Friday, July 20, 2012

Great Grandpa's Shirts

I received some of my Grandfather George's shirts when he passed away 2 years ago (I  requested them). I had read in Weekend Sewing by Heather Ross that you can use a man's shirt to make a boy's shirt so I wanted to make sure to get something to remember Grandpa by (in a family with 45+ grandkids I thought the shirts would be something that other's wouldn't mind me having to dismantle).

I finally got around to using two of the shirts to make things for the kids. I haven't got their portraits done yet this year so I decided to make D a nice shirt and B nice dress which would be slightly "matchy." Most of Grandpa's shirts had pearl snaps so I wanted to make sure to feature them on both pieces of clothing. This was easy for D's shirt, though I did have to add another snap towards the bottom of his shirt since the original snaps didn't go that far down the front.

My front pattern piece laid on the shirt front.
The pockets are leftover - need to find a good
project to use them in.
The shirt I used for D's shirt.
The fabric is lightweight and
 has a sort of basket weave pattern to it.
I had used the cuff on another project.
I don't have a pattern for a boy's shirt pattern in size 5 but I do have this 1984 Simplicity #6560 girl's shirt. I used version 2 (the yellow) except the sleeve, I used the sleeve pattern from Kai's Shirt in Weekend Sewing

D likes his new shirt and it will be perfect for portraits and special occasions - it'll be great for his first school pictures this fall - not sure how I have a kindergartener already!!

For B's dress I him-hawed for quite a while trying to decide what to do but eventually just went with using the pattern as is except that I added a collar. I created a collar by using the pocket flaps so I could get those snaps on the dress somewhere. The shirt I used for B's dress was a blue pin stripe with the contrast stripe yoke on the shoulders, also it was faded from the waist up which gives the skirt a nice bit of ombre effect - though not too noticeable.

1968 Simplicity #8016 pattern
Was my grandmother's but
it was un-cut tho the
envelope is missing.

I made version 1 - though mine is longer than pictured.
To make the skirt portion I cut off the snaps strips, cut across the shirt just below the pockets and turned it around to make the back of the shirt the front of the skirt. I then used the pattern pieces to cut the armholes along the existing side seams.
Basically I turned the shirt around to cut all the pieces - the back bodice was cut from the front of the shirt and the front bodice was cut from the back of the shirt. I was able to get both sleeves cut from one of the shirt sleeves. I am thinking I want to try making a headband with the front snap strip, if B will wear it.
I did quite a bit of had sewing to finish this dress up. I had to tack the collar down to make it lay flat and tacked the neck facing down which was made easier with the double layer of fabric from the yokes - no visible stitches on the right side.

I love how the bodice turned out with the shirt's yokes!
Not thrilled with my zipper installation - should have used an invisible zipper!
I'm happy I was able to have Grandpa's shirts and am very happy that I finally took the time to use two of them for the kid's clothing. 
Hopefully this will inspire someone to re-use some of grandpa or dad's old shirts.

Blessed Be,

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  1. Awesome refashions!!! Love how you've put the pearl snap on the collar of the dress.

  2. It is beautiful and what a sweet memory! I just love this idea...


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