Elastic: From stash
Lace: From stash
Polo Shirt: $6 from Marden's
Ribbon: From stash
Rit Dye, Black: $3 from Walmart
Thread: From stash
*Prices rounded up to the nearest dollar
For a summer camp, I was required to wear white polo shirts. When a friend found some white, stretch polos for $5 plus tax at Marden's, I thought they were as cheap as I would find. Even though they are maternity shirts, they are so small that they fit me as well as a polo will. At least they have some shaping to the waist instead of the normal boxy polo shape.
I bought three of the shirts, figuring that was the smallest number I could manage. Camps always give you t-shirts and I have no problem wearing the same clothes over again, especially in that kind of environment.
I decided to see what I could do to get more use out of them.
I had some scrap lingerie elastic that I used. I placed the top of the elastic approximately one inch from the top (shoulder seam) of the sleeve and stitched it down, pulling it as tightly as I could.
From the t-shirts I made, I found that on my vintage (i.e. more than 20 years old) Kenmore, it is easiest to stitch stretchy fabric or elastic by back stitching three straight stitches to secure the thread, zig-zag stitching the seam, and straight back stitching to secure the end of the thread.
The results of this experiment turned out perfectly!
I am curious what would happen if I tried this method with a longer, fuller, less stretchy sleeve.
I wasn't certain how well it would work to put a non-stretchy trim onto a stretchy fabric, but since I can get this shirt on without stretching the neckline, I decided to try it. So far, I haven't had any problems.
What I didn't account for was that the placket folds over, exposing the inside of the shirt. I should have put trim on the parts that show, but I don't want to rip out what I've done. I would have to sew the inside and outside trim on at the same time in order to prevent exposed stitch lines. The other option is to place the trim in such a way that the stitch lines become part of the design. I'll see what happens when I work on the other two shirts.
I also would prefer a different neckline shape. Without the weight of the collar, the placket does flip open, but not as much as when the collar is on. I think it still looks like a polo with the collar cut off instead of a shirt in its own right. I really don't want to have to make a neckline binding for the next two shirts. Maybe since the opening is so wide, I can use non-stretchy ribbon for the binding. I'll think about it before I begin my next polo refashion.
Even if I'm not entirely sold on the neckline and trim style, I love the sleeves. This was a fairly quick refashion, only taking a few hours, and I love any excuse to use ribbons and trims. I've worn this shirt since I restyled it, so I guess that makes it a success.