Nicki LaFoille

Shoulder Seam Alteration

Nicki LaFoille
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Duration:   30  mins

A simple shoulder seam alteration to a shirt can add extra room in the armscye and neckline and even add length to the shirt. Learn how to make this alteration as Nicki LaFoille walks you through it step-by-step.

Shoulder Seam Alteration on a Shirt

Nicki begins by explaining what the shirt alteration is and showing what the end result looks like. She then explains that this type of alteration can fix three different areas of a shirt; the neckline, the armscye, and the overall shirt length.

Fabric & Cutting

Nicki explains how to measure to know how much extra fabric to cut and add to the shoulder seam of the shirt, and also cautions that if you add too much fabric to the shoulder seam of the shirt it can make the neckline lower than intended. Once you have determined how much fabric you want to add to the shoulder seam, Nicki shows how to cut apart the shirt in order to prepare it.

Pin & Sew

Once the seam has been cut apart, Nicki shows how to pin in and stitch the new fabric strip to the shirt. She explains several different ways that the seam allowances can be finished depending on the type of fabric the shirt is made from. Nicki also explains that this type of simple alteration can be done on either a knit or woven fabric. This is also a simple enough alteration that multiple fabric types can be used together on one shirt.

For example, if you are wanting to do this alteration and add in a pop of color or even something slightly fancier, a fun strip of ribbon, lace, or other accent or embellishment could be added to the shoulder seam as well.

Once you’ve mastered this alteration, another alteration that can be made to the shoulder area of a shirt is learning how to make shoulder pads.

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