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Refashioned tropical blouse!

Added Feb 12, 2012

by olystyrene

Sydney, Australia






OK ok so I know I went a little posting crazy last night… but I just really wanted to share this final project. Only because it’s a little different from the others…

The story begins at the op shop (I know, I know, you’re probably sick of this setting by now, sorry!). A vibrant print caught my eye and it turned out to be a brightly patterned cotton XL sized singlet (what a mouthful!). I saw the potential straight away!

The ‘before’ image gives you an idea about the general shape of the original garment – nothing too fancy, really. No darts or special features other than french seamed armholes and neckline. The armholes were quite worn, however and had begun to fray. I considered my options and decided on a simple design – I wanted a bodice with a bit of shape, including a peplum and interesting little cap sleeves.

To begin with, I removed the decorative armhole finishes. I then tried on the ‘raw’ garment and marked roughly where I wanted the waistline. I cut the top all the way across at this point. Then I inserted front darts. I cut the back of the blouse in order to insert a zipper (since this was going to be a fitted top, I could no longer just slip it on and off ofver my head). I gathered the peplum scetion very slightly to give it a small amount of puff between the darts and the side seams and then again in roughly the same place at the back.

Next came the measurement of the bust and waist sections and correct sewing of the side seams. The armholes also got a bit of a chop to achieve a better shape. Once the side seams were finished, I sewed on the peplum (including waistline stay, as the fabric is quite lightweight and likely to stretch with time) and inserted the zipper at the back.

Finally, I ironed flat the leftover bits of fabric that were cut off when redoing the side seams. I then cut them into ellipses with pointy ends. I finished one edge with visible turquoise seam binding. Then sewed the ellipses to the armholes to make a nice cap sleeve. Then each armhole was further finished with seam binding to neaten things up.

I really love the colours on this blouse – when planning an outfit, I get to choose accessories that are virtually any colour, it’s awesome! The design also turned out to be fairly versatile – it’s an easy blouse to dress up or down :)

Material Notes

old top




Spring, Summer
Garment Type
Beach, Business, Casual, Classic, Vintage

11 Comments Sign in to add a post

  • Glo_copy_large

    Feb 15, 2012, 06.21 PMby domestic-divaonline

    Sometimes our best creations come from restyling!

    1 Reply
    • 3044175_l_large

      Feb 20, 2012, 11.53 PMby olystyrene

      Oh I agree wholeheartedly! And it can be so much fun to work within the constraints of a pre-made garment; it’s great to have to force yourself to think about how best to re-fit and re-model!

  • Glo_copy_large

    Feb 15, 2012, 06.20 PMby domestic-divaonline

    Sometimes our best creations come from restyling!

  • Copy_of_copy_of_img_5906_large

    Feb 14, 2012, 04.28 AMby joolz & joolz

    Looks great on you!

    1 Reply
  • Me_pecks_large

    Feb 13, 2012, 02.26 AMby nessys

    Wow you did a fab job with this! Such a lovely end result – and the pattern matching along the back is perfect!

    It looks wonderful on you Honey! x

    PS I will NEVER tire of the “op shop” setting for your wonderful creations first “spark”. Beats the heck out of boring old Spotlight! ;) xxxx

    1 Reply
    • 3044175_l_large

      Feb 20, 2012, 11.51 PMby olystyrene

      Thanks, Nessy!!! It just goes to show that the op-shop can so easily be the backbone to so many creative projects. I haven’t stepped foot in a Spotlight for a loooong time now…

  • Me4_large

    Feb 13, 2012, 01.38 AMby poppykettle

    This looks smashing! I love the super vibrant colours and they suit you to a tee. Gorgeous!

    1 Reply
    • 3044175_l_large

      Feb 20, 2012, 11.50 PMby olystyrene

      Thank you, poppykettle! Those colours grabbed my attention straight away.. like a crow to silver.. :)

  • P5074179_large

    Feb 12, 2012, 06.25 PMby nadinesa


    1 Reply
  • Foto_vanessa_large

    Feb 12, 2012, 05.29 PMby Vanessa Velasquez

    wow, thas was not an up-cycle project……. that was magic!!!!

    1 Reply
    • 3044175_l_large

      Feb 12, 2012, 10.40 PMby olystyrene

      You are too kind!

  • Amhb_sq_large

    Feb 12, 2012, 04.00 PMby adriprints

    Awesome up-cycle! Nice job with the peplum!

    1 Reply
  • Img_3334_large

    Feb 12, 2012, 12.10 PMby Jodi Wade

    The binding is the perfect touch!

    1 Reply
    • 3044175_l_large

      Feb 12, 2012, 10.42 PMby olystyrene

      Thanks! I’m just happy I got to use that turquoise bias binding somewhere where it would be seen!

  • 5b24348d8cf0c23295692be6ceaea500b429d3d9_large

    Feb 12, 2012, 04.49 AMby stefanisarah

    Beautiful! And it’s nice to read a very detailed step-by-step too!

    1 Reply
    • 3044175_l_large

      Feb 12, 2012, 10.45 PMby olystyrene

      Thank you! I thought it was worth sharing the process as a rough ‘how to’.

  • Img_0320_large

    Feb 12, 2012, 04.26 AMby zosews

    Beautiful refashion! The print, peplum and binding are fabulous. Your accessories are perfect too!

    1 Reply
    • 3044175_l_large

      Feb 12, 2012, 10.45 PMby olystyrene

      Thank you so much! I love any excuse to wear blue accessories :)

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