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November 03, 2015

Doggone Fashionable

I am not a very fashion-y person.

Fashion-y is different from fashionable, because most people can manage to look fashionable on a near daily basis, as in, they can manage to make themselves look like incorporated members of society. But fashion-y people have an innate sense of clothing and body types and possibilities. I am not fashion-y. When I go to Goodwill I often skip over the clothing section unless I’m looking for something sort of specific, like a cable knit sweater, or a pair of unusual colored pants. Unlike the Refashionista, I have a hard time looking at clothing and seeing what could become of it with certain cuts or seams in a different place.

However last time I was there I did wander into the clothing section. And this shirt caught my eye because it’s hard to believe that it was once mass-produced. I mean really.


It’s a dog print shirt, with leashes. And it’s on a can’t-miss-it red background. It would look a lot more fetching in a royal or light blue, don’t you think? But this is red, and there’s no dyeing it to save it because then the dogs would turn blue too, and that might qualify as animal abuse.

But something compelled me to buy that shirt, because I knew I’d regret leaving it on the rack. It simply couldn’t be worn by me as is, since I do have some dignity, but I knew that sometimes reducing the amount of fabric on a bold pattern can lessen the impact and make it bearable, even enjoyable. So I hacked off the sleeves on this puppy, along with the one dangling shoulder pad, as well as cleaned up stray threads that were hanging on.


The shirt was a little loose on me so I solved that problem, along with a torn seam, by hemming about an in inwards on each side from the sleeve to the bottom, using pins to help hold this slippery silk together. The armholes took so much finagling that I couldn’t get a photo, but basically I turned the fabric in once and pinned it down to hide the frayed edges before carefully sewing it down too. For anyone working with silk, it is best to buy a Microtex/Sharp needle, but I bet it could be done with a regular one too if that was all that was on hand.

And for those days that I don’t want to go completely to the dogs, a cardigan can cover up most of them, and the bottom gets tucked into to my favorite black pencil skirt! I finished the outfit off with some red pumps, and now I’m ready to tackle the day with some doggone enthusiasm, fashionable enough (I hope), but still not fashion-y.