Thursday, April 26, 2018

Shirt Refashion: Bell Sleeve Cuffs and Lace Trim

Hey y'all!!

Forgive me for my long absence! If anyone has that pause button on LIFE ready, will someone let me know??? I could sure use it!


So, back in November (or was it February? I don't remember...), I picked up some blouses from a thrift store while I was on vacation down South.

One of which was this little beauty....

The original blouse. I apologize for the horrid wrinkliness. 

It is a nice simple fitted blouse, in a really pretty shade of lavender purple. I LOVE the color lavender and always wanted a nice lavender blouse to go with some pretty spring colored skirts I have. 

There was some nice top-stitching on the front placard and on the collar

The only trouble with this blouse...was that the sleeves were just a few inches too short (not even quarter length!) 

The original sleeve. Wow, was it short! 

So, you would think it would be a simple thing - just unpick the original hem, maybe add some pretty lace to it, no sweat, right? 

Umm, not exactly. 

There was also another complication: 

That, my dears, is a finished notch. *sigh* 

With nothing to lose, I unpicked the sleeve hem to see the situation. 

Well, it's not as bad as I thought - just a keyhole. 
In terms of length, the sleeve was now just at the quarter mark. That keyhole opening, however, required something.... 

 After much searching online (apparently refashions to make sleeves longer are rare....) I decided to do a small bell sleeve/cuff. It stopped just at the elbow (which is better in terms of modesty standards) and I could sew it under the keyhole to fill it. 

So I rummaged downstairs to find some fabric, and came up with some eyelet lace scraps and some light backing fabric. 

Cutting the backing fabric
The reason for the backing fabric? 

According to Catholic modesty standards, lace shouldn't be used as fabric for clothing by itself - it's just too sheer. 

I didn't use exact measurements - I basically eyeballed the entire thing. Probably not the best thing I could have done, but hey - it worked this time! 

Sewing a cuff hem
The other thing that I did was sew together strips of lace to make a lace tape for the hem. Not only did this give me about 2 more inches in length to the blouse, it made it slightly more...ah...deliberate looking (instead of it looking like someone slapped sleeves on the thing.) 

Design is super important when refashioning a garment - the last thing you want is to for it to look, well, bad. Or amateurish. 

I finished the edges on the lace tape for a cleaner look. 

After all the pieces were prepped, there only remained setting in the sleeves and sewing the tape to the bottom! 

To mimic some of the detailing on the placard and collar, the sleeves and keyhole seams were hand topstitched with complimentary white thread.

Setting in the sleeve with the keyhole filled.  

One sleeve did have to have a separate lace section for the key hole for some odd reason, but at least the sleeves were even. The gathering wasn't even on that same sleeve either, which drove me batty, but there wasn't much I could do. 

The pleated tape - which was also handsewn on. 

After several hours of handsewing - the finished product! 

I managed to finish it just before a really special Mass that I was singing at - had just enough time to iron it and pair it with gold heels and a pretty spring floral skirt before sailing out the door.
Soooo....what do you girls think? Any critiques?  

Old-fashionably yours, 


P.S. I forgot to tell you about the candle! 

Because all these pictures are mine, (and I don't want them stolen), I decided to forgo the copyright notice caption and go with a trademark picture instead. It's like sticking on a great big name tag sticker or something. I chose the black candle because of my blog name :). I still gotta work on my sizing apparently....LOL.