The Scavenger Hunt That Lead to a Pillow Shirt

In the summer of 2012, I emailed my mom, grandmother and aunts to ask if I could scour their fabric piles to get materials to practice with. Fabric can be expensive and I needed to practice putting in an invisible zipper and adding lining to a garment when the pattern didn’t call for a lining. I sensed that I might ‘ruin’ a few projects before creating something wearable.

Those scavenged materials ended up becoming a dress, a blouse, and 2 skirts (which I like to call my ‘granny minis’). Each represented something that I learned in the process. Often, I was learning about how to find a pattern that fits my body in the way I want it to rather than necessarily learning a particular technique.

The first of these projects was a McCall’s 6123 blouse. The fashion fabric needed a lining. In the interest of only using material that I had on hand, I lined it with an old sheet.

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One of my next goals is to figure out how to make the seams match perfectly when I am sewing an invisible zipper. If you look closely at the back fo the blouse, you will see that lines do not match up. I wasn’t too bothered by this because it’s not noticeable unless you look closely.

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Need to work on lining up the seam in the back. This often happens when I’m sewing an invisible zipper.

I love this bright fabric: it came from my grandmother’s pile and was leftover from some throw pillows. Why does it excite me that I have a blouse made from the same fabric as a pillow? Probably because both were handmade.

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This shirt pairs well with jeans and sandals on a temperate day. For this project, I added lining and practiced sewing an encased, invisible zipper. After finishing, I realized that I might have preferred wearing this as a summer dress rather than a shirt. However, I have loved wearing it because I made it from a scrap pile and the colors are so bright and happy.

2 thoughts on “The Scavenger Hunt That Lead to a Pillow Shirt

    1. Michelle Post author

      Thank you! I enjoy that fabric. I’m thinking of trying another shirt like this but putting a zipper in that seam to make it a nursing shirt.

      Reply

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