Though I liked the fabric and hue, the fit was off: as usual, the sleeves were way too long and the shoulders a bit too wide. Solution: peace out, sleeves, and hello, bias tape! Here's the original:
And details post-revamp:
I am suddenly overwhelmed by the possibilities presented by this refashioned blouse. Knot in front and wear with denim shorts now! Belt and wear over a mini! Pair with a cropped sweater in the fall! I clearly can't deal.
This was so easy that I feel ridiculous laying out the steps, but here's what I did:
1) Remove the sleeves. I just cut right above the seams, rather than carefully picking them out with a seam ripper.
2) Check for fit and make adjustments if needed. In this case, the armholes were way too big. So, under the arm, I slimmed the sides about half an inch. I also sewed a gathering stitch right next to the shoulder seams - you just sew a line of long stitches where you want to gather the fabric, pull the bottom thread while smushing the fabric together along the thread until it looks good, and sew the loose thread into place (I also stitched over the gathering when I was done to secure it). With this step, I was able to make the armholes smaller and add a bit of interest without having to get too precise with the armhole shaping.
3) Sew on bias tape to cover the armhole and collar edges. You can buy or make bias tape. I made mine from some lovely raw silk I had lying around (I love how its nubbiness contrasts with the smooth silk of the blouse). Just fold the tape in half, press, and stitch it right over the edges. Make sure you fold the ends of the bias tape to the inside for a clean finish.
Hooray for (relatively) quick fixes!