Friday, March 4, 2011

Shirt Alterations

A friend of mine came to me a few weeks ago and asked me if I'd be willing to make some alterations to three shirts she had bought for her daughter's upcoming mission. Two of them had sheer sleeves and the other was one of those really long button up shirts that need to be six inches shorter.

Now, I've never done any alterations before but I looked at the shirts and I decided that yes, I could do it despite having zero experience. So, I accepted the challenge and did an exceptional job - if I do say so myself.

The first thing I did was the new hem since it was the easiest and I've done some hemming before on the dresses I made for the girls. I did have to figure out how to replicate the curve at the bottom of the shirt but that turned out to be not too hard at all.

And then came the sleeves. I wouldn't say I was dreading it, but I definitely wasn't looking forward to possible total failure. Thankfully I have a certain book to help me out a bit on where to begin.

I had to make a pattern that would match the existing sleeve. I took some measurements and made a sketch of what it should look like. Then I made an actual sized version on paper, which I then cut (as you can see in the picture) to add room for gathers. I added 1/4 an inch between the pieces when I laid them out on the pattern making material and added about 1/4 an inch on the top and bottom where I had the gathers. I finished the pattern by adding 5/8 of an inch sewing allowance around.

Then I made a test sleeve.

And it was perfect.

I can't tell you how good it feels to get it right the first time.

From there I cut out the real sleeves and sewed them in as a lining.Voila!

You can see the new lining below, hiding in the sleeve. And I pulled the lining out a little bit.

And there you have it. My first attempt at clothing alterations which turned out to be highly successful.

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