Monday, May 19, 2014

Tutorial: How to make a shirt larger

I work at an elementary school in a classroom for Autistic children.  It's called a SPICE class (Social, Pragmatics, Independence, Communication, and Emotional Regulation).  For Autism Awareness Month--which is April--we bought custom shirts with the line, "Keep Calm and SPICE On."


Very cute.  However, once we got our shirts, the sizes were much smaller than we thought.  I got a large, and I usually take an adult medium.  And it was still too small!

So, after looking through so many tutorials on Pinterest, I decided to try this one.  Essentially, what you do, is add two rectangle pieces of fabric under the arm and straight down to the waist.

So, what I did was find a complimenting fabric (which was lucky, because we only got the shirts yesterday, and I didn't want to run out and buy more).  I chose a blue flower to match with the blue on the shirt.


I cut two 3inch long rectangles.  I cut the length as long as the shirt is from the bottom lip of the arm sleeve, to the very bottom hem of the waist.  I actually cut it too small and had to sew on just another inch at the bottom. What a pain!

With the shirt inside out, you cut along the seam on both sides, going all the way through the arm sleeve.  If you cut both sides at once, it would cut the shirt completely in half.  That scared me, so I only did one side at a time.  With the seam cut, pin your rectangle fabric to the shirt fabric (right side to right side).  Sew a straight seam.


Repeat on the other side to finish one half of the shirt.  Then, cut the shirt on the opposite side, from the sleeve to the waist.  Sew in the other rectangle of fabric.


And here's what it looks like!


I am a dummy and didn't realize I didn't have black thread (who doesn't have black thread?!?).  So, I had to use blue.  Because of this, I had to go over the black seam of the waist and the sleeves just to get it to match.  It added a bit of decorative flair, so I didn't mind.


You can also see here that I folded the remain of the rectangle and hemmed it like the rest of the shirt.


This is a close up of the sleeve.  I didn't have enough fabric to hem the sleeve in the same way as the waist.  I didn't mind since it was the underside of the arm and no one would notice.

And here's the "decorative" stitch up close.

And the final product:


It fit much, much better!  And everyone at work just loved how it looked!

Overall, this was a very easy project.  It took me about 45-60 minutes (and some of that was just doing the decorative stitching which wouldn't have been necessary if I'd been more prepared).  I wish I had a better contrast fabric, but for pulling it off in less than 12 hours, I'm pleased with the outcome!


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