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Adjusting size of purchased blouse

pvwalla10 | Posted in Fitting on

Can anyone tell me how to adjust the size of a purchased blouse? I am in the
process of losing weight after being heavy for many years. I do not want to
go out to buy a lot of new clothes until I have reached the weight I wish
to achieve. What I would like to do is take in a few of the blouses and
shirts I have now. I have found that everything seems to look fine except
the shoulders now hang down lower on the arm,. I would like a simple way of
shortening the length of the shoulder and moving the arm hole in for the
new fit.


  1. suesew | | #1

    You will probably have to remove and replace the sleeves. But if you really need to get rid of a lot of fabric you could possibly cut the sleeves off right at the stitching line instead of going through the tedious process of removing the stitching. This will result in a slightly shorter sleeve to sew back in.

    Is there any chance you could sew a tuck into the shoulder as a design feature? The problem with this is that it doesn't really remove any fabric from the body of the garment. Now, how did you lose all that weight.? Sue

    1. pvwalla10 | | #2

      A friend suggested that I take the sleeves off and open the side seams.  Then make a paper pattern of just the armhole and side seam.  Mark on the blouse where I want the new sleeve to fit on the shoulder seam and piviot the patten to the new side seam.  This worked ok but I think it needs more work to look better. 

      as far as the weight, I actually joined Weight Watchers and I am learning to watch what I eat.  It is not a diet but it works.  I am trying to loose 1lb a week to be safe.

      1. SewNancy | | #3

        Dear Pat,

        Good luck on your weight loss, I lost 71 lbs on weight watchers and it will be off 2 years in November.  I lost it slowly so I too didn't want to buy too much in between.  I wear a lot of sweaters and knits and my serger payed for itself by being able to take in tops, but the biggest problem is the shoulders and taking off the sleeves is really the best way.  Or you could combine a pleat at the shoulder with taking in the underarm through the body.  They are usually sewn in one and that would combine to take out the extra fabric in the body with the pleat taking up the extra at the shoulder. 


      2. juliaat | | #4

        Hi Pat,

        I've "been there, done that" with the weight loss and altering existing clothing.  I have even gone so far as to take my favorite suit apart (completely) and cut out new (smaller!) pattern pieces.  It gave me a good look at the constuction details, which I wouldn't ordinarily see. 

        Actually, I like the idea of cutting the sleeves off right at the seam line to avoid picking the seam out.  You may find that the sleeve doesn't need to be as long now since it will almost certainly hang differently. 

        (As a non-sewing idea, if there are any consignment shops in your area, you can kind of "swap" clothes as you grow out of them.  Turn in your old ones for sale and pick up a few new ones that fit.)

        Good luck!


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