Shirt Refashion 2015 – the mullet shirt


Portia of Makery is hosting her 3rd refashion challenge. It ends 27th September so if you want in, you’d better get a wriggle on! The 2015 challenge is to ‘get shirty’ and refashion a man’s shirt. Wee hee, right up my alley! Portia had some celebrity bloggers add their shirt’s worth, this one by Sasha is particularly stunning I think.

Thanks are due to Tome for their inspiration and Princess for her keen fashion eye, this was our inspiration!

Screen Shot 2015-08-26 at 11.01.32 am

We also saw this shirt modeled on an Australian fashion blog and the blogger’s black bra was evident. As my Princess is somewhat short waisted, it was decided we’d go for the right length rather than bra covering ability as a priority! So we embarked on refashioning a mullet shirt – business at the front – party at the back, not unlike the hairstyle of yore!

what were we thinking?
what were we thinking?

The goal of the challenge is to demonstrate the reuse/refashion of the shirt. As it happened I had the front of this shirt sitting in my mending pile. Hubby had spilled what looked suspiciously like vindaloo down the front and no amount of boiling in Napisan would make it vanish, but the fabric was such lovely quality and but a babe to boot.

I firstly tried to just cut away a section of the back in the vainglorious hope that the refashion would be over before I got started. Alas, alack, it was going to be much more of a palaver than that. After an hour or so of painstakingly unpicking micro stitching (stitch length < 2.0 aaaagh!) along the back yoke and side seams, the back shirt was free. Ummm, almost free. Who knew Mr T.M. Lewin glued his flat felled seams? Well this shirt was made in the Philippines and its glued, then stitched. I can’t vouch for the methods used in T.M. Lewin shirts made elsewhere, In case you don’t believe me, here’s the evidence! ‘Noir’ filter to enhance.

glue on the bottom - shirt back seamline
glue on the bottom – shirt back seamline
the evidence
the evidence

I am not above a bit of glueing myself, but have never used it on flat felled seams – have you?

Since my rudimentary ‘refashion’ cut out didn’t look anything like the original ‘inspiration’ it was clear we’d need another white shirt to complete the vision. I had a duffle coat to be going on with so off went Princess to Vinnies armed with her new driver’s license and warnings to inspect underarms for stains. The one she brought back was poly cotton, but in pretty good nick actually.

Ironically both shirts purported to be
Ironically both shirts purported to be “non-iron”.

Having whipped off the back section at the yoke and side seams I cut a long horizontal piece from the second shirt  which included the shirt’s side seams and fashioned a french seam at centre back bringing those side seams into line with the yoke/new wingy thing junction. Sailor worthy swearing emanated from the sewing dungeon as I maneuvered and re-maneuvered the new wingy piece between the existing yoke sections and created a mock flat felled seam down the side seams, after all they will be seen. Princess was pleasantly surprised at my rip off inspired refashion. Oh and of course I added a couple of front darts for my young lady’s preferred silhouette.

Thanks go to ‘Huey’ the weather God for a gorgeous pre spring day at Pittwater for these photos. And without further ado – ta da! The challenge is open until September 27th, details here.

backless shirt1IMG_4530


Add yours →

  1. Wow, that looks so cool! Major impact from the back. I love it with the striped skirt too.

  2. A great refashion – it’s certainly not a boring Sorbetto – and model and styling and photoshoot.

    I wasn’t aware of this challenge but you’re seriously tempting me (on top of the hundreds of projects I had in mind!). And I spotted a fine Charles Thyrwhitt shirt in the charity shop today…. hope one is enough!

    P.S. Princess is gorgeous!

    • Thanks Marianna, just an iphone and our favourite spot. Its always perplexed me how some people just photograph well, and some like me, don’t! Suppose thats why I enjoy sewing for my baby! Go get the shirt, run don’t walk!

  3. Stunning work, Lesley! And gorgeous photos and Princess, too. A very interesting challenge indeed.

  4. It is such a great look. I really want to make something like that. There is a never ending need for white shirts (me, and my daughter) but we need variety. You have done beautifully with this one.

  5. Hey Lesley – love it. Is the tie that we can see at the back part of the skirt or is it holding the shirt down? If only I was 20 years younger! Looks lovely on her.

  6. Now that is a very clever refashion.

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