If you are tall like me, you know how hard it can be to find tops that fit right. If they fit around the chest, they tend to be too short, and if they have the correct length, they are two sizes to big around the bust. This is when knowing how to tailor a top in a quick and easy way comes in handy!
I bought this top at half off in the sales at Gina Tricot. Initially, I tried it in my size, but felt it was too short. Then I tried a size 44 and liked the length, only it was too wide, especially in the arm holes. I bought the top anyway and decided to tailor it to fit my body: As I have broader shoulder than most shorter women, the sides are often where I need to tailor my tops in order to make them fit my torso and not flare out like pregnancy tops.
Hopefully, you’ll find these instructions helpful and easy to follow!
Safety pins (so you don’t hurt yourself)
Contrasting colour thread and needle
Thread to match the top
1. Iron the top, if necessary, and turn it inside out. Put the top on and take the top in to the correct width along the sides by using the safety pins. The two most important places to get the width correct is by the arm hole and at the bottom.
2. Remove the top. Now you know roughly how much to take the top in and you can place the safety pins evenly in a line from top to bottom to indicate where the seam is going to go — using measuring tape and a marker will help get the two sides even. Turn the top right side out and put it back on. Check that the top has the desired shape. If it’s too tight/loose, move the safety pins out/in to get the perfect fit.
3. Now it’s time to thread the needle with contrasting thread and sew basting stitches along the line of the safety pins. Don’t fasten the thread too tightly at either end, as you’ll want to remove it again soon. (I baste in place of using sewing pins as the results are invariably better, especially if you are working with viscose, like I did).
4. Thread the sewing machine with the same colour thread as the top and using straight stitches, sew just beside the basting stitches from top to bottom, remembering to fasten the thread at either end (go back and forth a couple of times). Dont’ worry if the seam isn’t completely straight — nobody will see what’s going on on the inside of the garment.
5. If you have a fragile fabric like mine that easily frays (and unless you have a serger), sew another straight seam about 0,5 cm outside the first seam (towards the selvage). Cut along this seam and remove excess fabric. Using zigzag stitches, sew twice along the outer edge of the sides (over the outer straight stitches) to create a new selvage to ensure that the top doesn’t unravel in the wash.
If your fabric is more sturdy (eg a thicker cotton) you can cut the excess fabric off about 0,8 cm from the side seam and sew two seams of zigzag stitches across the edge to create a selvage. Be careful not to stretch the fabric when you sew so it fans out along the selvage — if you are afraid that you are going to do this, use the failsafe method above.
Remove the basting thread and trim all thread ends.
Now your new top should fit you perfectly!
Gina Tricot tailored white top and black coated jeans // Mulberry studded leather bracelet // Next2 white/golden watch // Snø of Sweden golden earrings
Editor’s note: Please let me know in the comments section if you would like me to post more DIYs on how to tailor garments in order to fit your body better. Since we don’t have tall lines here in Norway, I frequently tailor my non-tall clothes to suit my six feet/183 cm frame.