Two more shirt transformations using FOE


I made another one of these shirts the other day using a super-lightweight blue-and-white striped men's shirt. Looks about the same as the first one, right? But this time I took off the pocket first, made the front pleats considerably longer, added bias tape at the neckline, and used fold over elastic for the sleeves. I like it even better than the first one. I should have taken a before photo because then you'd see what a baggy men's shirt it was to begin with. This transformation thing is addictive! The whole process was even quicker this time since I had done it once before. I cut, measured, and pinned for about half an hour one evening, then sewed the shirt the next morning before anyone else was up.

I also turned a thrifted women's shirt (shown below) into a dress/tunic for Maia. It's a nice pale green with a delicate floral print — hard to see in these pics — with parallel rows of little pleats on either side of the buttons.


I followed many of the steps from the Jezze tutorial, including cutting off the collar, adding a pleat at the back to gather in the material, and shortening the sleeves. But then I added fold over elastic at the sleeves and neckline as well as around three quarters of the waist. I was intending it as a dress for Maia, but it turned out to be a little too short and a little too transparent for a dress. So it ended up being more of a tunic and goes well over pants or culottes.


Here's Maia, trying to be serious for the camera.


And here she is, not so serious.


Back view.

We went to Asheville City Market on Saturday after taking these pics (our friend Amanda sells divine baked goods there under the name Baked Asheville) and watched some bellydancing while eating our biscotti and coffee cake. At one point the bellydancers invited the kids in the crowd to join them and Maia twirled and danced. Mostly twirled. She looked like a whirling dervish. It was a cute outfit for dancing in and I wished I had had my camera with me.

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  • Reply
    Amanda @
    June 1, 2009 at 6:00 am

    Oh, my, those are wonderful! I can definitely see wearing the top shirt after pregnancy, those pleats are just so versatile! It sounds like I’m missing out on the FOE bandwagon :)

  • Reply
    June 1, 2009 at 6:22 am

    I adore these shirts!! Jean these are beautiful!

  • Reply
    June 1, 2009 at 6:53 am

    So super cute. This makes me want to be pregnant again just so I can make some. Maia’s shirt is adorable also.

  • Reply
    Annette Standrod
    June 1, 2009 at 7:38 am

    I LOVE THE TWO SHIRTS YOU MADE FOR YOUSELF! I think I like the second one better. I want one really bad. I so wish my sewing machine was fixed or that a new one would magically appear. I am aching to sew and can’t due to lack of machine and tools. I found your blog through a close artsy friend of mine. I enjoy learning creative things from you. It inspires me.

  • Reply
    The Artful Parent
    June 1, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    FOE is awesome!

  • Reply
    The Artful Parent
    June 1, 2009 at 4:29 pm

    They’re not just for pregnant mamas! The woman who made the tutorial isn’t pregnant — it looks like she just made it as a loose, casual top.

  • Reply
    The Artful Parent
    June 1, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    Good luck in getting your machine fixed. Maybe you could borrow one from a friend or neighbor in the meantime? Some people have one but don’t use it.

  • Reply
    The Artful Parent
    June 1, 2009 at 4:31 pm


  • Reply
    fawn pea
    June 3, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    You are really inspiring me with these shirt transformations!

  • Reply
    June 3, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    Oh they look so great!
    I didn’t realize you were in Asheville. We used to live in Marshall on a medicinal herb farm back in 2003. It is such a lovely area.

  • Reply
    August 13, 2009 at 11:20 am

    Ran across this repurposing of a shirt to girls dress which made me think your post here….

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