Refitting a shirt for the first time

This was my first attempt to take a shirt in and adjust it a bit.  I definitely learned a lot of what not to do, and little bit of what did work.

I bought this shirt a while back from H&M because I loved the fabric and the peasant style fit, but after wearing it a couple of times I came to the conclusion that it was too frumpy so I decided to try and change it up.  The first adjustment I made to the shirt was to add an elastic band around the middle so that instead of just falling straight down it would gather at the waist.  I actually did this before I had started this blog so I don’t have any pictures of the shirt without the elastic on it (boooo), or how I sewed the elastic on.  But basically, all I did was take a piece of elastic, wrap it around my waist where I wanted it to sit on my shirt to gauge how long of a strip I needed, cut it, then pin it to a couple of spots on the inside of my shirt.  It was kind of awkward to do, since obviously the shirt is longer than the elastic when it’s not stretched.  While I sewed I stretched the elastic out.  I really don’t know much about sewing, or sewing terms, but note the stitch I used to ensure that it would stretch.

Here’s a picture of how the elastic looked once it was sewed onto the shirt and how the shirt looked with the new elastic waist:

It was still a little bit frumpy looking, and I just couldn’t stand how big the armpits were, so I decided to take it in a little bit as well.  I’ve been following a couple of sewing blogs (I’ve been really loving cotton & curls) and figured I could kind of wing it loosely following some of those tutorials.  I knew the next step was to find a shirt to base my fit on and use it to mark my guidelines and then just sew on the lines after securing the shirt with pins.

Thank god for seam rippers.  That didn’t work out so well for me.  If you can’t tell by the pictures, I really messed up.  My floral shirt is definitely not made of stretch fabric, whereas the shirt I was using for my guide was.  The thing was so difficult to get on and off!  I left the messed up seams in and then just kind of eyeballed a little bit bigger than that, made my new seams, then ripped out the original ones I had done.  I also sewed the sleeves a bit tighter as well and as a finishing touch I did two small pleats along the neckline to make it a little less wide.

I think it fits a lot better now, but is still nice and flowy.

I will definitely be doing more attempts at tailoring, and have already started on another shirt, post to follow soon!

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