Chico’s Blouse Refashion

Volunteering certainly has its perks. Meeting people and making new friends while helping out in my community makes volunteering an enjoyable experience for me. But getting things for free doesn’t hurt either! Last week during my volunteer shift at the Humane Society Thrift & Gift store, my friend Sally noticed that one of the donated blouses had stained sleeves. Sally handed me the top and said “Here, we can’t sell this, but you could cut the sleeves off”. Yup, Sally knows me so well! Since the blouse was from Chico’s, my size, perfect except for the bleached sleeves, and in a color I love, I took it home for refashioning.

I thought I would just trim the sleeves and remove the shirt pocket flaps, a super simple refashion. The breast pocked flap buttons were situated in an awkward spot on my high busted figure. Although the top looked better without the pocket buttons and flaps, the stripes made me look like a hospital volunteer. Not exactly the look I was hoping for – way too Cherry Ames, Candy Striper! Hmm, how could I get less of a hospital helper look?

Well, I figured to get less of the hospital vibe I’d have to have less red and white stripes. But I didn’t want the shirt to be too revealing. I decided that removing the upper back and sleeves wouldn’t be too Miley Cyrus, so I cut the back yoke across the lower seam and unpicked it from the collar stand. Once I had the yoke off I resewed the collar stand closed. I removed the sleeves at the armhole and angle cut the front of the shirt from wide near the armhole to narrower at the collar, halter top style.

As a halter, the top was too loose at the upper edge so I removed the pockets, added 2 bust darts, and then reattached the pockets. Removing the back yoke and sleeves left raw edges, so I attached bias tape, turned the bias tape to the inside, pressed it and sewed it down. I also made the back darts wider so the back wouldn’t gape open. Even with wider darts the back still had excess fabric, so I sewed a piece of elastic inside the back waist and covered the stitching on the outside with a pocket flap. My simple refashion ended up needing a bit more work than I imagined in order to make it wearable. But I wanted to make sure I wouldn’t be asked to empty bed pans while wearing this top!

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