How to Turn a Vintage Shirt into the Ogden Cami

sarahcompton Sewing Leave a Comment

I have a bit of a fixation with second hand shirts from charity shops. I go a bit magpie and get attracted by all the pretty patterns. They’re usually from the 80’s and sometimes men’s shirts. As you can imagine they aren’t always the most flattering shape, this shirt being a case in point. But I love the pattern and the drape of the fabric has a lot of potential to be flattering.

Step in the Ogden cami by True Bias.

This is one of my favourite sewing patterns. I made it a couple of months ago in a black waffle silk and it it makes me feel so goddam chic when I wear it. The shapes are quite simple, there’s a front and back, front and back facings and some spagetti straps.

To conserve the precious fabric in my shirt, I opted to face with bias binding rather than a separate facing piece. I also created the straps with the same bias binding.

When arranging the pattern pieces I positioned them right at the bottom of the shirt so I could re-use the bottom seam, checking that the top button was near enough where the top of the top will be (if it’s not, you might need to shorten or lengthen the top to retain use of that bottom seam). My shirt wasn’t quite wide enough to accommodate the entire width of the pattern at the bottom. I knew this wasn’t going to be a problem as the Ogden is quite flared at the bottom and also my shirt still fit around my tummy before I began any changes to it. I just redrew the side seams to take out some of the width and smooth everything off.

The plan originally was actually to have the button section at the back, with this as my inspiration. However, as there are no darts in this pattern, after I’d made it, I decided it actually looked better back to front haha! It’s a slightly deeper V which is much more flattering (and also means my bra straps don’t show at the back).


I’ve got a bunch more shirts I’m definitely going to try this again.

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