daddy's girl

The sight of a pile of 'reject' City shirts was almost too much to bear. You see once upon a time these would have been stripped of their buttons and then shamelessly given to the charity shop or, more likely (given their threadbare condition), used for cleaning purposes or even thrown in the wheelie bin. Oh perish the thought!

Their only sin, a tatty collar beyond sensible repair, where they'd been worn away by a be-tied neck.

Nowadays though, they're regarded as a heavenly pile of boundless opportunity. A pile in waiting for something utterly creative. A reincarnation.

Upcycling! That's what they say across the Pond.

Obviously the collar was the first to go, after all that was the reason they were bequeathed in the first place. I then took an existing dress as my guide and pencil drew the neck and armhole shape, borrowing the pattern for the sleeves from one of my Japanese pattern books and tweaking it to fit. I left the side seams as they were and the front, complete with buttons, remained as part of the garment too.

And just like taking over an old period house I, too, wanted to retain yet more original features. So the company trademark inchie of pink at the sides gained a stay of abstinence and the label was preserved and reinstated too.

A length of narrow elastic tape in the neck to pull it all together, et voila. And Daddy's verdict? Very, very sweet.

Do you know what I think? Daddy is absolutely chuffed to bits!

So perhaps there is some mileage in the old adage ... charity begins at home! And, in any case, there are a whole heap more where that came from ...


  1. What a delight - and perfect for the beach.

  2. oh my, this is absolutely gorgeous. Thanks for posting it!

  3. Great idea and when you look at the others you can see some good combinations happening too - perhaps yokes and pockets nd frilly sleeves of one on the the main fabric of the other.
    I can see you're in for a very creative time and you can experiment a little 'cos it hasn't cost you anything.

  4. Oh that is gorgeous and a perfect beach cover up. My guilt levels are climbing very high as I look at it though. I have a pile of shirts similarly labelled and worn that I can't bear to throw out because of the quality of the cotton but I didn't think to do anything so clever with them.

  5. just adorable, love the way you put the buttons as the back. xxxx

  6. How lovely and the material will surely be of the softest fine cotton so lovely to work with. I agree with Helsie that those other shirts could be mixed and matched to good effect. Much more creative than turning the collar as would have been done when I was a child!!

    Jane x

  7. Fantastic use of shirt, wish I'd thought of that when my daughters were young.

  8. Brilliant idea and perfect for wearing down by the beach - your little girl looks lovely in it.

  9. Such a sweet dress! I save my husband's old shirts too but have never used them to make new clothes. I don't have any daughters to make dresses for, but I wonder if I could turn one into a blouse for me...?
    R x

  10. Such a great idea - especially using 'Pink's' shirts - my husband has a few of those so when his wear out I might put them to good use too!

  11. You are a genius!! That dress is stunning!! Mens shirts are often my favourite fabrics. xxxxxxxx

  12. Perfectly wonderful! My father was wearing a lovely colourful striped shirt recently - eliciting a comment from me along the lines of "I'll have that please, as soon as you've finished with it, it would be great to chop it up!!"

    Happy weekend, Kate!

  13. Very very sweet indeed and I bet it does bring a big smile to daddys face.

  14. Now, I am impressed! The dress looks so lovely on your little girl, and just perfect for on the beach or in the garden. And a one-off exclusive! In this household that shirt would have ended up as rags! I can see your husband ironing his own shirts from now on!

    PS. It's always nice to hear from you on my blog.

  15. 'oh my' that is fabulous and such a great idea.

    I normally turn old shirts into aprons for the kids, but I much prefer this idea.

    Have a fabulous weekend,

    Nina x

  16. Oh my goodness girl...you are way too clever for words..I love love this idea!!!
    Sending you happy hugs for a great weekend. oxox

  17. I'm not surprised Daddy is chuffed who wouldn't be it looks stunning, brilliant idea!

    thanks so much for your lovely holiday wishes, sending you love,

    Sarah x

  18. That is quite the most beautiful piece of recycling I have ever seen. Oh, if only my daughter would wear something like that, but unfortunately none of my husbad's old shirts have Hello Kitty on them.

  19. I LOVE city shirts! They offer so much more fabric, and as you said lovely details to boot - this is such a pretty re-fashion :-)

  20. ...well you smartypants!....love this idea!...Thanks for sharing!


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