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Losingmythread – How to make a Mara Blouse from an old shirt

Upcycled shirt Mara Blouse
When Marte from Compagnie M selected me to be part of her ‘Mara Blog action’ I was really pleased…it was about a year ago that I did the original pattern test, before she launched the final pattern, and I wanted to see how far my sewing had come on since then. Also it’s a really cute pattern and S has grown out of the first one I made. As I’d sewn it before I wanted to do something a little different, but still make something that was true to the original pattern, so I made this an upcycling project. Here’s what I started with….
shirt used to make mara
It was a really simple make. I unpicked the ties from the front and used the Mara pattern pieces as they were, remembering to remove the seam allowance from the central part of the yoke piece. My blouse also already had pintucks in so I removed the excess from the lower bodice pattern piece cut them out of the shirt whilst the buttons were done up (treating it as one piece of fabric). Then I assembled it as the instructions suggest.
Upcycled shirt Mara Blouse Upcycled shirt Mara Blouse Upcycled shirt Mara Blouse
I added a bit of colour with some orange trim around the yoke and finished the arm holes with some broderie anglaise that I had. Then I added a little thread loop to each side and used one of the ties I removed from the shirt as a belt. If you are making one from a different shirt (without ties) there would be plenty of fabric left in the sleeves of the shirt to make the belt and make bias for the arm holes, you don’t need the trim if you don’t have it, but it does look pretty! The only real change to the pattern that I made was to lengthen it to a tunic length (that way I could use the original hem of the shirt = less sewing) and also because this version buttons all the way down I could take in the sides a little at the top to get a more fitted look without it becoming difficult to get on and off. Not sure what this face is about but at least you see the full finished tunic…
Upcycled shirt Mara Blouse
Check out more pictures on my blog

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