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fast & easy blouse mod – bonus post

Start your day off right, with a big bowl of bobbins! Part of this completely insane breakfast.

I’ve decided to dress for how I want the weather to be, regardless of whether or not this in any way reflects the way the weather actually is. So I’ve been digging all my summer clothes out of the attic and doing a few sit-ups. One morning this week I liberated a stack of summer shirts from their winter storage and decided to wear one: a breezy white top my aunt gave me. I put it on and remembered why I hadn’t worn it much last year. It’s adorable, but the sides fit rather like a sack.

This crafting/blogging thing is clearly affecting my sanity, because my solution was to get out my sewing machine. I looked at the clock and thought, hey, I’ve got an hour before work. Might as well! Which just goes to show that owning an easily operable sewing machine can be bad for your mental stability.

(Before you say anything, I am not one of those morning people. Just to be clear. I do not get up at 5 am to greet the day with organic blueberry pancakes. I do not approach people cheerily before the reasonable hour of 9 or 10, and I never instigate conversations about politics, religion or whether to buy an iPad before noon. I don’t work till 11:30, which is the only reason I was up early enough to have an hour to kill. So put away the pitchforks.)

Anyway, here’s a very fast and easy way to take in the sides of a simple shirt with side seams. (Complete with before and after pictures. There’ll be a link to Marvelous Miss Mai’s Magical Stain Removal Formula or similar scam at the end of the post.)

1) Try on the shirt and make a guess at how much material you want to lose off either side.

2) Turn the shirt inside out. (Take it off first, obviously. If you can turn it inside out without taking it off, you may want to see your doctor. Or the local circus.)

3) Using a seam ripper, open the shirt’s bottom hem on either side, where the side seams end. [This step is optional – you should do this for a neater result, but you don’t have to if, like me, you have limited time.]

4) Draw a gently curved line inward from the bottom of the arm hole to the hem.

5) Smooth the fabric and pin through both layers along the line you’ve drawn.

6) Stitch along the line. I suggest using a wide stitch so that if you accidentally sewed too far in you can pick it out easily and start again.

7) Repeat steps 4-6 on the other side of the shirt.

8) Try the shirt on. If things look good, carry on. If not and the shirt’s too small now, tear the stitches out and sew again along a new line closer to the shirt’s edge. If it’s too baggy still, draw a new line further in and sew along that.

9) Set your machine back to a smaller stitch and sew a second time along the same line of stitching.

10) One last time, try the shirt on and make sure the it fits the way you want it to. Then cut the excess fabric from the shirt’s sides and run a quick seam finish (zigzag stitch) along the raw edge.

11) If you did step 3, re-sew your hem.

Done! I put on my shirt, added a wool necklace I finished the other day, and went to work. The weather even cooperated this time and stayed nice. Hmm…

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