upcycled plaid shirt

A few weeks ago, I looked through my summer clothes and realized the vast majority of the tops in my summer work wardrobe were knit v-neck t-shirts in a variety of solid colors. Knits are comfy, sure, but they also stick to you after you get sweaty, which is about 30 seconds after you walk out of the house here.

I was looking for some lightweight wovens and prints to liven up my wardrobe. My next trip to the thrift store netted me several oversized bright printed shirts that I wanted to cut down into wearable summer shirts for me. (If anyone has tips on how to remake a silk lime-printed shirt with a high neckline, lining and sheer sleeves, let me know!)

I knew that that even though Cirque du Bebe, and many other bloggers I saw, could pull off the Wiksten Tank I would need something with more structure up top. I hacked my first top (not photographed yet) and trying to make matching darts from nothing was a lot of work. It turned out okay, but I was looking for an easier way since I wanted to make several tanks.

Enter the Grainline Tiny Pocket Tank. There were darts, already marked! (And the price was right.)

I started tearing this shirt up as soon as I got it in the door, so there isn’t a before picture, but this one on ebay is pretty close. I left the buttons in the front of the shirt, after replacing them with pale yellow ones instead of the mother of pearl that were on there. I sewed the placket closed on both sides since the sheer fabric was going to need a lining and I wanted it to hang right.

I cut two layers, one of shirt, one of pale yellow thrifted sheet, both very lightweight. It saved me from making armhole and neck facings on this version, always a bonus. I kept the hem on the shirt and hacked them hem on the lining because it kept sticking out the bottom.

It was very comfortable to wear around and didn’t cling to me the way knits do. I made a muslin first and took an inch or two out of the straps on this version. Even with those adjustments I’m still going to raise the neckline a smidge on my next tank.

The pattern was great, as was having darts built in. I didn’t get the tent look I’d feared if I had gone the Wiksten route. I had to make a few adjustments cutting the shirt based on the pieces of the original shirt I was working with, but there’s room in this pattern to lose some width on the sides if you are working with a limited amount of fabric.

I’ve made one other version of this tank so far (also yet to be photographed) and with the neckline adjustments more of these might be coming out of my craft room soon.

Though I’m not close to being able to participate in Me Made May, I did realize over the weekend I’d used/worn three items that I’ve sewn recently. A year ago I only had one skirt I’d sewn in my closet, so it’s pretty cool to realize some of the things I’ve made are becoming staples in my wardrobe.


6 thoughts on “upcycled plaid shirt

  1. I’m not very comfortable in tanks with lower necklines… I love that you were able to adjust the neckline and the darts… I just may stop in and see what is available at our thrift stores in the way of plaids. Yours turned out really cute. (Love being able to use the button/placket too~score!)

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