white shirt shibori – simplicity 1364

Two white shirts for a euro.  Absolutely beautiful cotton, and my guess is that they were in a ‘bargain bin’ because they were dress shirts.  I buy mainly from the bargain rail in the charity shops as in someways I think the remakes are a gamble and I am don’t wish to be wasteful.  Shirts are rarely, if ever on the bargain rail, so I got these two as I wanted to see if I could make some summer tops. I had a definite plan for one, which was to make a back button shibori summer top – (and I think I have a plan for the other).

simplicyt 1364 shibori


The Simplicity competition supplied the pattern, its a nice summer top, it has a boat neck and simple shaping.  I even picked up the rit dye for another euro in another charity shop – all good!  I made the pattern some weeks ago to see what the shaping was like, and I had to alter the pattern a small bit to make use of the shirt.  The back was taken in a bit, and the curve at the top of the pattern was eliminated.  The front dart was changed to a simpler dart.  I pretty much did this while marking out – I marked the front and then traced the bust dart on a piece of paper, and reconfigured it by opening the dart further up – I removed the main pattern under and marked out the new traced dart.  The sleeves were cut from the sleeves, and I left the cuff opening in the same place. I was going to put a button to sew it shut, but I like it as it is.  

refashion shirt


upcycle mans shirt shibori


Sewing the pattern was pretty straightforward.  I sewed the darts in front and sleeves, and then sewed shoulder seams.  As it was a shirt style sleeve, I sewed it ‘flat’ as opposed to set in, and then finished sleeve seams, side seams and hems.  I decided to use the cuffs for the facing.  The facing is a little bit too heavy, but I will leave it for the moment (I will wear it for a while and may yet try a small stand up collar).  

I have not done shibori before, but always like the look of it.  I tend to prefer wearing regular patterns like plaid so the ‘mokumo’ stitching seemed to have a nice regularity to it, and the more uneven the stitching the more successful the outcome!.  While I was reading up on some shibori history, it seems that shibori comes from the making of old clothes to look new, so a lot of aptness there.

I stitched the shirt at 1cm intervals or so, across the width of the shirt, and the sleeves were stitched in the round.  I gathered them as tight as I could and knotted the ends.   I was trying an ombre effect, but its hardly noticeable (and I also had a few other pieces in the dye pot).  I had the top of the blouse wrapped in a plastic bag to protect it, and rinsed the dye off at the end.  I wasn’t sure what to do next so I undid the threads (shouldn’t have), I think there was still dye in the creases, and some got on the white (which then had to have some bleach on them).  I should have rinsed the dye in hot water and detergent, dry and then loosen the threads – so I will know for the next time.  I was also a bit impatient to see if it worked!  I didn’t take any photos of the process as I was too busy keeping an eye on splashes in the kitchen and have one blurred one taken on my ‘dumb’ phone below.



 I steamed ironed the shibori which should help fix it.  I have to launder it fully yet, so I intend to hand wash the lower half in detergent, dry and steam again, before laundering it fully, and I am unsure how this will work out.  The shibori is a beautiful effect, and I think I would have been equally as happy if I had just left the whole piece dark blue – my original reason for not doing so, was so I could keep the button-up, and the stitching in white may have looked tatt.  As it is, the buttons took some of the colour and I love the effect.  

rrefashion shirt shibori


The other now big plus is, I am going to shibori my ‘teen age’ smock from last weeks post as I think the repair to the small holes will be concealed better!

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6 thoughts on “white shirt shibori – simplicity 1364

  1. Eimear Greaney says:

    best of luck with it, i am going to do it again soon – i am so mesmerised by the design, and this time i will try and be a bit more patient and let it dry fully before taking the threads out.

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  2. Jean says:

    It turned out lovely…. might I suggest that before you wash it, to let it soak in vinegar. That should “set” the dye and keep it from running. And of course washing it by it'sself after that. I hoped over from Re-fashion Co-op

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  3. Jessamyn says:

    So pretty – really a work of art! I love the soothing watery quality of the design, but it also reminds me of microscopic views of cells, plant fibers, etc. In fact, like all good art it reminds me of a lot of things. Congratulations!

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  4. Eimear Greaney says:

    Thank you Jessamyn, as someone who gets transfixed when mixing paints at the swirls, I love looking at the shibori patterning and am getting a little list of things that are now heading to the dyepot….. i am trying to limit it in case of overkill!!

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