DIY: Transforming A Polka Dot Blouse (by Jean)

Jean from Extra Petite blog shows how to transform an oversized, common blouse into a feminine and versatile piece of designer clothing.

Here is Jean's story:

Earlier this year, I couldn't get enough of feminine tie-neck blouses. I wasn't in love with the options out on the market due to either fit, quality, or price points.

I like shopping thrift stores for "fabric" versus going to regular fabric stores, because you can find nice, unique materials for cheap, plus, you can take advantage of existing features like button plackets or collars. It's all about seeing the potential. After a dizzying spin through the store, I ended up with this monster of a dowdy shirt for $2.99:

Using a loosely-cut sleeveless blouse from H&M as a template, I dissected the shirt into five pieces: 1 torso, 2 pieces from sleeves to join together as the necktie, and 2 pieces from sleeves to finish raw edges on the armholes...

After snipping off the sleeves and slimming the sides of the torso, I noticed a fit issue. There was an unsightly gap, almost like an air bubble, near the armpit. Professional sewers would've known better to insert bust darts ahead of time, but I learned my lesson afterwards. The purpose of bust darts are simple - the front of your body is not flat as a sheet, so darts are necessary for allowing the fabric to contour against the curved portion of your chest and arms.  

Next, you may have noticed that the edges of the armholes were raw and unsightly after the sleeves got snipped off. I'm sure there are a few ways to take care of this, but I ended up using some material from the sleeves to wrap around the raw edges.

Finally, I joined together the long sleeve strips to make the neck tie. The two strips were not long enough to tie a blow, so I had to salvage more scraps here and there to add a third joint. Definitely making use of every last bit of the $2.99!

Finished product once again, and another outfit showing the versatility of a pretty collar:


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