I recently picked up a white cotton tunic in a charity shop at a very low price. I didn’t like it quite as it was, but as the neckline was mostly good and it had lots of material with very few seams, it made a nice base for a makeover. A couple of in-progress pictures has been posted on my Instagram, so I’ll just post the before and after ones here.
The bands on the sleeves made them just a tad too tight, so I removed them. I also wanted to make the sleeves longer, as I don’t like to wear short sleeves if I can help it – I have some insecurities about my arms. As I plan to wear the blouse under sleeveless dresses, I decided to crop it, inspired by dirndl blouses. I have done so a couple of times before, and like how cropped blouses work under a fitted bodice. I used the cut-off material for lengthening the sleeves.
Due to some blue stains I didn’t notice at first, I couldn’t use all the cut-off material. Thus, the sleeves were lengthened by adding two strips of fabric – you can still see stitch marks from the pockets on one of them. I covered all joins in the fabric, and the stitch holes from the decorative band of the original tunic, with cotton tapes with a woven pattern. The narrow ones are re-purposed from an old blue sailor-inspired skirt, and the wider one at the cuffs is what was left over from another project. I had just enough of the tapes for what I needed.
I didn’t like the open slit at the neck, as that showed off my cleavage way too much. I decided to close it with buttons that had been in my stash for 15 years or so, and to use the ties both for loops and for securing the buttons.
I threaded the buttons on the ties, and then alternated buttons and loops on both sides, carefully stitching by hand. The new closure gives the blouse a whole new look, adding visual interest while keeping me comfortably covered.
I hemmed the bottom of the blouse and inserted elastic, and that was it, makeover complete.
I tried my new blouse under the ‘Blackberries-in-Cream’ dress. I like how it came out, and I’ve now added a well needed white blouse to my wardrobe.
I love this style! I must make more dresses and blouses…