Fix-it Friday #1 – Remodelling a Baggy Blouse

My pile of items that need fixing or refashioning is shameful.  This is an area where I readily admit I procrastinate – badly.  I look at them, groan, and move onto something else!

Some things need a major refashion, some things just need a button – whatever, there is a whole pile of garments that are just waiting to be worn.  Wouldn’t it be nicer to have them hanging in my wardrobe able to be worn?

So, every Friday I will aim to repair, take in, let out, refashion, hem, sew on buttons, or do whatever is necessary to transform each item from unwearable to wearable.  Now this is not a resolution – it may or may not happen, but I’ll give it a go!

Today I am starting with this baggy black blouse that I bought for $3 from St Vincent de Paul in Kingsland:

It is a couple of sizes too big and looks like a sack, but I bought it with the intention of taking it in.  Yeah, right – it has been sitting in The Big Pile for nearly a year…

It is one of those permanently pleated designs that were quite popular a few years back. Unfortunately to get such a cool effect the fabric has to be polyester, but for this price I’m not complaining!

I removed the sleeves and took in the side seams.  The new location of the underarm was perfect.
Then I reshaped the front and back armholes, taking about 4cm off the shoulder length.
Then I reshaped and shortened the sleeve and set it in again.

Much better – a cute little blouse that fits and goes with almost everything:

Why didn’t I do this sooner?  I feel better already!

Do you have A Big Pile too?  If so, join me on Fix-it Fridays!

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Designer, Patternmaker, Blogger Of All Things Sewing. Follow as I share projects, patterns, and my favourite tricks of the trade.

29 thoughts on “Fix-it Friday #1 – Remodelling a Baggy Blouse

  1. Of course I have a pile that needs repair or taking in. Sometimes it takes as much time to fix as to make a new one and that's always what puts me off. Thanks for the inspiration!


  2. I was actually fixing two items of clothing as I was reading your post. What a great idea! Maybe this will inspire me to get through the rest of my pile 🙂


  3. Oh, I have a most enormous pile of half-finished, not-quite-right, I'll-buy-this-and-take-it-in type of clothes that I will join you on Fridays to make them wearable.

    I have more than a year of Fridays worth, though, so I'll be working through 2013 as well…

    Your blouse looks lovely.


  4. That's a good idea… I also have a huge pile of thrifted things that went into a “may-refashion” list and recently had to face facts about half of it and donated them away. Doing it with others may motivate me to get cracking!


  5. Not sure I have a BIG pile, but yep, do have a pile. Your “new” blouse looks great, and as always, you're an inspiration! I'll be looking at MY pile this year, too.


  6. I'm relieved I'm not the only one with a big pile of fix-ups! I'd much rather start something new and exciting, but the forgotten pile is such a waste…
    Rhonda – I made the curtains from some sequin embroidered organza!


  7. Good job! I recently did a whack of mending, but man am I bad at that. I don't ever buy stuff intending to alter it… it just won't happen. If I had more time, I'd totally join you in the fix-it friday commitment (As it is, perhaps I should aim for “File it Friday” as my computer desk is pretty much buried at the moment…)

    I don't suppose you'd be into making a tutorial for this kind of refashion? It sounds more in-depth, but also more satisfying, than most of the re-sizing refashions I've seen…


  8. Tanit-Isis – I should learnt by now re buying stuff to alter, as I am a bit the same. I think my recent acquisitions have helped prompt me into action!
    I think I will do a tutorial – I have another shirt that I want to do the same thing to!


  9. It is so great to see a re-fit that involves taking off the sleeves and resetting them in the right place rather than just running in the side seams. The shirt looks so much better for it!

    Um, yes I have A Big Pile. And A Big Bag…..


  10. You found something wearable in the Kingsland op shop? That deserves a medal in itself.

    Nice refashion. It's such a good idea to commit yourself to something worthwhile and achievable – otherwise, it's too easy to never get around to it. Your fix-it Fridays sound like an excellent plan.


  11. I've got loads of clothes languishing, waiting to be altered or mended. I did tackle the easiest over Christmas – sewing 2 buttons on! I've also started altering a skirt but so far it's not going that well :S


  12. Hi, I've been lurking on your blog for a couple of months now, never working up the courage to leave a comment. But I have to say thank you for the idea for fix-it Fridays! I have all these great clothes I inherited when my mom died 7 years ago (I know, shame on me!), that are two sizes too big. Lots of tops that need precisely what you just did with your pleated blouse. So I'm in! Yay!


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