Friday, November 23, 2012

Flannel Refashion + Happy Thanksgiving!

This is my second Christmas without my grandfathers. I lost both to cancer in 2011, one in late FEBRUARY and the other just days before CHRISTMAS. The former was such a proponent of Christmas. I realize that everyone loves Christmas, yes (well, most everyone), but I'm convinced that my grandfather loved Christmas more than everyone in the whole world combined.
This year when we put up our tree it was extremely emotional. The tree was a big deal for my grandpa, who would put it up way before it was socially acceptable and keep it there til nearly Easter. It was incredible. I have several ornaments on our tree from my grandparents' tree and as I put them on, in prominent places of honor, little tears kept finding their way out from the corners of my eyes.
Yesterday was Thanksgiving and I was grateful for all of my family, blood and non. I was grateful to still have grandmothers. I'm also extremely grateful for the little things that make life so lovely... a nice, big, warm bed that I get to share with the most wonderful man in the world. Made just for me. A car that is dependable. A job that I *love*. Food to eat. Clothes to wear. Ears that hear and eyes that see.... limbs, all four of them, that are totally functional. I'm so blessed.
Back to the blog ;) After my grandfather passed away a lot of the girls (the family is almost entirely women) took some of his flannels to keep. He always wore flannels. Always. In fact, my grandma buried him in flannels instead of a suit because she said it just wouldn't look right any other way. And that was true. I ended up with two of his flannel shirts. One will always be left exactly the same. The other I wanted to refashion into something I could wear. Something cozy... Christmasy... so I could feel like it was his hug all year round. Today I refashioned it, and here's how it went...
Here it is, too big. It's a men's large.
I followed the same tracing method that I swiped from C&C, turning the flannel inside out and laying a button down over it that fit well. Since it was a bit too oversized, I first matched up the sleeves and pinned. Then I centered the shirt and pinned along the sides. I made it a *little* bit looser than the original button down because I wanted it roomier. Also, I tapered it in at the waist and then took it back out so that it would have more of an hour glass shape. That helps it look more feminine when you're wearing it. 
After it was all pinned, I used a zigzag stitch across the whole thing. The fabric was really old, so I actually ran over it once with a tight zigzag and then reinforced it a second time with a looser zigzag. Try it on after you've stitched it up to be sure you like the fit and then either adjust it or trim the edges. I also took the bottom up about an inch and a half.
And here it is all finished. Do you see that tiny bit of snow on the ground? First snow all year. I'm not even sure if I live in Michigan at this point. It's nearly December and it has been SO warm?! I count that as a win.
At this point, I looked down and realized one of my buttons was undone. Ha. Let's just say that I was rushing a bit today, ok? I didn't feel like sitting in the cold and redoing the pictures, sooo... Let's just call it good.
Whether you have an old shirt from a loved one or you just want to make a goodwill button down wearable, it's an easy process! I hope your Thanksgiving was fantastic. I also hope that if you ventured out into the insanity of Black Friday you managed to get out alive and score some amazing deals. John and I went grocery shopping tonight at like 6 pm, but that was our only exposure to the madness. By then of course it was quite calm and easy. Anyway... all the best, and as always, thanks for reading!


  1. Really cute and cosy looking. Also, beautiful story. I ended up with tons of the really expensive brand Hawaiian shirts after my dad died - the inside out kind that are a heavier material. So I know how much this shirt must mean to you :)

    1. Ok... if I ever go to a blogger conference, I'll message you. Clearly I need to buy you lunch :)


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