Taking in a Shirt

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Taking in a shirt doesn’t have to be a lengthy process. Aurora Sisneros shows you a quick and easy way to take in a shirt by yourself without having to use a dress form.

Try it On

The first step to taking in a shirt is obviously trying it on, not just relying on the size on the tag. This allows you to see how much larger the fit is for a big shirt and to also determine if different areas of the shirt fit better than others. Aurora shows you how she recommends trying the shirt on inside out, making the shirt ready to pin for the needed alterations.

Pinning

With your shirt on inside out it should be easy to see where any alterations need to be made. As shown in the video, one of the most common places for taking in a shirt is along a side seam. Aurora shows how to start pinning at the center of your alteration, or where the shirt needs to be taken in the most, and then how to work your way out towards existing seams. Beginning and ending the alteration at existing seams allows you to backstitch along the seam to ensure your stitching is secure.

Stitching

Once you’ve pinned your shirt it’s time to stitch. Aurora explains how to use the pins as ‘dots’ to connect in order to draw a stitching line onto your shirt. After you have stitched along the drawn line it is important to try the shirt on another time to ensure it fits before cutting away any of the excess fabric. Once you know your shirt fits the way you would like it to you can cut away the excess fabric and serge or zig-zag finish the raw edges.

Fitting

While this tip is great for taking in a shirt that’s too big it’s also a great sewing shortcut for other garments as well. For example, this same technique could be used on a dress to either take it in if it’s too big or turn a boxy dress into one that’s more form fitting.

Discussion
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10 Responses to “Taking in a Shirt”
  1. Ann Bissett-Clark

    Great idea. But unless there’s a zipper opening in the front or back, or the material is extremely stretchy, it will be difficult if not impossible to get it back on once adjusted.

    Reply
  2. Anne

    as a sewing teacher you really needed to have had another exact shirt and shown how to actually drawn the curved lines and then sewn them. Its very unclear how you blend one end of the graded seam into the other. you only taught half a lesson. If I was a beginner following your lesson I know I would have made a mess of it. Great idea, but you should re shoot this video and complete the lesson.

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi Anne. Thank you for your feedback. I will forward your comments on to the proper department.

      Reply
  3. Laurie

    Why didn’t you finish, I Have done this type of alteration hundreds of times as a sewing professional, I would not pin like that on myself. I would face the pins sharp end down, or use small safety pins. I just have someone pin the garment rather than do it one my own. I can’t understand why you didn’t finish the video. Most beginners need to see the sewing process to feel confident to try their own. Another point is you pinned quite a bit of fabric out of the sides. To make it look right, you should slant back to the seam gradually and be prepared to stitch all the way to the underarm seam, and open the hem if you need to if you pinched out a lot at the waist. And I agree with Ann And Anne’s points as well. What were you thinking? Just sayin.

    Reply
  4. Laurie

    I don’t understand why the sample was not sewn so that that beginners could see how its done, some people wouldn’t try. I am now wondering if she has even done this alteration.

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi Laurie. This video was intended to show a quick and easy way to pin a shirt while wearing it so you can then take it in. To sew it, you would simply sew a straight line down the edge of the shirt where it is pinned, starting in the seam allowance at the top, tapering in to where the pin lines are and then tapering back out to the seam allowance at the bottom. The excess fabric can then be trimmed away and the seam finished if desired.

      Hope this helps!

      Reply
  5. norma

    The problem with pinning alterations with the garment inside out is that if you have any differences in your body shape from side to side, your alterations will be incorrect.

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi Janice. Since it looks like most pockets on a health uniform top are stitched into the side seam, I would not recommend taking it in there as it would only make the pockets smaller. I would recommend adding darts to the back of the top. This will allow you to make the top smaller without changing the overall look of the shirt. It can also add a small amount of shaping to the top.

      Hope this helps!

      Reply
  6. Mark

    I’m a beginner at sewing and even I understood what this lady was trying to get across……
    I’ve disregarded the criticisms….😉
    Thank you for the video, it is really helpful…..!

    Reply

Tags: easy sewing project, how to make clothes, pattern alterations, sewing project, sewing tips