Sunday, 12 February 2012

A sweet way to update your wardrobe: DIY peter pan collars onto old shirts

Just a few hours ago, I found myself trawling through endless online stores in a zombified state, systematically adding hundreds of pretty things to various shopping carts and promising myself that I wouldn't buy anything (although already knowing in one part of my mind that I would). This is a scenario which occurs all too often. Today, however, some ridiculously self-disiplined part of me spoke up and went: NO! ANNIKA! YOU SHALL NOT BUY - YOU SHALL... CREATE! Go and make something of the ridiculous amounts of clothes that you already own (and don't even wear, may I add)! Go and embrace your creative side! Go on, do it!

And, well, I thought that this part of my brain had a pretty good point. So I dragged out of my wardrobe a whole heap of basic t-shirts and singlets and pretty floral tops which I once loved but now think are incredibly boring. I also pulled out of my vastly expanding pile of fabrics some lace curtain fabric that I bought from a thrift store for $1. "Right", I said to myself, "make something cool with these things".

And this is what I came up with:

(Plain grey t-shirt from Forever 21)
(Cotton On floral singlet)
(Floral blouse from General Pants Co)
(Banana Republic plain white long-sleeve tshirt)
(Half lace/half chiffon top from Forever 21)

So I thought that this is a pretty good way to update your wardrobe (the top half of it, anyway) if you're feeling a little bored with it. And it was (basically) free, as well! You just need to visit your local op shop and browse through all the old bits of fabric and upholstery (most thrift stores will have a sad looking basket sitting in a corner/under a table somewhere where you can find this) and put up with looking a bit mad because you're purchasing a whole bunch of unmatching, old lacey curtains. But these old curtains often have the most interesting and incredible patterns on them, and are just way too lovely NOT to be put to good use.
These are two examples of ones I bought ($1 each!):

The second one is particularly good, because the scalloped edges of the fabric provide natural peter pan collar shapes. And how adorable are the little birds??

Once you have your lace, you need to source an old/unloved t-shirt or singlet that would look pretty paired with it (basically anything. What doesn't look good with lace?).

Now here's the DIY bit:

1. Place the lace/curtain fabric (wrong side up, if it has a front side) over the front of the t-shirt.

2. Draw onto the back of the lace with a fabric pen (a normal pen works just fine as well) the shape you think the collar should be. ONLY do one half of the collar (you will see why in a moment). Use the collar of the t-shirt as a guide for one edge of the lace collar, and judge for yourself what the other edge should look like/how big it should be. In any case, the shape you draw onto your lace should look something like this:

3. Cut out this one half of your lace collar. Then, to get a symmetrical collar (always good), flip this piece you just cut out over, and use it as a stencil to draw onto the lace again, and cut out your other half. You should now have these two pieces from your lace:

4. Use craft/fabric glue to attach the two lace pieces (front side up) to the front of the shirt, like this:
You can glue the whole bit of lace onto the front of the shirt, or alternatively put just a thin line of glue on the edge of the (t-shirt's) collar and just stick the inner part of the (lace) collar to the shirt. And now you're done!

Here are some outfits that I put together with my newly collared tees:

I'll figure out a good way to update the lower half of your wardrobe now, and get back to you on that! I'm sure it will involve lace. I am entirely obsessed with any intricate or interesting lace pattern recently. A good DIY for updating old/basic/boring shoes, however, (if you're interested) can be found here.

Hope that you're having the sweetest day,

Annika xxx


  1. such a groovy idea! love lace peter pan collar, another DIY I've added to my to-do list.

  2. Cute post! Love how you wrote it, and I love your gorgeous results. Way to go!

    Loulou Downtown

  3. What a great idea! I love how all your new tops look now :) Also those heart tights are ace xx

  4. Such a clever idea I will have to try this I love peter pan collars.

  5. Oh, they came out so great! Looks fantastic.

  6. how clever! Great idea xx

  7. This is so wonderful! I have been wanting more peter pan collared shirts and thought about making my own, but I don't have a sewing machine. I don't know why I didn't think to buy fabric glue instead? Thanks!

    And your Heart tights are the cutest!!!!!

  8. What wouldn't I give for your wardrobe? :)

  9. i love you and your DIY- ideas♥

  10. You're so gorgeous let me love you.

  11. I love all the DIY projects on the blog. They are so simple and easy to follow.


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