I think we need to do a million-women-march for decent plus-sized clothing. I am so tired of boxy, no shape, fat clothes I can’t even stand it. Why can’t manufacturers come up with one of those pretty blouses that have a waistline built in, without the neckline being cut down so far that it’s indecent? Why are the sleeves on plus-sized clothing made 4 inches too long? Why is it that plus-sized pants are never made for 5’2″ people, and why do we always have to alter them? Why do the pockets always gap at the sides and why are jeans that have built-in shapers only made up to size 12? I have yet to find a plus-sized tee shirt that is long enough to cover my waist and hips without being halfway to my knees.
Well, thank goodness for the sewing machine! You can make some adjustments on ready-to-wear clothing that will help with style and shape. This is how I changed a tee shirt I purchased recently.
To add shape to a boxy tee:
Put on the shirt and stand in front of a full-length mirror. Pinch the fabric at the waistline and mark it with a pin. Take off the shirt, turn inside out, and measure the length up from the bottom hemline to the spot you marked with a pin. Mark the spot at the same place on both sides of the shirt. Go up 2″ from that spot and place another mark on both sides. Go down 4″ from the first mark you made and place another mark on both sides of the shirt. Now, returning to the waistline mark, measure directly in towards the center of the shirt 1″ and mark there.
Set your sewing machine to a basting stitch smaller than the norm. Starting from the top mark, baste a curved line down over the 1″ mark and very gradually back until it crosses the original seamline at the bottom mark. Repeat on the opposite side.
Turn the shirt and try it on again. Make adjustments to the stitching line until you are happy with the shape. Then, stitch with a regular stitch length, making sure to backtack at each end.
Turn the shirt and try it on again to be certain you can get in and out of it without tearing the stitching. Trim to 1/4″ from the stitching line. Finish the seam with a serger or zig-zag.
If you get a pucker at the bottom of the seam you just made, try re-sewing with a slightly more gradually. You can also taper the stitch length down towards the end of the seam. The idea is to eliminate any abrupt return to the original seamline.
What do you get? Well, you lose about 10 pounds instantly without even trying, and you get a much more shapely garment. Try it and see what you think!
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