How to Make an Alteration to a Fitted Blouse

Written by arin bodden
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Blouses, when fitted properly, are flattering to the wearer. When improperly fitted, however, they look and feel like they were made for differently sized person. Getting your clothing professionally altered offers good results but is expensive. You can do simple blouse alterations, such as taking in the side seams and sleeves, at home. You will save yourself time and money and your blouse will fit as though it was made especially for you.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Mirror
  • Chalk tailor's pencil (for dark blouses)
  • Fabric marker (for light blouses)
  • Sewing pins
  • Ruler
  • Iron
  • Coordinating thread
  • Sewing needle
  • Sewing machine

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  1. 1

    Turn your blouse inside out and put it on. Stand in front of a mirror so that you can see the blouse completely.

  2. 2

    Look at the right side of your reflection. With your left hand, pull up any excess fabric that puffs up or hangs loosely in the shoulder area. Cinch it with your hand until it looks the way you want it to. Hold your fabric with one hand and use your other hand to draw a line with your chalk pencil or fabric marker where a new seam line should be placed. Make this line across the entire shoulder seam. Repeat this step on the left side of your reflection.

  3. 3

    Look at the right side of your reflection. With your left hand, pull any excess fabric away from your waist that balloons out, wrinkles, or hangs loosely. Adjust it with your hand until the fabric lays smoothly. Hold the fabric with one hand and draw a line with the other from your armpit down to the bottom right side seam of your blouse. Repeat on the left side of your reflection.

  4. 4

    Adjust the sleeve length and hem, if necessary. For a shorter sleeve, mark where you want the finished sleeve to be with the fabric marker or chalk pencil. Mark the hem line where you want it to be with your fabric marker or chalk pencil.

  5. 5

    Carefully remove the blouse. Insert pins in the lines you drew in the shoulders and side seam lines, ensuring the lines are even in both sides of the blouse.

  6. 6

    Measure 1/2 inch below the sleeve line and draw a new line and cut off your sleeves on the new line. Fold each sleeve up 1/2 inch. Iron if desired and pin into place. Repeat with the hem line.

  7. 7

    Sew along the pinned shoulder seams, side seams and the newly shortened sleeve and bottom hems using a 1/8-inch seam allowance. Remove your pins and iron your blouse when done. Turn right side out and wear.

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