Monday, June 25, 2018

Bear shoulders

Last summer, when the off-the-shoulder everything trend was cooling off but still very cool (FYI, it's far from over, even this summer, but saying it like that enabled me to use two opposing meanings of the word cool in one sentence—cool, right?), I acquired this hand-me-down camisole.

With ruffles taking over the entire front surface, it wasn't quite my style, so I decided it was the perfect candidate for a little fashion surgery. My plan was to remove the ruffles from the front and use them as off-the-shoulder decorations instead.

It has been so long since I worked on this project, and my photos aren't all that informative, that I can't remember how I removed the front ruffles. I think I had to open the front center seam to free the fabric, then re-sew it shut, but it's also possible that I just cut the ruffles very closely and tweezed out any remaining loose threads.
The front ruffles, when removed, formed two long crescent shapes.

I also disconnected the top ruffles on the outer sides of the straps.

I lined up the end of one top ruffle with the end of one front ruffle.
Then I sewed the two ends together!

For my first attempt, I used some glue and an old drawstring to finish and reinforce top edge of the new shoulder ruffle. However, this never really worked well (limited my arm mobility severely!), so I went back and put elastic in place of the drawstring.
I attached the shoulder ruffles to the back where they touched the straps, allowing the edges to overlap, then sewed them down.

The shoulder ruffles were finished, but I still wasn't happy with the front of the blouse. Now that the ruffles were gone, the seam down the front was too noticeable. It looked unfinished.

To make it look more like a feature than a flaw, I attached a string of elastic to the bottom 2/3.

(Shown in picture with the shirt inside out and folded at the front seam.)

This gives the front a ruched look and helps hide the imperfections in the front seam.

I wore this top for the first time shortly after I made it, but for whatever reason, never got around to taking a picture of it. Almost a year later, it finally got out for its second public appearance, at a restaurant called Black Bear. Could there have been a more perfect place to photograph my shoulder-baring blouse? I can bearly believe it!

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