Saturday, May 5, 2018

The Fabulous Paisley Blouse

Please tell me I'm not the only one who looks at the clothes people are wearing, admires the fabric, and thinks "I wish I had that garment to refashion! The fabric is beautiful! I wanna make something from it!" Such a thought process was how this shirt came to be.

One of my friends on the World Race acquired a lovely pair of soft and flowy rayon paisley pants. I rather like paisley prints, and this paisley was beautiful - large, colorful  swirly, and just irregular enough to be interesting. I commented to my friend if she ever didn't want the pants anymore she could send them my way. I loved the fabric! At the end of the Race, she did just that, gifting me the pants to refashion. Now what would I turn them into?

A pair of pants does not yield an awful lot of fabric, but I was confident I would be able to turn these paisley trousers into something fabulous. It would just require the right design. Thus, the pants stayed packed up, along with all my other fabric acquired on the Race, until inspiration struck.

One day I came across a beautiful blouse, made from  McCalls 7687, on Pattern Review, and that was it. I knew what the paisley pants would become! The pattern for the button-back blouse was pretty, had fun, interesting details, and most importantly, was ideal for refashioning, thanks to the princess seams! So the next time McCall's patterns were on sale, I snatched this one up! Just a few slight pattern alterations had to be made to fit both personal preference and the amount of fabric I had available.

I adjusted my center front pattern piece to have v-neck rather than a high round neckline, then proceeded to cut out my entire blouse from the pants. The narrow(ish) pattern pieces for the body of the shirt all fit onto the legs! (though I did have to do a bit of piecing on the side back pieces) Unfortunately, once the front and back of the shirt were cut out, there was no way I would be getting any of the pattern's several included sleeve options cut from the remaining material. I was going to have to figure out the sleeves on my own!

At this point, all that was left of the pants was the waistband and ties. The front waistband, and the front waistband lining, became the sleeve caps. The ties became the sleeve ruffles. The resulting sleeves keep the feel of the pattern design, even though they're not near as long and voluminous as the original sleeves! 

For the back of the shirt I decided on green buttons. The buttons I'd painted for my 1940's style wrap dress were just the perfect shade, so I pulled out my nail polish and painted a few more to match. I quite like the way they look all down the back of the blouse!

Actually I quite like just about everything on this top! It's soft and comfortable and pretty. The sleeves turned out beautifully, despite the fact I had no pattern for them. And I absolutely love the fabric! I'd say I managed to turn it into something fabulous, just as I'd hoped!


  1. A really pretty top. Amazing how you got this from a pair of pants. Great job.

    1. Thanks Gram! I was so excited when I found a pattern that would actually fit on the pants!

  2. Looks really good! I can see why you liked the fabric of the trousers!