Fix-it Friday – Nerdy to Nice Top

I bought this top just for the fabric! 

I’ve been looking for some Breton stripe in red or blue for ages without success, so I snapped this top up for $6 when I saw it at the Red Cross Shop in Sandringham Village, with a view to reworking it at some stage.  That was three months ago…

It doesn’t look like it has ever been worn, in fact I think it is a sample that has been rejected because the front facing doesn’t work and the labels are cut off!  It does fit me, but looks a bit nerdy in my opinion.  And it bunches at my back waist too:

I removed the front facing and the armhole binding:

…refitted the shell to me (shortened the back, lowering back armhole and neck):

Then I tried it on and pinned a new neckline and armhole shape:

After chopping off the excess, I bound the edges in the remnants from my 1950’s red spot dress:

It still looked a bit boring, so I added a ‘corsage’ to give it a vaguely nautical feel:

I made the corsage by gathering up a piece of selvedge and whipstitching it in place:

I added an old button, a torn strip of fabric for a ribbon, and secured a safety pin to the reverse:

Then photographed the finished result, because every Fix-it Friday needs a Before and After!

What do you think – better or worse?!

Have you got any things in your wardrobe that you never wear because they are not quite right?  Try Fix-it Friday too!  I’ve fixed up three things now that I probably would never have got around to doing had I not set a goal to do one every week.  Now I’m on a roll!

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

43 thoughts on “Fix-it Friday – Nerdy to Nice Top

  1. Absolutely better!!! I'm a big fan of striped clothes and this top is so cute 🙂
    And the corsage….well done! Maybe I can make a little corsage for my boring tops.


  2. What a transformation! It's so much cuter now!
    Oh, and now that I see it closer, I'm certain that that fabric is the same as my “Lady in Red” dress. Crazy!


  3. I love the corsage detail. You have inspired me to fix-it-friday. I haven't blogged about it but Friday just gone I put elastic in 2 pairs of board shorts for my son (he has a tiny waist) and re-threaded a drawstring through some really old rugger shorts for my man that he still likes to garden in.


  4. I this way more than the original. I had never thought of using a woven for bindings. I always thought you needed to use a stretch jeresy with jersy fabrics ? Great idea though and one I will definitely steal.


  5. The shape is much better and I think that the woven trim is a good idea to keep the nechline in shape. But the real joy in this case is the corsage! You did not show the back but is it OK now?


  6. Oh, so much better! I really should join you in fix-it-friday – I just might get somewhere with the fix and refashion pile (not to mention the UFO's).


  7. When i started reading this post I thought to myself, “How much can you do to something so simple?” Well, may I say, this is absolutely adorable. thank you for sharing. I will soon be starting my warm weather sewing. You have given me a great idea, thank you so much.


  8. Wow, so much better! Don't you just love improving thrifted finds? I think your top looks a lot more feminine. I'd stop to look at it if I was to pass a rack of them in a store, the before, not so much.


  9. Yes it is much better – the nape to waist length is now good, but the hem does tend to ride up a bit over my back high hip – too much Christmas cake!


  10. Stripes = Awesome,
    Stripes + Polka dots = MUST HAVE ONE. So, ya, better LOL!

    As a fellow owner of a back/or waist/or butt that causes pooling in the back, I have to say that I've come to find the pooling actually more feminine. I'm not a super curvy girl, I trend towards an athletic build, and that pooling creates the illusion of more waist hip curve for me. Surprisingly, it was my husband who told me to stop fixing it at the muslin stage. I started to get him to take pictures and I have come to see his point. I guess it is sort of like a cowl neck for the back LOL.


  11. Your top looks great! Thank you for showing the details as this helps me. When purchased items don't fit, I don't really know where or how to begin. Thank you.



  12. Impressive!!! I love your choice of dot trim with sripes…major cute! Now it looks like a spendy designer top!!!
    And…I love your idea of “fix-it Friday”. Thank you!!!


  13. I love Breton stripes and have been looking for some for a long time–how cool you were able to find some to refashion. I love the narrower straps. I joined up with fix-it fridays–hopefully I can do this every week. I need to!


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