First of all, Weebly is being a pain and won't save any of the edits I make to my photos. Please ignore the random laundry room paraphernalia that insisted on joining my creation's photo shoot.
This vest-shirt began when I drafted a pattern for a button-up shirt, using the directions in Cal Patch's Design-It-Yourself Clothes. Even though I use scrap material for my muslins, I still try to make them good enough that if the pattern works, I can wear the muslin. So, digging through my stash, I found a pair of pants that I have been trying to alter and make fit for years. It looked like about enough fabric, and I had some extra if it wasn't, so I cut out my shirt from the pants.
Wanting to get right to sewing, after ripping out enough seams to make the pants lie flat, I began cutting without laying out my pattern pieces to make sure there was enough fabric. Also, I figured I would need to sew odd pieces together to make the best use of the fabric, and I don't know how to gauge what pattern piece will fit there until I see what I'm working with.
After cutting as many pieces as I could, I sewed together the scraps to make a whole piece of fabric. I was able to cut one sleeve and both cuffs out of this. The only piece of the shirt that I had to cut from new fabric was one side of the front.
The collar from the shirt came entirely from the waistband of the pants. Perfect transformation, huh?
I was excited to finally be doing something useful with that retched pair of pants and really hoped the muslin would fit because the fabric was so suited to a soft button-up shirt.
Hah! The shirt was too small. Even though I gave 2 inches of ease to the pattern, in some places I could barely get it on. The sleeves were so tight, I couldn't get them past my elbows. The fabric pulled across my shoulders as if I had cut it smaller than my measurements. The bust barely came together. Only the waist and the vertical proportions fit.
This fabric is too beautiful to not use and I didn't think I could cut another wearable item out of the shirt. I put the shirt away for a while and considered my options.
I'm not a vest wearer, but I do like sleeveless shirts. I tried to figure out a way that wouldn't require too much work or fabric to make the front close correctly, but didn't come up with anything. In the end, I bound the armholes with some scrap seam binding and used a hook and eye fastener to close the shirt just under the bust. It looked alright, but I wanted something better.
I pulled out my collection of beads and broken jewelry and saw some broken earrings that would be perfect if they had the same number of missing crystals. I used my finger nail to pick at the ones I wanted gone and soon enough they popped out. Now that I had a matching set, I sewed the earrings on over the hook and eye, hopefully to masquerade as a fancy clasp.
I envisioned wearing this as a modern, shirt-only version of the medieval split dress where the underdress shows down the middle front opening of the overgown, but I don't know if it will look like I imagined. I tried to wear this over a long-sleeved t-shirt, but it didn't look right. Now I'm waiting for warmer weather when I plan on wearing a bright camisole or tank top underneath.
Hopefully, I can come up with a way to wear this shirt-vest, because this fabric is just perfect for a shirt and I love the color. If not, I'll have to think of something into which to remake this. Maybe a bag?
Oh, and I have much bigger hips than this dress form, so the shirt splits open more below the clasp. My camera is half broken, so I can't take a picture of me wearing it. Hmm... maybe if I take a picture of my reflection in a mirror? I'll think about it.
For now, please be inspired to use jewelry on your clothing and remember that a waistband may have the perfect amount of fabric for a collar. And if you want to be impressed that I made a shirt out of pants, please do so. Thank you. I accept your applause graciously. Please send more.