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blouses, Sewing Tip/Trick of the Day

Sewing Trick of the day- Gaping blouse/popped buttons

(This post is from a problem I have, and s friend has as well & was looking for solution)

Way back in the 80’s when I was a teenager & selfconscious of my shape I remember my Gran being horrified at the shapeless poet’s/men’s blouses I would wear. Yeah, I could claim it was the fashion, but that excuse doesn’t work so well these days.

Problem is I am VERY curvy, and most blouses (if anywhere *near* form fitting) have a nasty habit of gaping & showing peek-a-boo flesh between buttons, or embarrassing buttons popping free in the middle of interviews or wearing a rucksack on the tube.  So here is an easy fix.

NOTE: this only works if you can still get blouse on over your head buttoned up, if it is too fitted I have another suggestion at end of post. So button up and try before sewing. If it is a creased blouse, be sure to iron it before you start the fix.

1. decide how far down “unbuttoned” you want it to be from top, mark with chalk.

2. Mark bottom, I usually don’t sew all the way down, leaving the bottom button/s free for more casual days, or hip ease.

3.Make sure you have changed you machine foot to a zip/open sided foot. If you don’t have one, move needle as far over to the side as possible. This is so you don’t run over or push the button as you stitch. I find it’s easier to sew the shirt from the bottom as it’s a bit tight at the neck/top. Now sew, (on the outer edge stitching line) lining needle up with the original garment stitching line.Try to match the stitch length if possible, looks neater. Try to pinch right on the overlap  and pull/tension gently so the lap stays lined up and flat.

-If you don’t have a machine, hand stitch but just match maybe one in three or four stitches on the top side, moving the longer distances/thread on the underside, trying to do the whole thing matching tiny stitch size by hand is a pain.

4. Tadaa, the end result, I stitched with black so you can see the sewing a bit better, but also how subtle it is.

5. end result from a distance

6. And on the body, less stress/pulling marks, no more peek-a-boo between buttons, or popping, sorry pervs on the train ;) (and yes there’s a bit run not in the ditch between upper buttons, I was in a hurry to fix blouse before going out & turned head away while still sewing & that’s the result. Not worried as am taking it out & redo-ing in correct thread colour anways, see I even show what happens when I do the wrong thing ;)

7. Now if your shirt is too fitted to put on over your head pullover style, a slightly better fix than safety pins is to get some tiny snaps, white,black or silver. Usually even if you can’t get the torso over your head, you can probably sew at least the couple of buttons over the bust area, the worst area for pop-opens, and then do the narrow portion with a snap between each button to help keep everything in line. Usually the “boy” side of a snap has the most flat back so I put the boysides on the top overlap side and girls on the bottom. Snap!

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About dreamsewing

From Victorian/ Steampunk clothing, Asian inspired hair ornaments to simple alterations, I am an addict to learning new crafts. I've spent now 20 years traveling over the world and touring with various theatre companies, from Shakespearian, to ballet, to Cirque du Soleil. This blog is mainly for talking about current projects & sharing tips & tricks of the trade. Hoping to learn new things from from others and also sharing resource lists. If you have any sewing questions/quandaries, please do ask me, I may have an answer or a new way to fix. I love exchanging ideas on new ways/tricks of stitching! (Small self-plug: If you'd like to discuss a commission, need to hire a professional seamstress or wardrobe person, please feel free to contact me via email: dreamsewing@gmail.com )

Discussion

2 thoughts on “Sewing Trick of the day- Gaping blouse/popped buttons

  1. I did this yesterday to a couple of work shirts (or rather shirts that I would like to wear to work, but gap just a little too much) and it worked BRILLIANTLY! So much better than installing snaps. Thanks for posting :)

    Next experiment: I’m going to tackle making a huge tentlike blouse smaller. It’s a gorgeous prussian blue linen top that is simply too big and square. Going to take some in at the side seams and install a couple of darts in back.

    Posted by Bonnie | October 19, 2011, 5:55 pm
  2. Wow that was strange. I just wrote an really long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyways, just wanted to say superb blog!

    Posted by Quinn Yetman | October 21, 2011, 10:44 pm

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