Menswear for Women: A DIY Experiment

Its been a pretty slow week for me, fashion-wise. Other than a brief trip to the Museum of Fine Arts, I’ve been fairly secluded while working at a winter job. Which is why I decided that this is a perfect week for some DIY trial-and-error; I have plenty of time and I don’t want to spend all my newly-earned money on clothes, since I’m trying to save up for a summer internship. Which is why, last weekend I went to a cool, reasonably-priced vintage shop nearby called Bananas, which is where all the local fashion geeks grew up shopping.   I picked up a couple of XXL men’s shirts with various interesting patterns for $8 a piece, and got to work.

Here is my first completed project, I should have taken a before picture, but lacked the foresight.

I retained most of the original structure, but tried to go in the direction of a sort of 1950’s sporty rockabilly dress. It should have been super simple to carry out, I essentially just lopped off the sleeves, hemmed the raw edges and took in the sides. However, I accidentally made it too tight-fitting across the bust and waist, and had already cut off all the extra fabric that I took in. Because I am a careless and self-taught seamstress. This meant that I had to add a wedge of fabric in the back and two in the front, which tested my limited sewing and tailoring skills. To add insult to injury, I was sewing by hand, as my sewing machine is missing a piece and I haven’t replaced it yet. Overall, the whole piece is a little bit makeshift and rickety, and I’m not sure I’ll ever wear it out, but it was a fun experiment! Plus, now I have a template in case I ever want to try it again, since I do really like the silhouette I ended up with.


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