Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Taking in a Wide Shirt Sleeve

This refashion was so quick and simple I wasn’t sure if I wanted to post it. I finally decided to share because I want to show you how a super simple fix can make such a big impact. I didn’t wear this shirt and two quick seams later it is back in my closet and out of the refashion pile. You don’t have to be an expert seamstress to make a big changes in your wardrobe.

I can’t remember where I got this shirt. It was either from the thrift store or a garage sale. It’s originally from The Express. I love the cut of the dress shirts there. They are usually fitted in the waist and I have a hard time finding dress shirts that fit me well in that area. Most of them are cut much wider so any time I find an Express dress shirt I snap it up.
When I first went to wear this shirt and realized that it had crazy wide sleeves. My shoulders are a bit broader than I would like so anything that calls attention to them makes me uncomfortable. I loved the fitted waist but I couldn’t get over the sleeves so this shirt went into the refashion pile. I wasn’t even sure I could fix the sleeves since I didn’t have any experience with sleeve seams. Still, I decided to give it a try since this shirt wasn’t making it into my closet with these sleeves.

I started out by laying a shirt with normal sleeves on top. See what a big difference that is? I tried the new seam more than once before I got it right. Since I was stitching such a small seam I used a basting stitch to experiment. I set my stitch length to the longest setting and I didn’t back stitch at the beginning or end of the seam. This allowed me to pull the seam out easily if I didn’t like where it was placed. My first attempt was to sew a seam to match up with the shirt I laid on top. This took the armpit in way too much.

What finally worked was a diagonal line. I stitched from where I wanted the seam to end to the armpit. This took in the sleeve and still left the armpit seam intact. I ironed the seam flat (plus the rest of the shirt) and I was done.

The inner part of the sleeve isn’t super defined but when my arms are down you don’t notice. The most important thing is that I actually want to wear this shirt now. I will probably be layering it with cardigans and sweaters and I won’t have to worry about puffy sleeves anymore.