A silk button up and DIY distressed jeans

Once upon a time, this shirt pattern was an Archer. I’ve adjusted it quite a bit to fit, as well as switched out the cuff plackets for a more polished look. I also removed the back pleat. In this version, I introduced a covered front placket, lengthened the back hem, and left off the collar.



The fabric is silk crepe de chine. I was immediately drawn to the colour of it. I love silk CDC. It’s not difficult to sew, but it does take time and patience, especially when you start adding extra design features like cuffs, plackets and collars. I couldn’t use my standard shirt interfacings on a silk shirt like this, which was lightweight and slightly translucent. I needed an interfacing that wouldn’t be too stiff or visible through the fabric. I used beige silk organza (hand-basted in place) to interface the placket, cuffs, and collar band and it worked beautifully.



The white jeans were thrifted from an estate sale. They were too big around the waist but fit fine on the derriere (my standard issue with RTW jeans). The legs were also a looser, straight leg style, which unless I wanted to dive headfirst into a BH90210 episode, needed to be corrected immediately. I narrowed the waistband and the leg inseams. I also shortened the crotch a smidgen. I didn’t touch the outer leg seam because that would have twisted it around too far towards the front (and I was being lazy by skipping seam-ripping with this seam).


Lastly, I attacked the knees with a cheese grater. I went conservative on the DIY distressing because I’ve learnt from past experience that dressing quickly (which one always does if they have kids under eight) results in one’s feet being pushed through the distressed sections of jeans. These jeans will no doubt become more distressed as time progresses, which is kind of what I want anyway.



18 thoughts on “A silk button up and DIY distressed jeans

  1. Absolutely beautiful, Debbie! This entire outfit is so, so chic. I’ve never used single-layer CDC for anything other than a dress lining, but it looks gorgeous on its own in a garment. That shirt is exquisite, from fit to construction. Just lovely.

    1. Thank you so much Mary. I’ve sewn a lot with single layer CDC – it makes a lovely light summer garment. I made a dress similar in design to the southport dress in silk CDC a couple of years ago and wear it to death in summer. Also quite few little skirts and frocks for my girls (with scraps of course ;-)). It’s a tough-as-nails kind of fabric too!

  2. How did you take in the waist band? I have some Country Road jeans that need to be taken in at the waist and I’m unsure whether the best option is to take them in at the sides and have a seam that I’m sure no one would notice? Thanks for any advice!

    1. I’ve heard that you should take the waistband in at the back, not the sides. However, I’m not an expert, and it made sense to me to take it in at both sides evenly. Perhaps it might depend on fit? Perhaps because I needed to remove the belt loops to do my modification at the side – however, I could have put them back if I wanted (I didn’t). So, I unpicked the waistband from the jeans, and stitched a triangle wedge in the waistband and facing, before stitching it back together. I also unpicked the side seams asmidgen to the pocket so slim the top sides a bit. Then I slipped the jeans back, sandwiched between the waistband and stitched them back together. Once you start unpicking, you’ll see what you have to do – it’s not complicated, just a little fiddly.

  3. I have so much love for this shirt, I can’t even. It looks utterly perfect on you and sounds decidedly luxurious! And well done on the jeans refashion – who’d have known? Maybe I need to keep my eyes open at my local op shop??

  4. Love the cdc blouse. I would have never recognized the Archer. I love sewing in silk and silk organza is a magnificent interfacing. Gorgeous. I agree, it’s a durable fabric and I always wash it and hang dry before sewing so I don’t have to dry clean the final garment unless I want to.

  5. Beautiful. Love the sleeves especially.
    jeans also very nicely done…a small microplane grater and medium grit sandpaper are my fave distressing tools

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