirt pieces to each other in a circle, I gathered the top edge and joined it to the hem of the sleeveless shirt.

It's so much fun showing people my two-shirt tunic dress.

"See one shirt? See the second shirt?And here's the sleeves!"

It always makes them smile. It makes me smile too. It's become one of my favourite dresses. I didn't have to lose something I loved. Instead, I gained something special by upcycling it into usefulness again.

Learning the clothing tricks defined in this post has vastly increased the quantity of secondhand garments that are useful to me. I no longer feel so limited or frustrated by my clothing options.

Look out for more Boutique Narelle posts detailing frugalista dressmaking and liberating modest fashion techniques.

Fiat lux!

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