2nd Attempt at Refitting a Shirt

I guess once I actually end up doing  more sewing I’ll have to think of more creative post names…

This is another shirt I had gotten from H & M.  I love the pattern and neck, but I thought it was a little bit too long on me and I wanted short sleeves.  I bet right now you’re thinking “I really love that shirt/skirt combo in the before picture!”

I’ll be really excited when I can make a sewing post and say that I didn’t use the seam ripper.  This, sadly, isn’t that post.

I tackled the sleeves first.  I wanted to keep the cuffs on the sleeves, and just move them up.  Figuring this out hurt my brain a lot and if seam rippers had a mind of their own mine would have quit me and put an ad on Craigslist to find a new owner.  After I finished I really wished I had just hacked off the sleeves and hemmed them, but at least I figured out how to keep the cuffs intact and reattach them!

I cut around the cuff leaving about an inch of leeway on for sewing.  I cut some of the length off the sleeve to make it easier to work with, and then, with the cuff inside out and the shirt right side out, I made the cuff “eat” the sleeve.  Matched up the seam, and then pinned (my favorite) leaving the slit part of the cuff alone for now.

Sew with some help from your cat.

Pull the cuff down so that it is now right side out.  You should be left with a little flappy part that makes up the slit.  Have at it with a seam ripper to separate it.  

Cut off the extra fabric that you’ve just freed with your seam ripper and position the flap of the cuff onto your sleeve so that it lays smoothly.  Because your biceps are pretty huge from all the iron you pump, you’ll have to adjust the angle to accommodate the larger circumference.

This is where it gets a little tricky.  You’re going to lay the flappy part on the outside of the shirt and it’s going to be a little bit awkward because you already have the cuff part sewed in the other direction, so some tucking is going to be involved.  Pin it in place and sew right where the seam was before.  You’ll be able to cut out the V, and then fold the extra fabric down and inside the sleeve.  Sew this down right underneath the cuff so it’s well hidden.

Yay!  Now just do the same thing to the other sleeve.

The rest of the refitting went rather smoothly, I must say, which I was really happy about after those sleeves.  I just marked about where I wanted the shirt to hit on me and chopped off the bottom.

I have all sorts of helpers, this time my bunny Lotus wanted in on the action.

To create the hem at the bottom I just pinned up about a quarter of an inch, ironed, then sewed, and repeated.

Next, because I don’t feel like ironing should be part of laundry chores, I sewed down the ruffles on the shirt.  I put in just a little stitch by hand on each ruffle every 5 inches or so that they would lay pretty flat.

The last touch was to add epaulettes because I love military style!  (I had to look up that word, FYI).

This part was super easy because the shirt originally had these things on the inside of the sleeves so that when you roll up the sleeve you can secure them (I will call them sleeve strips).  I have no idea what things are called and it’s making this post really difficult to write.  Anyway, that’s what pictures are for!  😀  I sewed a button onto each shoulder next to the neckline, then buttoned on the sleeve strips, folded them in twice, pinned, then sewed.

The sleeves stick out pretty funky, but overall I’m super happy with how it turned out.

Please, please, please correct my sewing terminology.


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