WIW: upcycled shirt

At the annual Sewing Expo last month, I bought a pattern, or more accurately, instructions, for making a blouse out of men's shirts. It's the Sandy Blouse by Paganoonoo. I've already made my second one, and I'm wearing it today, for a day off and meeting two sewing friends for lunch.

The outfit: upcycled chambray and olive, red, and cream plaid blouse (made by me) layered over a cream long-sleeved t-shirt (Caslon); dark skinny jeans (Mother, the Looker high rise, in Coffee, Tea or Me wash); brown lace-up boots (Jo Ghost).

Another outfit I will wear later is the one pictured with the cream jeans (Levi's) and new cream and metallic slip-on sneakers (Ron White). I went with the darker outfit today, because I wanted to carry a bag that goes better with that outfit.

And the last photo is the "before" shot of the two shirts I combined for this blouse.

I appreciate any feedback or thoughts you wish to share!

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • Cardiff girl replied 3 years ago

    I love it!The plaid and the chambray work so well together and I love the way you ve put it together to create something unique,good job!

  • Firecracker replied 3 years ago

    Thanks, Cardiff girl!

  • rachylou replied 3 years ago

    Omg, make me one!!! Exactly like yours!!! Lol :)

    The appliqués are fantastic.

  • Firecracker replied 3 years ago

    Thanks, Rachylou! You could make one!The applique embroidery is by machine. It still takes a long time, though.

  • Angie replied 3 years ago

    YOU ARE SO CLEVER, Sharan. Will the new bag you made work here too?

    I LOVE the outfit with the white jeans. KILLER. Those sneakers are perfect for you. 

  • Katerina replied 3 years ago

    Absolutely brilliant! Admire your talent. The shirt is fabulous. I especially like it with the cream jeans and sneakers - perfection!

    What is the first one you made like?

  • JAileen replied 3 years ago

    Fun top. I love the cuff in the back!

  • dianne replied 3 years ago

    That is amazing!!! Well done!

  • efbgen replied 3 years ago

    As someone who sews I love seeing how others combine to create a new look. I went to an asg seminar where they showed us similar- cuff, tab and collar. Cute technique on front. Don’t you just love sewing expo! Fun!

  • Sara L. replied 3 years ago

    This is great!  I love the back with the plaid center piece - it's so unexpected.  

  • jussie replied 3 years ago

    It’s fantastic well done :)

  • Firecracker replied 3 years ago

    Thanks, everyone!

    Angie, thank you! Yes I carried the new bag today; that's why I went with the dark jeans and brown boots! I knew you would like the white-jean outfit; I like it, too, and look forward to wearing it on a little warmer day.

    Katerina, here are photos of the first blouse I made from this pattern.

    efbgen, I'm in the ASG, too. Great group of people, and lots of fun events and inspiration!

  • Suz replied 3 years ago

    Oooh! Sharan I love these! They're just gorgeous and fun and funky and feel so "Seattle" to me. The white jeans outfit is killer to the max. 

  • shevia replied 3 years ago


  • Joy replied 3 years ago

    So impressive. You are an artist with fabric. A mix of plaids might be a fun project.

  • Katerina replied 3 years ago

    Oh, the first one you have made is also great! Thank you for showing it. Fun with the applications you have made. I cannot sew myself, but my sister is really goood at it. I will give her a tip about this fabulous pattern.

  • Angie replied 3 years ago

    KILLER to the POWER of KILLER with the new bag. Much love to you too. 

  • Carol replied 3 years ago

    You have great taste in shoes! Both pairs enhance the outfit so well. 

  • krishnidoux replied 3 years ago

    Those shirts are unique and fun. I like the wink of complicity that is created with the front/back pattern placements. The back panel creates a surprise when you turn around and compliments a hi-low silhouette in the most flattering way. There is a vaguely Japanese charm to it - maybe the shorter sleeves, the trapeze-like overall shape, the ribbon-like floating back print. And it sure suits you wonderfully. I want one if you sell.

  • CocoLion replied 3 years ago

    I adore upcycling.  So much love in that.  You honor the original garment, the fabric designers, workers and sewers, by giving their creations new life.  The upcycle design concept is really cute especially from the back.  

    Jealous that you can wear the Wedgie jean, it looks ok on me but I cannot sit in it.  (My ego did not permit me to size up 2 sizes just for the privilege of being able to sit.) Here on YLF, there are sitting shoes but I think we need a new category and I'll call it standing jeans,  because you can only stand in them.  Or maybe SRO standing room only jeans.  Because there's only enough room to stand.

  • Bijou replied 3 years ago

    You new shirts are wonderful and so unique. I love both jeans with the chambray shirt. In the photo the Mother jeans look almost black because they are a dark wash - but I have these jeans myself and know that they are lighter and also have some great fading, so I think they would look even better in real life than pictured. It is amazing how you incorporated the cuff of the shirt into the back of the new shirt, a nice nod to the origin of your materials.

  • Karie replied 3 years ago

    Super cool! I love both outfits.

  • Firecracker replied 3 years ago

    You all are so kind, thank you!
    Joy, I'll have to try a plaid mix! I couldn't believe how hard it was to pick shirts from Goodwill. So many possibilities, and so many of them not quite right together--haha!
    Krishnidoux, I appreciate your thoughtful descriptions. Of all the designs in this pattern line, I was especially drawn to this one for its cocoon shape.
    Denise, I'm surprised the Wedgie jean doesn't work for you. You are the queen of cool jeans, in my book.
    Bijou, thanks. One of the things I like about the design is that the pieces aren't disguised; you can see that yes, indeed, there is a sleeve in the center back! It makes me smile.

  • CocoLion replied 3 years ago

    Sharan, my body has changed.  I'm a size bigger and it's mostly in my midsection so I'm more of an apple than before.  I'm making subtle changes to my style because of it.

  • tulle replied 3 years ago

    The shirt and outfit are very clever and fun, but I can't stop looking at your up-do and glasses--you look SO good!

  • Sal replied 3 years ago

    This looks great Sharan - what a great repurposing of these shirts.  It really suits you.

  • kellygirl replied 3 years ago

    I LOVE these. You are so creative and talented. These are works of art!

  • Firecracker replied 3 years ago

    Ah, Denise, I hear you. At some point, a body can come up with new surprises each year, it seems.
    tulle, how sweet of you--thank you!
    Thanks, Sal and Kelly!

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