This is a blouse that I found at the vintage fashion faire I recently went to. I was drawn to its elegant neckline and color (I love white woven shirts.) When I tried it on, however, I was nonplussed to see that the overall look of it skewed matron. I almost, almost did not buy it, but as soon as I put it back on the rack I felt compelled to grab it again. The neckline was so lovely that I decided to buy it as a fixer-upper.
The first thing I did was replace the plain two-hole plastic button with some pearl ones. The pictures above already has the new pearl buttons attached, so you’ll just have to trust me when I say that the first buttons were not cute.
Next, I shortened the sleeves. The current length of the sleeves look matronly and unflattering on me. While wearing the blouse, I marked the length I wanted the sleeves with a small gold safety pin, and then measured a cut line that gives me a 1 inch edge to work with. I finished the hem using a blind stitch for a clean, modern finish.
After I shortened the sleeves I decided to update the hemline. Instead of a straight hem, I wanted something more shirtail in style, shorter at the sideseams curving down to the front and back. This way, I could wear the front tucked in and the back untucked (my most favorite way to wear shirts.) If you have a curved ruler this is easy to do, even if you don’t it’s not hard to draw the curve you want.
When I took out the stitches on the hemline and sleeves, the thread left behind holes in the fabric. So I couldn’t radically change the garment without first cutting off the stitched part (which wouldn’t have worked because I would have nothing leftover to wear.) Another thing I almost forgot about – I had my iron on the highest heat setting from my last project. I went to press a sleeve hem and the poly fabric started to melt! Fortunately, it was part of the sleeve that is by the underarm and thus unnoticeable, and I caught the melting before it ruined the fabric.
Here is the refinished product! As you can see, I didn’t make any drastic changes to the overall garment, but some little tweaks here and there really keep it from screaming vintage. I am wearing this blouse with my Current/Elliott blue plaid cropped skinnies. And since I am apparently too tall to fit into an Instagram at full length, here are my shoes: