Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Button Up Shirt Quick Petite Fashion Fix

Sometime last week I told you all that I have a new-found love for fashion blogs.  Particularly petite fashion blogs.  I am 5 feet tall and weigh 120 lbs.  Most extra small tops are big on me and I wear about a size 6 in bottoms (four if it's a skirt, I have chunky legs).  I've found lots of petite fashion blogs that offer reviews on sizes, places that offer petite sizes and things that are worth buying big and having altered.  My problem with this, though, is that I don't want to pay the prices that these girls can pay.  I work in healthcare (even in my upcoming new job) and wear scrubs for most of my waking moments.  It's just not worth it to buy a few high fashion, higher priced pieces that I can't wear next year.  It's not even worth it to have most pieces altered.  So being the craft blog fanatic that I am, I decided to make my own posts about how to easily alter some regular clothes into petite clothes.  Well, how to alter some clothes that are just too big into figure flattering clothes for a petite woman. 

So for post number one, I'll show you how to alter a too big button up shirt into a tie-backed tunic style shirt.

You will need:
A too-big button up shirt (really any too big shirt with side seams for that matter)
Ribbon of your choice (If your ribbon is polyester, you may want to singe the ends a bit so it doesn't fray)
Tailor's chalk/disappearing pencil or something of the like, just make sure it washes off
Seam Ripper
Sewing stuff (needles, thread, scissors, etc.)--you don't necessarily need a machine for this, but it makes life easier

This here is the finished product:

I found this shirt at my local Fashion Shack for about $8.  Our Fashion Shack works a lot like Plato's Closet.  They'll buy your used stuff (and if you choose store credit they'll give you more money for it).  The shirt originally came from The Gap and is an XS.  I just loved the floral print (nice and small, what petite girlies need) and the pintucking on the front.  It's also very lightweight, so it's perfect for summer for someone cold natured like me. 

This here is what it looked like before I fixed it:
Hmmm.  A little baggy for my liking.  Ok, so you may say it looks fine.  I just lost some weight and I want to show off this figure before I ruin it with kiddos.  It needs fixing.

Step 1:  You'll want to find where you want the top to cinch in the most.  For the most figure flattering, I would go with the smallest part of your torso.  This may be right up under your bust, or around your natural waist.  Mine was somewhere in between.  Mark that spot with your chalk on the side seams.  I also measured on both sides of my shirt to make sure they were even.

Step 2:  Now on the inside of the shirt, rip a small hole (just big enough to get your ribbon through) in the side seam where your chalk mark is.

Step 3:  Insert your ribbon into the newly made hole and stitch in place.  You may or may not want to pin it there for a bit, I lived dangerously.  Try to sew as directly on top of the original seam as you can.  I started about a quarter inch on top of the stitching still in place, sewed over the ribbon, and about a quarter inch on the other stitching still in place, then doubled the whole length back.  This will be a little bit of a stress point after all.

Step 4:  If you are lucky enough to own a serger, go back on the inside and serge on top of the raw edges that you left after ripping the seam out.  I do not own a serger, so I just zig zagged it.  It serves the same purpose.  (No one's going to see it anyway.)

Now just repeat for the other side!

Throw it on over your favorite pair of leggings or skinny jeans and you're ready for a little casual date night!  Or a Sunday School outing, 'cause that's where I went in it. 

In hindsight, I think I would make my ribbon ties longer, but hey, this fix only took about 15 minutes, and I have more ribbon, so if it bothers me too bad, I'll just redo it. 

I hope this is of some use to someone.  As always, if you use this tutorial (or any of my patterns/tutorials) please post pictures to my Flickr Group here --> Evan Becky Fan Pics  I would genuinely love to see what you've created!

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