When I was getting ready for the Refashion week series, I got a number of thrifted items that I wanted to refashion. I bought way more than the 5 that I used for the series. One item that I purchased was a Tencel off-the-shoulder dress with broken elastic around the shoulders. I love these tips for how to sew and save.
I didn’t think I would wear it as a dress, I rarely wear dresses, so I decided I would refashion it. I used a paper pattern and carefully cut the dress into the perfect woven tee. I love wearing Tencel, and I love wearing denim colors so this is the perfect, basic woven tee for me.
I used the Dressy Talk Woven Tee pattern that I’ve used here, here, and here. I’ve gotten the fit much better than when I first made it, but I still have some tweaking to do. I’ll try to remember all the alterations I made.
I lengthened the pattern at the waist and I think the high hip. I did a sloping shoulder on the right shoulder. I blended sizes, but then did a lot of fitting after putting it on, so I couldn’t tell you what size it is now.
It’s still a little tight around my hips, so I need to add more room there. I’m pretty sure I lowered the darts a little bit too. (If you need extra help you can learn the basics of how to sew darts.) It’s also tight around my upper arm and across my back.
I’m going to widen the sleeves to see if that takes care of the problem. (I already have another one cut out and ready to sew, if I ever get to it.) I used these tips for sewing curves for the neckline.
On this tee I did slits on the sides, and I love that detail. I was able to use the hem of the dress for the bodice hem, and the hem of the ruffle for the sleeve hems.
I also added slits on underneath the sleeve seam to open up the tight arm a little, and it helped. I’m showing how the back and sleeves are just a little too tight. I can move just find, just not too much.
I maybe could have also done a swayback adjustment, but it’s hard to tell because the shirt rides up slightly just because it’s tight around my hips. I most often wear this woven tee tucked into a skirt or my Flint pants, so the tightness around my hips isn’t much of an issue. (I actually finished this tee before I finished my Flint pants and couldn’t stop dreaming about wearing them together.)
It looks great with these white cropped pants, and this is an outfit I’d wear when I’m out with my husband instead of home taking care of the kids. I actually don’t notice the tightness in the sleeves or the hips when I’m not taking care of my little children.
This color is the perfect basic color for me. I wear a lot of denim, navy, and white, and this woven tee pairs perfectly with that. I really love that I didn’t have to do the hems since I reused them from the original garment.
As you can see from the pictures, the fabric is slightly wrinkled and does wrinkle as I wear it, but I don’t mind it. I’ll wear a wrinkled shirt any day if it’s Tencel. The interesting thing is that each Tencel fabric I work with or Tencel RTW items I buy is really different.
Some Tencel fabric wears out, gets holes quickly and holds soft wrinkles while other Tencel fabric doesn’t wear out quickly and doesn’t hold wrinkles at all. I haven’t found why there’s a difference or how to tell which one you’re getting. Here’s how to sew tencel.
I really love this pattern because of the dart and the slightly longer sleeves, but I feel like it has taken a lot of fitting to get it right. I did make a wearable muslin at first, but it seems to change slightly with each new fabric I try.
Cropped white jeans (from thredUp, get $10), sandals