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Simple refashioned top!

Added Nov 28, 2010

by olystyrene

Sydney, Australia






I was browsing through the clothing racks in an op shop one day, when I came across a bright blue polka dot top with a lot of potential. It had a definite 80s feel to it – slouchy, with elastic at the bottom, slightly batwing sleeves. Not really my style, but the fabric (poly- t-shirt stuff) and the print really captured my interest. I thought it would look fabulous as a 1950’s style top. So began the refashioning!

I unpicked the entire thing, including the strips that were used to create the thin collar. I found a fabulous 50’s blouse pattern, graded it to my size and tried to fit the pattern pieces as best as I could on the fabric. It worked fairly well, and I could cut corners (literally!) here and there because the fabric had a bit of stretch to it. With the leftover pieces, I made some bias tape to finish the sleeves. I didn’t have enough fabric left to make the entire bow on the front, so made half in the blue and the other half of it using beige polka dot fabric that was left over from another project. I thought the contrast was cute.

I didn’t have much blue thread left, so I saved as much of the unpicked thread as I could for all of the hand sewing – neckline facing, sleeves, hem and bow.

All in all, this was a fun and easy project. The only annoying part was the visible stitching marks on the bottom of the blouse, where the previous stitching held the elastic in place (you can probably see it in the photos). But I’m hoping that will eventually soften with washing and wear.

Material Notes




Related Techniques


Spring, Summer
Garment Type
Casual, Classic, Romantic, Vintage

9 Comments Sign in to add a post

  • Fb2227aaf242c0d041dbcd583baae4e4ccfba73d_large

    Dec 1, 2010, 07.51 AMby loulourosa

    a very good transformation, this top looks fresh and comtemporary! nice how you used the white polkadotfabric as well.

    1 Reply
    • 3044175_l_large

      Dec 5, 2010, 11.50 PMby olystyrene

      Thanks a lot! I was worried that the other fabric wouldn’t work, but was pleasantly surprised to find that it did :)

  • Perfilpg_large

    Dec 1, 2010, 04.11 AMby saylavie

    wow, this is super cute! what a great transformation!

    1 Reply
    • 3044175_l_large

      Dec 5, 2010, 11.49 PMby olystyrene

      Thanks, it’s something that I wear constantly now! ;)

  • Firstroll-3_large

    Nov 30, 2010, 02.43 PMby integerclub

    This looks great too, you over-achiever! I can’t see the stitching that you’re worried about either, but I was wondering if you can iron them out somehow?

    1 Reply
    • 3044175_l_large

      Nov 30, 2010, 10.46 PMby olystyrene

      Hehe thanks for the tip, Doycey! There’s a tardy row of what looks like stitching at the hem of the 2nd photo. It irks me very much! I’ve tried ironing but it’s also a bit tricky cos it’s t-shirt fabric.. Oh well, I’m probably just being picky..

  • Missing

    Nov 30, 2010, 10.35 AMby sewmyway

    even though i love cringeworthy 80s clothing— the top looks much better in the 1950s— well done!!

    1 Reply
    • 3044175_l_large

      Nov 30, 2010, 10.45 PMby olystyrene

      Aah how I agree with you.. Some cringeworthy 80s clothing is so amazing for so many reasons.. This one was amazing because of its potential to become something different! ;)

  • Big_tri_large

    Nov 29, 2010, 11.08 PMby cantare

    So sew cute ;)

    1 Reply
    • 3044175_l_large

      Nov 30, 2010, 12.17 AMby olystyrene

      Hehehehe.. thanks!

  • Dsc06766_copy_large

    Nov 29, 2010, 06.14 PMby lkeogan

    So cute, it looks loads better now ;)

    1 Reply
    • 3044175_l_large

      Nov 29, 2010, 10.09 PMby olystyrene

      I wholeheartedly agree :) It’s now something that I wanna wear every day!

  • Avawa_large

    Nov 29, 2010, 11.45 AMby analogue

    What an amazing transformation, very creative!

    1 Reply
    • 3044175_l_large

      Nov 29, 2010, 10.08 PMby olystyrene

      Thank you so much!

  • Me_pecks_large

    Nov 29, 2010, 05.09 AMby nessys

    This is lovely Darl! All the way from 80’s “Wake me up before you go-go” to 50’s “Jitter Bug”!!!

    Sorry – I’ve been watching “Zoolander” (what was I thinking?) today and I’ve got that song stuck in my head – but still – it’s true!!

    Lovely colour and I really love the contrast – you got a lot of projects out of that “beige beauty”! Just fab.

    I don’t think I can see the stitching on the bottom you are worried about. If it does bug you could you cover it up with some black ric-rac or something?

    1 Reply
    • 3044175_l_large

      Nov 29, 2010, 09.28 AMby olystyrene

      Hahaha! Thanks Nessy :)

      Ric-rac is a good idea, I’ll keep that in mind. I’m hoping that with a bit more wear ’n wash the annoying (and uneven!!) row of little holes will no longer be visible. Fingers crossed!

  • Burda_023_large

    Nov 29, 2010, 04.45 AMby runningwithscissors1

    Very cute! A very nice refashion project.

    1 Reply
    • 3044175_l_large

      Nov 29, 2010, 09.24 AMby olystyrene

      Why, thank you! ;)

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