Being the avid upcycler that I am, I love to find books and magazines full of ideas for turning old and unwanted items into new and useful ones. So when I saw Amanda McKittrick's Recycled Chic at my local library, I had to borrow it! I was particuarly taken by the man's shirt refashion project because I love a comfy summer top (and have been known to wear my summer tops in winter too). So off I sped to my local op shop to find an unloved, but interesting man's shirt. Not only did I find this light red and yellow checked wonder (I can't resist red!), but I also found some sweet cambric which I decided to add to my new top.
Now the project instructions seemed straightforward: cut off the sleeves, cut off the top of the shirt, sew up your seams, make a casing at the top for ribbon, then add the ribbon and, voila, you have a woman's top to wear! However, due to my rather dumpy and out of shape figure (which I'm working on improving!), and the fact that men's shirts vary from one to the other as much as women's figures do, I really didn't like the way the top sat on me when I first put it on. After half a day of adjusting various parts of the pattern, unpicking unwanted seams, yelping when I poked myself with pins and general tantrum throwing (can you tell I am NOT a seamstress?), I finally managed to produce the top you see in the above photo. It's not going to win any fashionista awards, but I like it (as do the Cheeky Monkeys) and it is fitting much better than it first did. It's still not 100% to my liking, but I'm rather impressed with my (somewhat dubious) efforts. And when you consider that it only cost me $3.50 in materials (and a day of gnashing my teeth in frustration), I really can't complain too much.