Thursday, March 1, 2018

DIY- Off the shoulder linen top

Coats and jumpers are slowly being pushed to the back of the closet and space is being made for shorts, dresses and off the shoulder tops. Spring is most definitely coming soon (you wouldn't know it from this week though) and I don’t know about you but I am ready to embrace it! Is there a better way to get into the spring/summer spirit than a quick DIY made from recycled materials?
Ever since I got a linen dress a few years ago, I became a huge fan of the fabric.  I love the feel of it on my skin and the natural, imperfect texture. You can have a simple design but somehow when it is made from linen, it really stands out. 

100% linen is not cheap but you can often get old clothes off ebay or from a charity shop which are made from good fabrics. Usually, it doesn't even take long to repurpose them into something that you love wearing. Even if your creative ideas are better than your skills level (definitely me at the moment ) it is good to learn on second hand fabrics, as when it goes to s***, you don't have to mourn it too much. 

I am glad to say that I am super happy with how mine turned out!  I bought this 100% linen shirt from Oxfam for £4.99 (a bargain if you ask me) and I have kicked off of my Spring DIY season with an off the shoulder version of the Bardot top. 

What you need

  • Linen shirt (or any other shirt will work for that matter). Mine was size 16 ladies and it fits perfectly - not too tight but not too baggy either
  • 1 inch wide elastic
  • Scissors, pins and a ruler
  • Sewing machine (you could probably do it by hand too) 

I tried to use as many materials second hand as I could- the only thing I bought new was the elastic and thread. I opted for 100% cotton for the thread. 

How to: 

1. Iron the shirt as linen has a tendency to crease. Lay your shirt flat on a surface and decide where you want to cut it. I have essentially just cut the collar off. As always, measure twice and cut once- it is easier to cut more if you need it. Take into account that you will need at least 2 inches of fabric for the elastic so the top will sit lower than your first cut.

2. Turn your top inside out. Measure about 1 inch of fabric and fold it over.  I didn’t have any sharp dressmaking scissors which have made it impossible to cut the fabric straight ( I learned my lesson and got some now) so that is why the fabric is frayed.  Fold the fabric so that you create a ‘’tunnel’’ for the elastic along the whole thing. I used my wooden ruler as a measure.  

3. Using your sewing machine, sew along the tunnel but keep a small opening for the elastic. 

4. Measure the elastic on your shoulders. You want it comfortable but tight enough so that it sits on your shoulders.  Thread the elastic using a safety pin.

5.  Sew the two strands of elastic together on top of each other. I have just run the sewing machine up and down a few times to secure it. Close the opening using a sewing machine or by hand. And that's it! Your top is finished. 

I love how this has turned out. I gave new life to an old shirt from a charity shop and not many new resources have been used in the process. This DIY will have a firm slot in my minimalist wardrobe as it is really versatile and it seems to go with the rest of my clothes really well. But most importantly, I love wearing it so that is a reason in itself! 


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