Monday, February 6, 2012

{Shirt Fix} Too Large Blouse to Cute Fitted Blouse

Last week I scored this brown polka dot shirt from the Goodwill for oh, about $1.65.  (It was 50% off!)  Nothing big, a Target shirt is all.  But I really liked it.

I mean, not bad for less than two bucks, I know.  But I thought it could be a bit more fitted.  I wasn't going to mess with a big redo, but I had a blouse from Banana Republic and it was gathered in the back and I *thought* I could do the same with this shirt.  Actually, this project was a redemption project after I threw my huge massive "craft fail" in the garbage.  I still don't feel like talking about it. (Good thing I only wasted 3 hours of my life on that one. Grrrrr.)

Yes, it was late but I had to do something right last night...

First, I tried it on and grabbed the back of the shirt and pulled it back to see approximately how much I was going to need to gather.  It was going to be quite a bit for this shirt!  I also roughly decided where the gather should fall.  It was all guessing at this point, mind you.  I decided on 15.5" down from the collar.  I used my ruler to chalk a line across.

Then I sewed a gathering stitch (longest stitch) along that line.  (I figured if the gather was too high or low no biggie, it's a gather stitch, and could easily be pulled out!)  Next, I gathered it up as much as it would go.  And then tried the shirt on again.  I just loosened the gather until was how I wanted it.  Then I carefully took it off and laid it out like this:

My goal here was to get the gather symmetrical and straight.  The ends of my gather were 2 inches from each side seam.

Next, I cut a piece of ribbon about an inch longer than my gather.  (optional:  I singed then ends, too to prevent fraying.)  Then I folded the ribbon ends under and pinned the ribbon on top of the gather stitch.  

Next, I sewed the ribbon on.  I stitched along both edges of the ribbon and the short ends, like a big box.  Then I tried on the shirt and hoped for redemption it would fit the way it did in my head...


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  1. Good work! And such a great idea to do the basting first. I've made the mistake (once) of rushing ahead and just sewing it...and having to rip it all out. :-((

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  2. This is such a good idea. I hope my sewing skills improve so that I can make small adjustments to thrifted clothes some day. I recently bought a blazer at GW and it is about a size to big. For now, I will just look like a bag lady!

  3. Adorable and clever! I love how it ads the needed shaping. I'm SO trying this ;)

  4. This is such a cute and functional idea!

  5. I my goodness! This is awesome! I'm going to use this on ALL of my frumpy tops from my maternity days! So easy too!! Thanks for sharing!

    Found you on Momnivore's Dilemma
    Visiting from Well Rounded,

  6. This is so cute! I love how you updated it!

  7. Great fix - quite adorable on you, too!

  8. you should post a pic of what it looks like from the front.

  9. Kate, this is gorgeous!!! I'm so jealous of your sewing skills! Great job!

  10. Sharing this with my daughters, who love their Goodwill finds and often need fitting tricks! I had wished for a front pic of the 'after,' too. :-)

  11. Saleable Korean Style Leisure Slim Long Sleeves Large Size Blouse is a fashion tag. Blouse is a fashionable cloth. It looks always beautiful.

  12. What a cute idea to sew the ribbon on the outside! Such a simple fix yet so very effective. Great job!


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