The Answers are in Your Closet…

Transform this box into a shapely top
Transform this box into a shapely top
Just a few lines of stitching can change your current wardrobe. In this post, you’ll learn how to update those plain-jane t-shirts to fit you better.
Head to the closet with some pins
Next time you’re heading to the closet to get dressed or undressed, make a detour to pick up a pincushion or box of pins (you only need a few pins).
Peer into your closet. How many plain-jane knit t-shirts, turtlenecks and mocknecks do you have? (By t-shirts, I don’t mean the ones with printing on them. Those are hopeless fit-wise but we wear them anyway.) We’ve all got them — plain square knit tops that we got from Lands’ End, L.L. Bean, or Target. The neckline doesn’t matter, but if they’ve got tucks on top, and they’re blousy, and that look flatters you, leave those be and choose a plain knit shirt.
Pick one of your tops — maybe one in a great color. Try it on and see how it fits around your waist and high hip. Take a look in the mirror. Is the just a box that hangs below your bosom area? Try folding in some fabric at the bottom of the shirt. Does it make you look more flattering?
On your way to a free closet update
Take one pin and mark the fullest part of your bust in the shirt fabric (careful with that pin now!). (You could also mark below the bust point. You just need to remember which point you marked.) Below the bust point, you will create a “dart” or shaping line that will make you look trim and as if your clothes were made for you.
Sew Some Style
You don’t have to complete this project now, but at least take it to your sewing table…When you’re ready to give yourself a wardrobe update (again, for FREE!), use a ruler to mark a straight line about 2″ below the bust point to the bottom edge of the shirt. Follow this process to sew one dart. If it works, sew the other front dart and then decide whether you want to do the same to the back.
Then pinch in the fabric on either side so that you have pinched 1/2 inch of fabric to the inside of the shirt. Pin this fabric. You should see already that this pin is making the shirt more curvy on the front. Thread your machine with thread that matches or is a close match and do a test stitch for a straight stitch. Begin at the bottom of the top and sew a straight line to the point you marked that is 2 inches below the bust point. Now here’s a professional tip: When you get to the end of the line, do not backstitch but rather sew right off the fabric. Pull out the shirt and attached thread to your left, and cut the threads leaving enough thread for you to tie a hand knot into. Avoiding backstitching keeps that bust point smooth, which is the look we’re going for. Hand-tie and try on the top. Now, before you lose momentum, complete the other dart. Consider adding back darts too. It probably took you less time to do than to read this blog and check your e-mail, didn’t it? And it’s free. Next time you’re at your closet, plot out which of your favorite shirts you can whip into shape.


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