Shirts Of A Feather Flock Together


There’s a strange satisfaction in being consistent with my fabric choices…  so I was pleased to realised that both these recent makes feature feather-ish shapes with black, white and jewel-tone colours! There’s really no other similarity in the projects, but I’m blogging them both together anyway.


First, a 2nd-hand dress refashioned into a tank. The dress had sat unworn for a couple of years ( I think Another Sewing Scientist has the same dress, and the same fit issues with it!) The tank is mostly made from the skirt, with the bands cut from the bodice and sleeves. The skirt wasn’t *quite* long enough to make the tank, so I had to bodge things a bit, including the contrast black on the front shoulders. With such a busy print though, you can’t even see that the old waistband actually runs between my shoulder blades, or that the bands include old seams… a good print distracts from many faults, ammiright?

Mission Tank Collage

Hello, white arms and Frank the cat! Needless to say, I’ll be wearing this under a cardigan for a good many months yet. 

The pattern is Jamie Christina’s Mission Maxi – one of my most-used patterns! I tend to widen the back and straps to make it more bra-friendly. Jalie has a really similar pattern which is included with my favourite raglan shirt, so if you are looking for something similar, I’d recommend that!

hemlock Collage

The second shirt is a Grainline Hemlock. I’d tried to make it once before in a stiff stripe jersey, and IT. WAS. HIDEOUS. (I looked like a fat, frumpy hunchback. It was refashioned immediately.) The pattern has been calling to me this spring though, so I thought I’d give it another chance in a drapey fabric! I got this at Fabricland last weekend for $4/m, so I didn’t have much to lose.

Hemlock is a free pattern and drafted for just one size, meant to have heaps of ease on someone slim like Jen from Grainline. I knew I didn’t want that much ease, so I just added 4″ total even though I’m much bigger. Turns out that was too much, so I cut up my finished shirt and basically got rid of that extra ease so that the shirt in the photographs is basically the pattern as drafted, with a split high-low hem for fun, and the neck scooped lower.


I like the finished shirt, but I’m not sure the dropped-shoulder look is for me. I’ve got very rounded shoulders from slouching, and pudgy arms, so the dropped seam hits at my widest point. (It’s a great pattern though! Well-drafted and quick to sew.) I never regret experimenting with different shapes though – you never know when you’ll stumble on a style that will become a new favourite! Have you got any new styles/trends you’d like to try out this spring? 

31 thoughts on “Shirts Of A Feather Flock Together

  1. These are both cute! I love the prints. If you like this silhouette, you may want to try the top from Simplicity 1366. It has a dropped shoulder, but not as dropped as the Hemlock. It is designed for a woven, but I think it could work great for knits as well!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the pattern suggestion, Lisa! The skirt that goes with it reminds me a lot of the Megan Neilson Cascade skirt – if only I ever had somewhere appropriate for such a dramatic look, it would be fun to make too!


  2. I am totally amazed at your refashioning! That first top looks great! I would have never guessed that it used to be a dress. Awesome!
    The Hemlock looks fantastic too! And I love the fun high-low hem. I have the same issues with the dropped sleeve, I’m just not sure it’s flattering on me. I’ve only ever made one Hemlock, but I’ve been wanting to try it again – you’re inspiring me! I’m also considering the Mandy Boatneck Tee from Tessuti. It’s a similar style but a little bit different neckline, and it’s free too!


    1. I considered the Many Boat tee too! I *think* it’s drafted to be wider, but with tighter sleeves? Would you agree? I’m curious to see how it ends up looking with slightly different proportions… but not sure I’m curious enough to actually sew one! 😛


  3. I just did a tee with a super dropped shoulder and I’m on the fence, too. I think I like a dropped shoulder only when it’s just slightly dropped, if that makes sense. Love both fabrics!!


    1. SLightly dropped sleeves does seem to be a better way to go! But then I worry they’ll just look like too-big normal sleeves? But then, maybe that is something only a sewist would think! 😉 If normal people wouldn’t notice, it’s not worth worrying about! 😛


    1. Thank you! The truth is that my spring and winter wardrobes are basically the same ” tank top with cardigan” or “3/4-sleeved shirt” – but the colours change, and therefore I feel like clothes are “spring” or “winter”!


    1. What’s is Sox’ personality like? Frank is super affectionate when he wants to be, and a bit of an ass to our other cat… but I love him jus as he is! 🙂


        1. Frank is about 9. We adopted him this past summer, after asking for a cat that was friendly and easy going enough to get along with Clay, our 2 year old. That didn’t exactly work out – Clay stays in one room of the apartment now, and Frank gets the rest! (In Clay’s one room though, my husband has arranged all the furniture so she can hop from bookshelf to desk and so on without ever going on the floor, so she’s pretty happy in her “cat terrarium”. Wish she was a bit bolder, though!)


    1. Last time I went into the fabric shop, the clerk said, “I knew you’d buy that one!” up, I’m predictable! 🙂


  4. Hooray for feathery looking prints! I think the Hemlock looks pretty cute on you, but understand your feelings about the dropped shoulder.


    1. I always liked the Hemlock that you made back whenever it was better than the one I’d made… that’s why I made sure to use a drapier fabric and larger neckline in this one! (Whatever had happened to all the clothes you made when you were bigger/wore more modern shapes? Have you donated them, or are they lurking somewhere to be refashioned?)


  5. I’m not convinced about drop-shoulders on me either, but I think your Hemlock looks good. The prints of both shirts are lovely – the blue in particular looks great on you!


    1. Thanks! I just happened to have black scraps around from sewing for my husband, so it’s was a fortunate co-incidence! 🙂


  6. Wow–both of these prints have such fun visual texture. I’m desperately clawing my way towards even examining trends, but I have to recover the couch in my sewing room first…it’s been an eyesore I can no longer ignore!


  7. You always look so good in blue! It makes your eyes pop! Nice save on the first top. It’s super cute and so is Frank of course!!


    1. Thank you! I’ve been wearing brighter versions of my colour palette now that it’s spring, and it’s making me wonder why I let myself wear dark colours all winter when they do me no favours! I must remind myself next winter to stay bright even when it’s so damned depressing outside! 😉


  8. I had the same faux-wrap dress given to me as a present, and the bodice fit was weird. I cut off the bottom and made a skirt (creative, I know), and the bodice is still in my recycling bin. There is enough there to make a small top or undies, if all else fails.

    Hoping to crack open that coverstitch this weekend….


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