Saturday, July 20, 2013

Converting my grandfather's shirt

Raw materials and goal
  A few months ago, my grandfather died, and as a part of cleaning everything out, I was given a handful of his shirts to play with.    The two polos (there is also a navy blue) were a nice, thick, springy jersey and I knew they needed to become something good.   Conveniently enough, I had a RTW shirt I'd been wanting to copy for ages.   I loved the general lines, but it was from my freshman year of college - back when the style was for cropped shirts and I didn't mind if bra straps showed out of the top.

tracing the sleeves was a pain in the ass, but worth it.
 When tracing off my pattern, I added about 4 inches of length and widened the cuff (is it a cuff if its that close of my shoulder?) by about an inch, for comfort.

pretty close, no?

I also decided to bring the neckline in a bit at the shoulders, so rather than using an even binding all the way around I added lozenge shaped sections for the shoulders.  When folded in half they made wedges which sit nicely, hold the shirt in place and make a decent attempt at keeping my bra inside my shirt.  (always a plus).    If you compare the image below to the later pictures, you'll see the center back binding was replaced with ribbing.   It kept gaping, and I had original collar of the polo version of the shirt left over....   so, I stretched it out, sewed in it in place, and no more gape!  (a bit of wrinkly pull.... but c'est la vie.  I like that the collar is still the collar. 

neckline binding

  Side note: it is insanely hot here.  Current temperature is 101 - heat index at 111 (Fahrenheit, obviously, otherwise I would be burned to a crisp)  I was outside for maybe 10 minutes taking pictures and nearly sweat through my clothes -- in the shade.  However! I found a plant!     Anyhow - check out those shoulder lozenges doing their thing.  Also the extra 4 inches of length bringing the shirt into the current decade.

And of course the reason for the increased sleeve width:  my insanely huge biceps.  However, when you can tear your eyes away, check out the non-gaping back neckline.   Also, the sun decimating all things in its path over to my left.  Here's hoping for a thunderstorm (we had a solid two weeks of rain, followed by a heat wave.  I vote such things be properly interspersed.) 

All in all, I am most pleased with this shirt and plan to make more of them.   I'm also getting a kick out of it being from Chiefy's polo - I think he would have been entertained by it too.  He would pat me on the head (literally), cross his arms and laugh.

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