Jeans to top: La Maison Victor Oslo
I’ve had these floral jeans for years, and they’re well-worn. They’re also now much too large on me and bagged out. I held on to them for pregnancy because both of these properties meant I could still wear them on weekends, buuuut… they saggy. I didn’t want to get rid of them, so I decided I’d refashion them so I could continue to enjoy these old friends!
I also got to use a too-baggy pair of my husband’s jeans for extra fabric. There’s lots leftover of his, and very very little left of mine.
I chose the La Maison Victor Oslo top from the issue I bought in Berlin on my honeymoon (the May/June or third issue of 2018). Princess seams and designed for denim/rigid fabrics. Perfect. I don’t think I otherwise would ever be drawn to this pattern as the silhouette doesn’t totally do it for me, but those princess seams gave me puzzle-piecing hope. I added similar seams to the back pattern pieces, using the front side piece’s arc and my space limitations as a guide. The front centre I converted from two pieces to one, and cut along an existing seam but off-centre. I figured if it needed a logical justification to look right, I could add a decorative button to the neckline (but decided it was fine as-is in the end).
I wanted to shorten the sleeves, but the length was partially decided by what fabric I had left and partially by my own mistake - I cut two of the sleeve identically, so then had to fit the correctly flipped piece onto one and copy the length to the other.
Rather than make the bottom band out of scraps, I thought it would be fun to repurpose the waistband, so I cut it out at the size of the folded-in-half band from the top and decided to deal with the details later. Once I had the shirt assembled, I wasn’t totally sold on adding the waistband back on, so I did an Instagram poll which was little help at a 50-50 split between hemming the shirt to a crop top length or adding the band.
I ultimately decided to add the band, but save myself the headache of having the back bit stick out overlapping-ly as per the original pattern. Instead, I carefully pinned my waistband to the shirt to figure out how much extra fabric (added at the side seam to be less totally distracting) from the other jeans I’d need to just reach the back split with no extended tab — and was totally delighted to discover that this little change fixed the silhouette such that I actually quite like this shirt I expected from the get-go to really only like as a project/ achievement! So not only do my jeans get the second life I’d hoped for, but I’ll wear this not practically-never. I also removed one of the belt loops near centre front to chill out the “this used to be JEANS” vibe to, like, 7. That extra belt loop was really going above and beyond.
There are some pretty extra jeans-y details though. The places where the floral fabric was pieced marry some sections of the jeans in a fun way. Both sleeves have bits of the pockets. I did some tiny bits of topstitching on the princess seams in pink to hold down the seam allowances. And of course, the waistband still has the button and most of the other waistband-bits.
I love the spot on the shoulder where I cut a notch or something too far and had to zig zag mend it. Little things on this.
The insides of this are not very pretty, because anything nice looking at the seams would have added bulk. Zig zag seam finishes! The neckline is finished with a facing, which I cut from green batik scraps from my Perkins shirt. I took advantage of all the seams to stitch this down a little in a few places, because it would be TOO obvious a contrast if any peeked out.
This shirt is weird, and I’d never have come up with it without the self-imposed restraints of re-using my jeans. I’m really pleasantly surprised at how the shape came out.
Current measurements: 38.5 full bust (LMV size 40/42); 34.5 high bust, 30 waist (LMV 38/40), 38.5 hips (LMV 36/38)
Pattern: La Maison Victor Oslo Top
Size made: 40, changed bottom band so it does not close
Fabric: Old pairs of jeans
If there is a next time: Not a tonne of lessons learned, here. I do like princess seams as a reuse narrow fabric solution, though.