FBFF – Refashioning – DIY Tromp L Oeil Top

I love to refashion old clothes or items from a charity shop to bring them up to date or give them a new lease of life. I was really pleased that the Fashion and Beauty Friends Friday topic for today was about refashioning. Not only do I get loads more inspiration and ideas from the other posts but I also I get to post my first DIY/ refashion post on the new Style Eyes Ethical Fashion Blog.

My refashion / DIY project was something that I have been thinking about doing for ages. In the end I only managed to kick myself into action yesterday evening, which just shows how quick this DIY was. It took me about an hour. It is inspired by Tromp L’oeil art or ‘trick of the eye’ or when something isn’t what it seems and involves embellishing a top with ribbon to make it look like it  has a collar.

For this DIY you will need:
An old or second hand t shirt – preferably with a round and quite high neck.
Some thin ribbon in a contrasting colour – about 1 metre should be enough
A ruler
Scissors
Needle, thread and pins

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I got this simple black Marks and Spencers t shirt from the local British Red Cross charity shop for £1.50.

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You  need to lay out your ribbon on your top and work out roughly how you would like your collar to look.

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Once you have rough idea of how you want it to look you can begin to pin the ribbon onto the t shirt. Finish the ends of the ribbon by tucking under. Use a ruler to measure the main points including the collar tips and distance of top of collar along the shoulder seam and ensure that it is all symmetrical. At the collar tips fold the ribbon back on its self to create the right angle.

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Once your collar is laid out and pinned exactly how you want, you can sew it. You can sew along the middle of the ribbon using a sewing machine. I decided to hand stitch it along the edge of the ribbon for that handcrafted look ( and because I couldn’t be bothered to get my sewing machine out).

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You then need to pin and sew another line of ribbon along the actual neckline of the t shirt again tucking the ends under to finish. Finally press with iron on quite a low heat (otherwise the heat might damage the ribbon).

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Top- DIY’d
Skirt- Dorothy Perkins (really old)
Brooch – local vintage shop
Shoes – Urban Outfitters


Here is the finished Tromp L’Oeil Top worn with a vintage bow brooch at the neck. You could also make a little fabric bow to sew or pin to the collar.

Other possibilities for DIY Tromp L’oeil projects are endless. You could also add a vertical line of ribbon down the top to look like an opening and add pocket shape and even a line of real buttons. This project would also work really well with a plain shift dress or tunic. Black and white looks really striking but you could try all sorts of different colour combinations or even a patterned ribbon.

How about sewing lapels onto a simple cardigan with ribbon? Strings of sequins could be used instead of ribbon for an evening top or party dress. You could also make  a more rounded Peter Pan collar or make the collar shape using individual beads or pearls.

What do you think? would you give this DIY a try? You can also check out the other refashion/ DIY posts over on Adventures in Refashioning.

With warmest wishes

Ceri X

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