Sunday, December 8, 2013

80's Lady to Modern Mama

Photo courtesy of Flickr.
Happy snow days to those of you experiencing winter wonderlands.  I'm sure some of you might think I'm crazy, but I would love to be walking down a snowy street, hand-in-hand with my sweetheart.  Hawaii is gorgeous, but I always long for a little snow about this time of year.  I guess the grass is always greener...

Anyway, I have a great blouse refashion to share with you today.

I snagged this beautifully colored crepe blouse at a garage sale for $0.50.  Even though it screamed 80's Lady, I knew it had real potential.

Holy shoulder pads!  These are about the biggest I've seen.  I got rid of them right away and then went to work with my seam ripper.  I removed the collar, sleeves, and sleeve bands.  I then seam ripped the shoulders apart.

The top went inside out on my dress form, and I took in the sides a little and straightened the shoulders.  I also trimmed some fabric off the shoulders so that the sleeves would fit.  Normally, I would sew a french seam at all the edges.  However, because I didn't have much fabric to work with, I decided to straight stitch the edges and trim them up using pinking shears.   If only I had a serger....

Once the top was stitched up, I began to work on the sleeves.  I wanted them to be quarter length, so I cut them off at the bottom.

Next, I cut them down the seam.

To re-size the sleeves, I did my little trick where I pinned the edge of the sleeves around the armhole and pinned where I would need to cut and sew.  

After measuring the sleeve, I cut a straight line down from the pin marker.

I then hemmed a double hem at the cuff of the sleeves and stitched them down the seams.  Next, I reattached them to the armholes, right sides facing.

To finish off the neckline, I sewed the edges down once and then folded them over again to create a clean edged hem.  I thought the blouse needed a little something, so I decided to add some sleeve straps.  I was followed Carissa's wonderful tutorial over at Carissa Knits. 

Remember the sleeve cuffs that I detached?  I removed the buttons and sewed the edges down.

I attached the buttonless side to the inside of the sleeve, half way up and in the middle.

Because the original pinkish buttons looked a little dated, I swapped them out for some pearlish modern looking ones.

When the straps were sewn into place, I hand sewed the pearl buttons to the center of the X.

The completed straps buttoned up nicely.

In just a few hours, this 80's relic was given a new modern life.  I love my new blouse so much that I might just wear it to my Holiday party next weekend.

Here you have it...

Stay warm and cozy! 


  1. Thanks for the shout-out, Trish! This blouse turned out fabulously, and I love that you were able to keep the pleating on the front. Gorgeous!

    1. Thanks, Carissa. You are welcome. Your tutorial was very helpful, and I love the sleeve straps!

  2. I have seen a few blouses with lovely pleats, like this one, and wondered how to update them. You did a beautiful job!

    1. Thank you, Jenny. I am glad that I was able to salvage it. I just loved the color and pleats. These types of tops are really easy to find.

  3. Oh, so much better! And I love the color.

    1. Thanks, Magda. I agree. The huge shoulder pads had to go, but the color is lovely.

  4. When you get tired of wearing this just send it my way :)


Thank you for sharing your thoughts!