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Sunday, March 17, 2024

Had to Refurbish This One!


About  6 or 7 years ago , during the dawn of the Zipper Trend,  I bought one of my rare retail items. It was a blush pink and black border print georgette blouse. It had a 9 inch metal zipper at the back of  the neck  The rest of it's style was completely plain as you can see in this pic:

I loved this top. The fabric was what hooked me. In all these years, I wore it twice. I could not stand the zipper. First, I never liked the zipper trend to begin with. Second, the weight of the zipper pulled the ethereal georgette up and back and choked me the  rare times I wore this top. The length did nothing for me but I sacrificed proportion for my love of the fabric. You know how that goes. When purge times came around, I could never rid my self of this top. I knew I would somehow remake it one day, even it it was just part of a scarf. Well, that day recently arrived. 

I removed the zipper and turned it into a button loop slit. I gathered the sleeves for a nice little pouf and my preferred shorter length. Then I tied a black grograin ribbon quckly around the waist to alter the length proportion. I hope to improve on the belt situation, but you get the idea. I also added bra keeps to keep the wider neckline from exposing my straps and in place. 

(Pardon the poofies. I didn't fuss.) Here is how I did it. I love it now and will be wearing it a lot.

First, I carefully removed the heavy zip. Then I  went to the ironing board and spray starched the zip area and pressed. This allowed me to neatly meet all the cut edges together. This is wrong side up. I fused a strip of near sheer fusible tricot interfacing to the zip area and a bit beyond. The orange lines indicate where the xip was cut out. 

On the front I laid down what would soon  be the  facing. It was  a poly mesh, pink blush color I had on hand. This was then topped with tracing paper on which I drew out my stitching template for the slit. I proceeded to sew the slit with a 1.5 stitch length. Once done I ripped off the paper and cut the slit down the middle and into a triangle slits at the bottom corners, classic slit cutting. This was then turned to the inside and carefully pressed, presscloth, steam and low heat. 

Above it is complete. The facing was carefully stitched down around the slit about a quarter of an inch back, with a simple running stitch and single thread. It does not show on the front The same poly mesh was used to make a new binding on the neckline as well. 

The zipper you see above is in the dress form so just ignore it. The forms print is so similar to the top that it is hard to distinguish, So sorry.  I did my button thread loop by placing 3 strands of embroidery floss on a piece of  Stitch and Ditch. They were about 8 inches long. this was so I could later thread them and sew them to the top. I lined up the strands on the paper and did a tight small zigzag stitch on my  machine over the  strands. It makes a really nice thread for the button loop. You have to carefully measure first exactly how much length you need to make the button loop function and get around the button. I drew that out on the paper. You stitch this in the very middle of your strands. This leaves you with floss on each end to put in a needle and sew on to the blouse and secure the loop. Hope that is clear. I thought of this one day and it worked out well. Give it a try. 

For my sleeves I simply zigzagged over 1/8th inch elastic. I also took the moment to try out the ban roll techique for the hem. It worked out well. The hem edges discolored, I assumed from hanging out in a storage unit for about a year. I soaked to no avail so I just cut off and rehemmed which was fine. 

I love my pretty pink and black top. I think it will be great for Easter dinner.  I have never been able to part with great fabric, whether in a garment I made, bought, or thrifted.  I believe it can always find some sort of second life. Happy Sewing, all................Bunny


  1. Beautiful. I have never understood why one would put a metal zipper into a delicate fabric and I still see this in retail.

    1. I agree. It certainly wasn't a good idea with this lightweight fabric. It pulled the entire front bodice out of whack. I so wanted to enjoy this top, too. I will now.

  2. This is a beautiful save, it looks a million times better now.

    1. thanks, Graca. I need to work out the sash situation a bit better but the waist definition helps. I wasn't about to cut the border off.

  3. Thoughtful choices, beautifully executed. Thanks for the inspiration!


  4. What a great job to save that blouse. I agree that the exposed zipper idea is ok for sports clothing, but not for a blouse with that delicate pattern. I'm about your height, and often find ready to wear too long in torso and sleeves. I often alter the sleeves so they don't end in the dishwater, and it kind of puts me in a bad mood to have to do that. Another reason to sew my own clothes. The elastic in the sleeves makes the blouse much more fun and elegant looking at the same time.
    Carol in Boulder

  5. thanks, Carol. I've always favored a shorter sleeve. My hands are too busy to bother with sleeves around my wrists. I also am always on the lookout for sleeves, usually puffy, that end right at the elbow. It has to be fairly above or below. They really aggravate me. If they are classic set in and end at the elbow that puts them right at the bust which is not a good look on me. If they are gathered in elastic or a cuff, they are really aggravating in the fold of the elbow. Luckily, we are all able to customize these things for our own pleasure.

  6. Loved reading your mend on removing the zip and sleeves. Did you keep the keyhole the same length as the zip?

    1. Yes, I had to utilize the space left by the zip. I had no extra fabric to fill in. I have seen a lot of longer back slits in garments lately however. Cutouts and slits are all over in fashion.

  7. Beautiful.
    Thanks again for another pearl of wisdom.

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    Revive broken relationship.

    Highly recommend!!

    Dr_mack (@yAH o O.Com)


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