I had a few nice shirts just hanging around in my closet, but I never wore them because they were a little too snug for my taste. I’ve never had too much success in the past, making a snug shirt a bit bigger, but I guess practice makes perfect, right?


GRAY SHIRT #1: I tried for one of the most popular methods — cut open the side seams and insert strips. I think I’ve tried this method once before, and it didn’t work out too well. This time around, the method worked very nicely except for one minor error (my hem didn’t match up on one side). I still have an issue with connecting the seam at the top (the triangle-ish part). The seam isn’t perfect, but it should be unnoticeable in the armpit area, right?


GRAY SHIRT #2: I cut a slit up near the neckline on the back of the shirt and inserted a bigger piece. The new piece was wide near the hem and became a bit narrower toward the top. I wasn’t a big fan of the triangle-ish seam at the top, but the altered shirt fit me perfectly! Then a brilliant idea hit me — an embroidered or patchy heart! Perfect! After spending a few hours with the embroidery feature on my sewing machine, I embroidered three cute little hearts. Love it!


BLACK SHIRT: Although inserting one piece in the back of the shirt was quick and simple, I wanted to do something different with the first black shirt. I returned to the first method — cutting a slit on each side of the shirt and inserting a piece of extra fabric. Instead of cutting up to the armpit area, I stopped about half way up the side. I tried this method on another shirt and hated the results after wearing the shirt once. I felt self-conscious about the alterations and tossed the shirt into my refashion bin.


Anyway, I had much better luck adding strips to the side of the shirts — not too much difficulty. However, I still didn’t like the triangle-ish seam at the top and the way the excess fabric bunched up. Once I tried on the shirt and twirled around a bit, I wasn’t too fond of the drapiness. But the more I looked at the shirt and the more I gently tugged at the inserted strips, I started to like the alterations. To finish off the project, I added a black button near the triangle-ish seam on each side. Lovely!

With a few shirt refashions under my belt, I feel a little more confident working with shirts and ready to tackle some shirts in my refashion bin! Wish me luck!

Categories: Jennifer Elliott

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4 replies »

  1. Sometimes a shirt you initially dislike can grow on you — that has happened to me a few times. Especially when my sisters buy “cute” shirts for me, at first I don’t like it that much but after wearing it a few times and looking in the mirror, it doesn’t look too bad.

  2. Nice job! I really like the gray shirt with the triangle piece in the back and the three hearts. Very creative way to hide that seam if you don’t like it. I also like the buttons on the black shirt too.

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