Last week I announced that I was participating in Project Restyle, a fun little blogger challenge that has us remaking or repurposing an old, unused item into something new and fabulous each week in 2011. (Click the link to find out more and get all the rules.) Each week I will post before and after pictures and try to walk you through how I transformed the item. Let me warn you though, I’m not sure how great my how-to instructions will be. I come from the school of “wing it, it’ll be fine,” so recreating my steps may be a little difficult on some projects. Feel free to ask questions though! I do better remembering what I did when prompted.
Today I’m proud to tell you about my first item, this beautiful scarf made from an old vintage men’s button up shirt. Unfortunately, I don’t have a before picture this week. I started this project last year so I didn’t think to snap one before I started cutting it up, which I did on a whim one night while watching a Criminal Minds marathon. It was one of the few vintage men’s items that has come through The Fainting Goat and had such great colors, but had a small hole in the back making it unsuitable for sale. Perfect for restyling though!!
I got the idea for this project from an issue of ReadyMade magazine. They suggested picking one without pockets, but I actually like using the pockets! Imagine it’s Friday night and you’re meeting some friends at the local bar. You don’t want to carry a purse or wear a jacket, but you hate the way it looks when you stick you cell phone, chapstick, keys, and cards into the pockets of your fitted jeans. Here’s your solution! Once wrapped around your neck, the pockets are virtually hidden in the fabric, so no worries about bulges. Better yet, no worries about setting down you car key and losing it!
Here are the basic steps:
1. Cut four panels from shirt: two from front, two from back. For front panels, you’ll make three cuts: along side seam of shirt on each side, across shoulder hem (removing the collar), and down center part with buttons. Leave bottom hem in place (this will be the ends of the scarf). Now that you have two panels of relatively the same size and shape, square them up so that you have two rectangle pieces. If your shirt was longer had an uneven hem (shorter on the sides) like mine did, you can keep this! It adds to the final look nicely. Using these as templates, cut two more panels of the same size out of back of shirt. Don’t worry about keeping the bottom here on these, you won’t need it. The two need to be rectangles. If you can get a fifth panel, go for it, but most likely you’ll only get these four.
2. Take the two back panels and match the front sides. Sew together along one edge, about 3/4-1 inch from edge. Fold hem over and sew again. You can stop here if you’re lazy like me, or do one more fold and sew, tucking the raw edge under completely.
3. Repeat the above process to attach the two front panel, one on either end.
That’s it!! I left the edges raw for a fringed effect. I tried using a seam ripper but the fabric wasn’t cooperating. When the threads unravel on their own though, it creates just the effect I was looking for. After a few washes and wears, I’m sure it will be perfect.
For a heavier scarf, you could line the scarf in a solid lightweight flannel fabric. I like the light feel of this one though. Even though it’s really long unwound, the thin fabric allows me to wrap up a few times without feeling smothered.
I’m very proud of my first restyle creation! I test wore it to my best friend’s house this week. She immediately noticed it when I came it and tried it on herself as soon as I took it off. Her 2-year old daughter then promptly stole it from her about a second later and started modeling it around the kitchen. I think that means it was a success!