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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

[TUTORIAL] Removable Bowtie Shirt & How to Enlarge A Shirt

Hey guys! It's Tutorial-Tuesday! (Not really. I am not motivated enough to post a self-made tutorial every week.) Today, I'm going to show you guys how to ENLARGE a shirt that's too small and how to alter a long-sleeved button-up into a sleeveless bow-tie button-up.

I was inspired by Extra Petite's tutorial on how to transform a button-up to sleeveless bow-tie top except the shirt I had was TOO SMALL for my busty Asian self. I may be petite, but I was unfortunately (hehe not) blessed with my grandmother's Amazonian Asian genes of bustiness.

So, I shall show you the ways of enlarging a shirt!

First, find a button up that is too small for you. Not too small mind you. This is my mom's old vintage shirt. I didn't want to give it away since it is one of the few things left of my mother's and plus it had AWESOME embroidered DRAGONS on it! I am dragon in the Chinese zodiac so this means a lot to me.

This is the shirt BEFORE I started cutting the sleeves off. The sleeves were a little too short. It was quite tight around my chest (the 2nd button wouldn't stay closed).

Here is unhappy me b/c I have cut off the sleeves but the shirt is still too tight. Note the gapping hole in the chest lol.

Okay, so find the seams on the side of your shirt. In the above pic, you'll see that the seams on my shirt have about 1/2 inch of seam allowance so that gives me ALOT of extra sewing space to enlarge. Yay!

Nail polish: "Your Fly's Down" by Spoiled: Wet n' Wild
I had to pick the hem on the bottom of the shirt so I could get to the rest of the side seam. I am a TERRIBLE person and didn't take any photos of the enlarging process. Let me try to explain with MSPaint pics:
Now. The black dotted lines is the ORIGINAL SEAM on your shirt. DO NOT pick it open with your seam ripper... YET. We will do that AFTER we sew the NEW SEAM (marked in orange in the pic). So, I didn't really measure how far out the new seam should be.... I just sewed right at the edge of the fabric BUT gave about 1/4 inch of seam allowance so as to not sew on the very edge of the fabric because it may fray. After you sew your new seam, NOW you can pick the original seam out and try on your shirt and adjust as needed.

I hope that this has not confused you further. 

I tried hemming the sleeves but it ended up being a  DISASTER so I salvaged some fabric from the sleeves to make binding to bind the sleeve holes and keep them from gaping. The pic above shows the sleeve (after cutting it open to lie flat) and the lines are the bias tape. I just made the tape the same width as the ruler for laziness' sake. I was lucky that the fabric on my sleeves were cut on a bias so I could just cut strips and make bias tape and bind them.

For those who don't know how to make bias tape, here is a good tutorial. It teaches you how to make AND attach bias tape! Very helpful. You could just go out to Walmart and BUY bias tape that matches or coordinates well with your shirt color/pattern.

Now onto making the bow tie part!

I still had one sleeve left and extra fabric from the other sleeve I didn't use.

So I drew a straight line with my straight edge ruler and marked 1 1/2 inches out. This is your FOLD (NOT your cut line!) line so you know where to fold and iron when making your sash for the bow tie. 

So the lines are drawn! My sash is 3 inches wide and when folded in half and sewn, the resulted bow tie will be about 1 1/4 inches wide due to the seam allowance. So cut on the OUTER lines. Remember! The MIDDLE line is your FOLD line! DO NOT cut that line!


Now put the two strips RIGHT SIDES (the outside/good side of your fabric) together and sew together to make one long strip.

Like so....

Remember your MIDDLE line? Well fold that strip on that line and iron it. It should be folded in half and look like the upper photo. I like ironing because it helps fabrics lie flatter while sewing and makes seams look neater.

Taper/cut the ends to a point to make the bow tie all pretty when you turn it inside out.

Sew down the OUTER edge of the strip. NOT the folded edge. DO NOT sew the ends shut! I made this mistake! You have to turn the tube of fabric right side out now!

Put a safety pin on one end and loop it through to turn the fabric right side out. Here's better tutorial explaining how to turn a tube of fabric inside out.

After it's turned right side out, sew the ends shut. I wanted the sash to look nice so I sewed down the OUTER edge of the sash to help it lie flat. This step is optional. You can just sew the ends shut.

Tadaaaa! Bow tie sash! Be proud!

Here are some pics of me wearing the shirt with and without a bow tie:

My hair was looking ROUGH. So no face in these pics. Obligatory Ozymandias, my Shiba Inu, inclusion.

Here is the shirt on the hanger and a close-up photo of the bias tape bound armholes.

That's it! I'm sorry for the horribly long photo tutorial. I like being detailed. I'm terrible at making photo tutorials because I tend to forget to take photos as I go along. Sorry... But next tutorial will be how to make an attached sash/bow tie on your shirt instead of a removable sash. Stay tuned!

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