Refashioned Pink Portrait Blouse (for the Refashioning the 1960s Challenge!) ~ Diane's Vintage Zest!

Refashioned Pink Portrait Blouse (for the Refashioning the 1960s Challenge!)

Shame on me for being late, but I had a bit of a "trip hangover" and also forgot that we would be out of town through Monday, not Sunday.  Thus, the garment's photoshop needed to be pushed back until today.  Oops!

As you know from this post, I planned to refashion a large pink button-down shirt with swiss dots using the portrait blouse pattern from Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing.  After a lot of hemming (not literally) and hawing, I FINALLY dove in and got my garment done!.

Here is my Refashioned Pink Portrait Blouse!

This was a part of our Refashioning the 1960s Challenge and with this 1960's inspired pattern and starting materials, I think I did a pretty good job.  :)

First of all, I obviously turned the blouse around and reworked the shirt from there.  That means that I was left with a lovely row of buttons all along the back of the shirt!  I think it's lovely, and it made the construction much easier.  Of course, I still had some difficult items to contend with along the way, which I plan to share in a post about how to refashion garments.

Refashioned Pink Portrait Blouse 5

As for the pattern itself, I found that it was easy to use, even though I was apprehensive about it.  I traced the pattern, for which I will share a tutorial some time next week.  It was my first time sewing tucks, which I think are very feminine and unique!  Here is a close-up of the dart, tuck, and the Swiss dot fabric.

Refashioned Pink Portrait Blouse 3

I did mention that I made a few changes to the pattern.  For one thing, I did not follow the hem exactly and I just decided to keep the original hem of the pieces.  It required a bit of measuring to make sure they matched up, but it was pretty close!  To make the neckline more flattering on me, I created a slight V-shape.

Also, I did not include the side zipper, since I can shimmy into the shirt or unbutton the back if need be.  Lastly, I did not include the facings and just hemmed the neckline normally.  The fabric is sheer and fairly strong, so I thought a facing would actually be more of a distraction than anything.

Now for the bad part...  Although it looks a bit lumpy here, the back fits perfectly except there is one problem.  I didn't have enough fabric on the original front piece, so I had to cut through the sleeves to borrow a bit of fabric.  Scroll down a picture if you're not sure what I mean...

Refashioned Pink Portrait Blouse 4

That's the edge of my sleeve below.  Also, since the original sleeve was set in with excess fabric in the shoulder area (like normal), I had to basically create a dart in the bottom of the sleeve and cut away the excess to get the fabric to lie flat.

Refashioned Pink Portrait Blouse 6

I can pretend that it was an intended detail, but we all know that it totally wasn't!  The funny thing is that now I have the leftover two sleeves and the collar, but there was no way to make the piece I wanted bigger.  Oh well!

The thing that I'm most proud of is my tiny bit of tailoring to make it a bit more flattering.  I know that it looks a little loosey goosey on Lily, but I like the way it fits now, and I actually made quite a few changes!

First of all, I moved the dart up more than 1 inch because it was pointing pretty far down on the apex of the bust.  Also, I always seem to have a bunching of fabric at the back of my neckline, as well as having it rise very high on my neck.  I adjusted the piece, and it now lays flat.


This was a great learning experience, and I can't wait to refashion a few more garments in my closet!  Stay tuned next week for the rest of our Stitch Once, Rip Twice members' garments!


  1. Ha, you should just tell people it was a design detail because I think it looks great! Nice job!

  2. Fabulous job! You made the right choice on interfacing. That fabric is too cute not to use!!

  3. Thanks! It's a good thing that the original stitching was done well, because it probably looks better than what I would have done originally!

  4. That's good! I love the added detail on back: using existing seams and buttons is one of my fav things on refashioning!
    And: I often use the original hem, it looks so .. professional!
    MammaNene @ SergerPepper

  5. Great refashioning! I love the fabric, esp the little swiss dots.

  6. Thanks! I was a little worried about using the original hem, but I think it is a great detail. :)

  7. Me too! I'm glad that I could make it into a more flattering top. :)

  8. So cute! :)

    Thanks for joining the Link Up this week!

  9. Cute! I like the buttons in the back. Thanks for sharing this at Gingerly Made's Show & Tell.

  10. Thanks for hosting and for visiting!

  11. What a pretty refashion Diane!

    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!

    Hope you have a fabulous week!

    Jill @ Creating my way
    to Success

  12. Thanks so much! I thought you might like it, being the refashioning queen and all. ;)

  13. This blouse is so pretty Diane, Thanks so much for sharing it at the Krafty Inspiration Thursday Link Party, you have been chosen as one of the top 5 featured posts at tomorrow’s party.
    Have a lovely evening!
    Maria @ Krafty Cards etc.

  14. This is so pretty! What a great idea for repurposing. Thanks for sharing this with us at the HomeAcre Hop! We'd love to have you back again this morning.

  15. Thank you! I'll head over tomorrow night. :)

  16. Thank you! I'll be there in a bit. :)

  17. What?! You blew me away! I LOVE the refashion you did! Thanks for linkin up to Sunday FUNday!

  18. Diane, thanks so much for your sweet comment when I was so down about my blog party. You did an amazing job on this blouse transformation! Love it! I think darts add so much to clothing, too--at least for my curvy figure. Have a great week, and thanks for linking up and visiting me at Sunday View.

  19. Of course! I'll try not to be as much of a lurker anymore. :) But know that I'll be there! Ditto about the darts!


I love to hear your comments! And putting in your two cents is always free. :)