Refashion project-Floral print top

I love a charity shop bargain and if it incorporates a pretty floral print and is something I can see has the potential for a refashion project, then, even better.

Designing and making my own clothes and teaching others to do so is tremendously rewarding. Wearing something I’ve designed, cut the pattern for and sewn is a wonderful experience, however, it’s not always about buying fabric by the metre. Sometimes it’s fun to pick up a second hand item with the intention of breathing new life into it. This top is a perfect example of that.

Top from St Peter's Hospice shop
Top in it’s original state. £3.99 from a St Peter’s Hospice Shop.

I knew I wanted to remove the elastic from the hem. The blouson shape isn’t one that suits me and I could imagine how this would look if the elastic was removed. My first task was simple, I unpicked the stitches securing the elastic at the sleeve edges and hem and put it in my haberdashery box. Elastic can perish, over time, and lose it’s stretch properties but this one felt brand new and will be useful for another project.

The silhouette instantly looked more like something I would wear.

Elastic removed
Elastic removed and already I prefer the shape.

I used a twin needle and denim blue coloured thread to sew the hem on the body and the sleeves.

Twin needle hems sleeve and body
New hems sewn with a 4mm twin needle.

I love slow sewing and the satisfaction of being in the moment with a project like this. Yes, deadlines are an important part of working life but the enjoyment and relaxation felt whilst taking things really slowly are very beneficial, I believe.

Another stand back and reassess moment came after the hems had been sewn. I like the detail of the little buttons at the front but not particularly the ties. I decided to remove the binding and replace it with a denim effect jersey fabric from my remnant box. Instead of having ties at the front, I sewed the binding to the top, right sides together, and left a space of 1cm at the centre front. I sewed a 45 degree, angled join, in the binding and positioned it at the back neck area so it isn’t too visible.

I folded the binding to the inside and top stitched in place, first with denim blue thread and then a second row in a fuchsia pink colour.

Attaching binding
Denim blue jersey sewn to neckline.

I thought I’d finished, but couldn’t resist replacing the aqua coloured buttons with three tiny chocolate brown ones from my button box. This same colour features in the floral print so it’s a nice way of bringing the design together and now the ties are removed the front buttons are more visible. I sewed them on with the same shade of pink thread that I used for topstitching the neckline.

Brown buttons pink thread
New buttons!

So, was it worth it? I would say, absolutely YES! I spent £3.99 on the top at a St Peter’s Hospice Shop. Money to a good cause. I spent a couple of hours refashioning it, I enjoyed every moment and I have a new top to enjoy getting many wears out of.

Completed refashion

If you have any questions about the techniques or materials I’ve used, drop me a message ether via the contact page or on Instagram.