mom’s old shirt made new

I went home to visit my parents a few weeks and discovered a pile of my mom’s old clothes that she was planning to donate. Of course I went through and tried things on and decided to take a few of them home with me.

A couple things I took for sentimental reasons because I remembered my mom wearing these items back in the day and didn’t want them to vanish forever. But I didn’t take anything I wouldn’t wear or try to refashion. This is my first refashion attempt from my mom’s stuff.


This shirt had no shape and a weird, crowded 13-button placket with an unflattering neckline. I didn’t want to mess with the placket so I flipped it around to the back and used the old back, which had a very high neckline, as the canvas for my new front.


I tore out the large facing on the back and along the neck down to the seams where the front and back are sewn together. I took the sides in using french seams to give it a better fit. Then I cut the scoop of the neckline down using a shirt whose neckline I liked as a pattern, turned the edges under, and sewed a very narrow hem.


The neckline was wavy after the narrow hem and the fit still wasn’t great. I wasn’t sure what to do. Maybe use elastic in some way?

Then I considered gathering it and my problems were solved! I used one line of stitching to gather it and then sewed on top of the gathering twice with a regular stitch. The fit was better and the neckline wasn’t gaping.


I might have to adjust and regather it, but it’s much more wearable now.


There’s the new back. I’d like to replace the yellow buttons with grayish-black ones when I find 13 buttons of the same color on the cheap, but it will do for now. I can see wearing this with a black or gray sweater for fall/winter.

The other item I’ve worn from my mom’s stash is this pink and white sweater. Totally 80s. I was planning to cut the front open and turn it into a cropped cardi, but I decided to leave it alone and wear it as is. I just had to do a little bit of hand sewing on the bottom to secure the threads that had come loose over the years.

I wore it last weekend and it was super comfy and just right for the in-between fall weather. I did layer it over a tan cami since this top was most likely meant for high waist 80s jeans.

My mom is awesome so I enjoy wearing things that remind me of her. A big part of the reason I started this blog was to show her all the crafty things I’ve been up to lately. 🙂


5 thoughts on “mom’s old shirt made new

  1. Denise Dudik says:

    Ha ha! You look great in my old sweater! After wearing the shirt so many times, I’m not sure I can get used to the back being the front and vis-versa! :}
    What else did you take??? Love you! (Mom)

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