Up-Cycled Patriotic Top

As a patriotic American, for years I have loved owning a garment in our country's colors of Red+White+Blue. My first (and only so far) real patriotic garment has been the red top you see in the 2nd picture below. This was one of the last fabrics and garments I had from my retail storefront (1990-2003) back in Champaign, IL: Londa's Sewing Etc. I loved this fabric (a cotton/lycra blend woven) because it 'hinted' at our American flag, rather than being 'real' American flag-type fabric that I've always felt somehow to be disrespectful. So when I saw this fabric on a fabric buying trip, I was quick to place it on my order. All that being said, some quick math reveals (and surprises me) that I have routinely worn this top on Memorial Day, 4th of July and Labor Day for the last 18 years!

It was time for a 'make-over', so I drug the red shirt from my closet and took a 'dive' into my 'Blue Stash Crate' and found this plaid shirt that my late father wore - OFTEN. In fact, I love how it still has the 'essence' of my Dad within its threads. Likely that is only in my mind, but it seems true to me. Below, see what I came up with - but read on for the 'process', both design and construction.

I had made a nice raglan style, short-sleeved, cropped shirt from Two for the Road by Cutting Corners - Louise Cutting. Check out the star buttons too. They were set on the front in 2 groups of 3 as you can see but only as decoration as I distinctly remember trying to make buttonholes for them with NO success. Rather, large transparent snaps closed the top.

Dad's shirt is a seersucker, all cotton - with even some holes at the chest area because he wore it SO SO often! I can still see him in it in my mind's eye.....

I ALWAYS gather TOO many fabrics and 'things' to use when I start a project. Below is what I pulled to start out.

The men's ties could have become piping, but instead, I opted for the lighter colored shirt you see at the right and used it for the collar as well. I do keep in mind the 'Rule of 3', and almost always work with at least 3 'things'. That lighter colored shirt was the needed '3rd'.

In deciding where different colors were to go - I used the design principle that dark recede and lights advance, get attention. That's why the dark shirt is at the bottom, and the lighter shirt is at my face in the collar.