Upcycling a shirt - how to get rid of a fashion statement...

in needleworkmonday •  last year 

@jen0revision is starting 6th form which is the last two years of secondary education - hasn’t time flown ! We did a bit of ‘uniform’ shopping yesterday morning. Although she was pleased she didn’t need the white shirts, the ‘pinstripe’ offering above with fashion statement included would definitely not be allowed at school (apparently).

I inspected it and checked whether or not I could take the ribbon strip off.


That's the inside of the sleeve; it had ‘nearly perfect’ sewn lines along the strip (to pick).

I could just make out the sewn line on the right side. This meant that the strip wasn’t glued and could therefore be taken off; that's why we bought the shirt.


The photos above show what I could see at the shoulder seam. This was part of the decision process : how much to interfere with an otherwise perfect shirt. The main tool for the process was the seam ripper and a sharp pair of scissors, needle and matching thread.

Closest to the red bits of colour is the overlocked (serged) seam (number 1). That's the top end of the ribbon and I decided to leave it alone. I unpicked the the second line of stitching which was the width of the ribbon strip (number 2). The other sewn lines of stitching also got picked as you will see below.

I followed the same process for both sleeve shoulders and for the cuffs. There was a slight variation with the cuff though which is shown in photo 2 below.

1 - I made sure I knew exactly where to unpick and did so very carefully as I didn’t want accidental snips with the very sharp seam ripper.

2 - The cuff had top stitching. This is actually barely visible, but again I was careful to only unpick up to the end of the ribbon strip. I noticed that once unpicked it was loosely sewn in so I carefully pulled that and ‘released’ it (see number 4).

3 - Once the ribbon strip was completely unpicked along the length of the sleeve and at the cuff. I had the shoulder seam to contend with. I had the option to just cut it off there, but as described before I decided to unpick the shoulder seam (not the neatened edge).

4 - This shows the moment I cut the ribbon strip from the cuff topstitched seam.

5 - For the shoulders I cut it in between the seam and that neatened edge. It was a bit tense, but it worked.

6 - I then finished that off by hand because my sewing machine is still a bit jammed and I didn’t want to risk all that effort.

It does not show :D

That’s the finished work. If you look closely you can just see the line of unpicked stitching but I am confident that it will disappear after washing.

As for the ribbon left, I already know what I'm going to be using it for - watch this space...

Thank you for reading !



all photos by @cryptocariad



🌻 Thank you @crosheille and @crystalize for hosting #needleworkmonday 🌻

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  ·  last year (edited)

I think it looks better without it, thanks for showing how to pay attention to the thread and showing your work.

Ive repaired many pants of mine from small rips sewing them up. I wish more people knew how.

You're welcome, @solominer. I tend to share photos of things I make, do and repair to encourage others. I make mistakes and often things look a bit 'unprofessional', but at least I've tried :D

Thats great, well we all make mistakes and if you can point them out then sometimes you can help others not make those same mistakes.

Lovely shirt - without the ribbon ;) Just classical pinstripes you can wear everywhere, even to school.

I agree - @cryptocariad's modification was a great improvement :)
I'm sure there's a much better use for the ribbon.

Thanks, @shanibeer... The ribbon is quite sturdy actually and doesn't crease that easily.

Thanks and yes, @muscara... better without the ribbon :D

So good that you were able to modify it to your needs! I'm curious what you'll use the ribbon for. I do that, too - I have all sorts of old ribbons from various things that I've reused already or are awaiting reuse.

I've got empty detergent boxes with rescued zippers, bits of thread, beads, buttons, ribbons and also those narrow ribbon ties that you get at the shoulders, @phoenixwren.

As a clue, the shirt had a military style and so the ribbon reminded me of show rosettes :D

My curtain tie back in the living room is my honors chords from graduation. 😂 Reuse all the things!!!

@mivstar and @jen0revision have been playing with the ribbons :

You must have a very 'distinguished' curtain @phoenixwren 😂

It's an educated curtain. ^_^

Aahh the ever ready stitch picker. I love them! The shirt looks much classier without the ribbon @cryptocariad. Yay!

Thanks, @marblely... Seam rippers are very sharp too :D

Oh ya, they are called seam rippers! Where did stitch picker come from?? Haha. Sorry.

No worries, @marblely... I call it all sorts :D

Wow I cannot imagine how it would have been at a school which has a say how to dress... (I had some very strange clothing stages during school, variating between punk, goth, and some other subcultures which were hip at this time :-DDD) I think you saved the day with your sewing skills, and as I saw on a serial these stripes are also very trendy on jeans, perhaps a project for next monday ?

😂 I loved wearing a uniform throughout school - great leveller as they say... I have seen this type of ribbon on knitwear too, @neumannsalva.

Wao! A thorough job for an impeccable result. I think it was laborious. The shirt looks great.

Thank you, @jicrochet... Well, it would have helped if I'd worn my glasses, but luckily there were no accidents :D

Nice! Great job getting that stripe off and ending up with a great usable shirt! Seam ripper is my friend. ;)

Thank you, @apanamamama... Seam rippers can be a bit dangerous but they are time savers !

This was a nice modification!! Great way to keep a nice shirt around. I love my seam ripper!! 😊

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yes, the shirt looks much nicer without the red tape :)