In the pink

Many months ago my friend Suzanne gave me one of her old linen shirts with the comment that I might like to repurpose the embroidery on the front. I put it in my refashioning drawer and looked at it from time to time before taking it to the Fibres West retreat with a view to perhaps cutting it up. Whilst there I tried it on and we all decided that the shirt was a lovely shape and I wasn’t to cut it up.

I think the shirt is circa 1990s and has a distinct Issey Miyake vibe with deep raglans and shaped front. Of course it would have had shoulder pads, but it doesn’t really need them.


The shirt had been white, but yellowed a bit in my care. Suzanne had cut the buttons off (a woman after my own heart), and there were a few worn areas.

I scoured the shirt and got it back to being white, but this caused a little bit more damage. Some of the embroidery was beginning to unravel, so where I could, I stitched it back down and used fray stop subtly underneath to bind it together.  I wanted to dye the shirt pink but worried that all the embroidery would have been sewn with polyester thread, which would have stayed white. I decided to take a risk, mordanted the shirt in soy milk and then dyed it with avocado pits. DSC09854

I am thrilled with the results, and even better, the embroidery dyed well too!

I added some little crystal buttons from my stash


and did some visible mending/boro style stitching on the worn areas. I did dye a linen handkerchief to cut up for the repairs, but couldn’t bear to cut it up, so used some bias binding that I had also dyed.


I really like the way the raglan sleeves are put into the shirt. I’m not sure what the technique is called, but the sleeves are attached to the body,  and then stitched down about 1.5cms away from the edge, creating a tuck. The sleeves are also very deep, a bit like dolman sleeves, but with a raglan twist.


I’ve worn this shirt a couple of times now as the weather warms up, and I’ve paired it with my pink Vogue 8859 pants, and my Jalie Eléonore pull on jeans, which appeared in another shirt refashion post. This shirt is the perfect weight for warmer weather and I adore the colour. The next time I have a pot of avocado dye going though, I will give it another dip.



I love the fact that between us, Suzanne and I have managed to save another shirt from landfill and give it a whole new life!


22 thoughts on “In the pink

  1. What a stunning result you achieved with the dyeing!! Always love all you dye with the avocado pits!! Anyway, a simply lovely shirt. 🙂 P.S. Did some checking on your back post about the Eleanore Pull-on Jeans and am thinking about adding them to the queue. Love your pairs!!

  2. Such a lovely shirt, definitely too good for landfill, The avocado dye came out beautifully and I especially like your visible mending on the sleeve. A shirt with history and a story to tell 🙂

  3. I’ve seen photos of your shirt on IG, I think!, and it’s nice to read the details here and see more photos. I love the colour. You are so talented to get it from white to this lovely shade of pink. It looks FAB and I’m happy it was saved from the landfill! 🙂

    1. Yes, I have put it on IG before but have been really slow getting it blogged. It’s such an interesting shape and the dye has given it a new lease of life.

  4. Sue, I continue to be so impressed with your ability and patience to breathe new life into garments! It really is a lovely blouse with very interesting details. Love the pink shade!

  5. Another winner! Definitely not a shirt to be cut up. I think the gentle pink colour really suits the style. Well done saving a lovely garment from being discarded.

  6. Gorgeous. Pale pink is one of my favourite colours. I will be looking at avocado stones in a whole new light now . I love your pale pink pants too – very summery and fresh.

  7. what a glorious shade of pink! it suits you beautifully too. I love the details on the shirt too, thank you so much for explaining them… it’s rather inspiring actually. 🙂

Leave a Reply