Sunday, 17 February 2013

Hawk eye and two refashions

Last year at the local ploughing festival, my husband and our neighbour were talking to someone there who had a display of birds of prey.  As they were chatting it emerged that they use them for rabbiting, and as we're snided out with rabbits, it was arranged for them to come and see if they could thin them out a bit.
They came last week but the rain was so bad, they didn't stop long.  It's a beautiful day today, so much nicer for the birds.  Here's one of them which is a Harris Hawk

They have ferrets to flush the rabbits out but I don't know how they got on because I had to go out.


This is one of two identical blouses I got from the charity shop for £1 each.  Well identical in all but colour, the other one is in pinks (more about that another day).
I don't think they have ever been worn and as you can see it's quite big - I think it might even be maternity wear because it's supposed to be my size.

Most of the fullness comes from beneath rows of pin tucks at the top of the front.  This wasn't just where the pin tucks ended though, the pin tucks were a sort of bib and there was a separate piece of fabric gathered onto it.  This made it very easy to unpick the gathered bit, flatten it out and restitch it on, whilst also making a vertical seam  to accommodate the spare fabric.  It then only needed a couple of darts in the back.
I didn't like the three quarter length sleeves so I shortened them and also the bottom.

I toyed with the idea of taking a collar off a plain blue blouse I haven't worn for years and attaching it to this, but then decided against it.
Apart from the bit I cut off the bottom and the sleeves, I had some other bits and bobs left over.  There was a narrow tie belt and a couple of those tabs for when the sleeves were rolled up.  It was when I took the tabs off, that I had what I thought was a brilliant idea, and it concerned the aforementioned blue blouse.
Here is said blouse (the collar's turned up because I only remembered to take a photo after I'd started on it)

It doesn't button all the way to the top and my ground breaking idea was to sew the sleeve tabs to the inside of the stand up part of the collar like so

I didn't like the sleeves because the cuffs were fastened like they do with cufflinks, but using two buttons.  This made them stick out and it was hard to get a cardi over them.  So I shortened them and used the cuffs off the other blouse to finish them off like so

I then sewed the tie belt onto the blouse in a random design 

 and the finished article looks like this

I was really pleased with it and the colour suits me, but when I showed my husband he said I looked like a nurse or I worked in a care home!

The thing is, now he's said it I can see where he's coming from.  I think it's the blue colour and maybe the cuffs, but surely not the swirly bits?

What do you think, does it look like I've just come home from a 10 hour shift on the ward?
If it does can you suggest anything to rectify it?  I've still got the sleeves left to play with.

Be honest, I don't mind if you agree with him!


  1. That hawk is magnificent and so are your refashions. I didn't think "nurse" when I saw the second blouse but now your husband's mentioned it, yes, it's the colour rather than the fantastic appliquéd design, though. x

  2. I wish I could do what you do to clothes! It's wonderful how you customise them! :) x

  3. You are so clever! I don't think nurses wear shirts with embellishments like that - and if you have a cardi over the top it would look even less so - I think it is pretty.

    Pomona x

  4. I understand what he is trying to say. It doesn't shriek of nursing though.

    Do you have enough to add to the back of the button area of the opening? you'd have to work out a plan to get the buttons through. but It might just take away the nursing feel.
    Not sure, but it might work to bind from the front just over that edge. But I think having it behind will reference the bit on the neckstand - which I think is inspired, by the way! and I love the squiggle.
    Sandy in the UK

  5. I love the way you can alter clothes to make them look so trendy. The top pic did look as if it was made to accommodate two but I love the way you've re-created it - gorgeous.

  6. wow your so clever, my dress making skills are not up to much! xxx

  7. I backlinked from your comment on my blog to find you. You are a very talented seamstress. It takes vision to see something different than what is really in front of you. I don't think it looks like nursing wear but then what do I know? You did a really great job on turning that smock into a wearable piece. Hope you have a great Sunday and sorry you got tricked by my blog title- Hugs- Diana ps. I am your newest follower

  8. Two fabulous refashions!!! I didn't think nurses uniform when I saw the photos, but I can see what your husband's getting at, ever so slightly. Just a thought... could you change the buttons to another colour??? I don't know about adding any more of the other blouse, in case it becomes too much. There's a fine line between the right amount and having too much of a good thing. I would happily wear it the way it is.

  9. Very clever - the use of the tie belt is nothing short of brilliant :) ....I don't think it "says" nurse at all....

  10. I don't agree with him. I love the swirly blouse! :) And the other one, too. And the hawk!

  11. What a handsome bird sitting there, does he catch rats as well!
    Like your makeover on the blouses. I didn't think nurse when I saw it, just thought that's a lovely blue!

  12. Loving the shirts... your so crafty :-)