Amy’s Folk Shirt Re-fashion

…as quite a few projects recently have been ‘re-fashions’, which means literally nothing if you can’t see what it’s been fashioned from.  I’ll get there.  As it stands, the closest I could get to the original state of this garment is this:

people tree embroidered dress

If I’d looked like that in it, I would’ve kept it!  Mine was the cream version, but I’ve had it so long the internet has no pictures left…  In that time (about 4-5 years, at a guess), I’ve worn it twice.  Whatever the opposite of suiting me perfectly is, that’s what it did…

I only hung on to it for so long because the fabric is so lovely, a really soft yet substantial hand-woven cotton, and because I was sure I could feature that embroidery on something.

childs embroidered shirt

And, finally, I did!  The pattern I used is McCall’s M6951, with several alterations.  Here’s the envelope picture:

And here’s Amy modelling hers:

kids shirt re-fashion

It’s way too big for her, but I made it right at the end of summer, so I want to make sure it fits her next year!  I either made the 8 or 10 – it’s a 50/50 chance either way.  I can’t remember…

folk embroidered shirt

The changes I made to the pattern were mostly dictated by trying to leave as much of the embroidery intact as possible, so I left off the collar, and used the finished neckline of the original dress as the neckline of the shirt.  I cut the back piece out wholesale from the front of the dress, which meant the front yoke formed a nice (although rather high) yoke on the back.

folk embroidery

I then hacked up and cobbled together the rest, as you see.  In order to use the neckline at the front of the shirt, I had to create a yoke (which I also had to piece, as you see.  I honestly can’t remember the whys and wherefores, but it worked out ok!

The sleeves in the pattern are little cap-sleeves, which means you have to bind the rest of the armscye – laziness about doing this meant that I drafted proper sleeves for it, which I managed to just squeeze out of the sleeves of the dress.  Looking back, I should have bothered – I think the cap sleeves would have worked better with the summery look of this shirt.  Never mind…

The only other change I made to the pattern was to curve the hem down at the front, rather than use either of the hem options given (raised front hem, or tie-fronts).


Found some cute buttons in Hobbycraft…

I did have some construction shots, but I can’t find them – I think they were on my old phone.  Shame, because I’m actually super-pleased with the construction of this.  I know why too – having quite limited fabric to work with, and wanting to incorporate existing details into the shirt forced me to really slow down in the initial planning stages.  This seemed to carry through into my sewing, with the result I properly thought through the best way to do each step beforehand.  I’m coming to terms with the fact that I don’t sew fast and well – it’s either one or the other.  I live with that, and I’ve been making a conscious effort to avoid the deadline-induced rushing that’s my usual downfall.

It’s nice to learn from your successes, as well as your failures!

Well, you all have a lovely Christmas, I have purchased an obscene amount of fudge, and planning to drink most of the damson gin that we will technically be gifting to other people…  We’re down in sunny Devon at my mum’s for Christmas, with the prospect of hiring a car to get home as ours broke down (the garage says irreparably…) halfway here.  George had the best journey EVER, as we travelled the remaining 80 miles in the AA tow-truck.


All the best for the festivities, and I’ll see you in the New Year!



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