simple is beautiful

Shirt Alterations | From Boxy to Flattering

Thursday, February 27, 2014

I'm sure most of us females can relate to fit issues when it comes to certain clothing items.  Jeans have to fit a certain way and don't even get me started on bathing suits!  When I buy shirts, I often go with a larger size to avoid the button gap and to have adequate room in the shoulders.  This means that the rest of the shirt can can often appear boxy.  For most of us, custom clothing isn't an option.  But with a few careful alterations, you can change your shirts to better fit your body.



This DIY project has been on my list of things to do for a while now.  I have a couple of these gingham shirts that are super comfortable, but not very flattering.  I remembered my pattern making class in college and thought it was at least worth a try.  This shirt is from Old Navy so if I messed it up, it wasn't a big loss.


When you make patterns, you start by draping fabric over a bodice and begin pinning until the fit is right.  So I turned my shirt inside out, buttoned it, and carefully began pinning.  (Not as difficult as I thought it would be)  I first pinned one side near the center (waist area), then pinned the other side in that same area using the pattern of the shirt as a guide.  Then I pinned gradually tapering as I went up and down each side keeping that nice little flair at the bottom.  At this point, I probably should have tried the shirt, but instead went ahead and ran it through the sewing machine.  I did have to re-stitch the bottom portion a little, but overall was happy with the fit the first time.  I ran a zig zag stitch beside the seam for re-inforcement.



This is the outcome.  It is a little more form fitting, but not too much.


Here is the side by side comparison.  Amazing what a difference a couple of carefully placed seams make!  Now I want to alter a couple of other shirts.




14 comments:

  1. I have so many button-downs and some definitely need this treatment!

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  2. I recently did the same thing to a sweater I have had for years, which I loved but did not fit well. The boiled wool made it a perfect candidate for a little bit of tweaking. A simple and cost effective way to get the look you want!

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  3. Well done you! I haven't taken the plunge yet to try this, but it's certainly I've been mulling over.

    http://jax-and-jewels.blogspot.com

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  4. Quick 'n dirty sewing at its best. No one will ever see the inside. Straighten your tired flared pant legs in much the same way.

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  5. Wow - what a difference it makes! Thanks for sharing- who knew it was so easy!

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  6. I do it all the time, to t-shirts as well. :) Cute shirt!

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  7. This is a great tip Rene and one I am going to attempt. I don't sew a lot but will try this. I have so many shirts that just hang in my closet. I love them but they are not flattering on for just this reason. Oh, and yesterday afternoon was bathing suit try on day. Came home empty handed.

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    1. Good luck Allison - with the sewing and the bathing suits :).

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  8. Such a good idea, Rene! And just another reason to want a sewing machine. I've long thought about how to accomplish this, and was thinking the way to do was to a tuck on the front of the shirt. How simple to just go from the side. Silly question, but I assume that you cut the old seam out after sewing the new one?
    Camille

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    1. I did cut the excess Camille. This literally took less than 30 minutes. Don't know why I didn't do it sooner.

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  9. Dayum.....I have not bought a shirt because of this reason...so now I have a relatively quick fix....of course I would have to take it to someone cause by the time I got my sewing machine out....set up and shirt sewn....it would sit on my DR table for a month:)

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  10. I used to do this...what a great reminder! I love your tutorial even though I could never do it myself, I love the before and after. I have a few that I need to take to the tailor. A few well fitting blouses are way better than several that look boxy and unflattering. Brilliant Rene!!

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