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Making Shirts Longer

I have several tops which seem to be a bit too short. I was wondering if there was a way to lengthen these tops without it looking like a tacked on after-thought? I probably shouldn't have bought them in the first place but I have put on a bit of weight and they look terrible on me.

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By Sharylesley from Australia

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April 27, 20090 found this helpful

It depends on how the tops are made on the lower half. If they are shirt tail type tops you could do one thing for a changed looked. If you have a sewing machine using a single stright stitch.You can leave the top un buttoned all the way and then take a tank top of a matching color (white works with anything) and you cut the tanks front away from the back of the tank at the sides and should seams them sew those same sides to the same sections of the in side of your opened button up shirt.

If its just a top that's straight around the hem but too short you can cut that top under your bust area and then take a pretty fabric that is straight around as well but gathered up too give a full look and sew it to the top you just cut under the bust area which will give you a midriff looking top.

And if its a t-shirt with a straight tail hemline you can add more color of another fabric below it to make it longer and you can also add it too the sleeves and chest area to give it a complete new look much like this photo. All you need to do is get the length difference you would like your top to be and add that much of a band too it with a matching color.

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April 27, 20090 found this helpful

My first thought is to simply cut the edge off from another t-shirt, that maybe is stained etc. It could be wider than the first shirt, but not tighter. Cut off a good 4-5 inches. Then attach it to the bottom of the short t-shirt. If the cut of bottom is too wide, cut it open by the seam and sew it back together once you fitted it properly on the edge of the other shirt.

This will create a fun layered look, if you sew the extra piece on the right way. Be sure to match and combine some interesting colours on the two fabrics!

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May 4, 20090 found this helpful

Have you thought of buying a very thin top and wearing it under the short top? Layering doesn't always add a lot of bulk and it's really an "in" look at the moment. And, no sewing!

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May 4, 20090 found this helpful

For your solid colored tops, I'd find some patterned fabric (something that doesn't have to be matched - no stripes or plaid - think paisley, floral, etc), and sew on a wide band at the bottom with matching cuffs at the ends of the sleeves to tie it in. You can add buttons or trim at the neckline if you like to make it look more dressy and tie the look together. If you're needing some breathing room for hips, waist, or bottom, you might be able to cut along the side seams to form a vent similar to a tunic top.

For tops with patterns, I'd try the same trick, only with a solid fabric. You might also take an old button-down shirt and cut off the collar, cuffs and sleeves, and shirt tail to sew on to your shirts to make a layered-look blouse. This effect is really cute and can be worn dressy or casual. Best of luck with your tops!

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May 4, 20090 found this helpful

Thanks for your suggestions - very much appreciated - I like the idea of layering as I'm not a good sower. All help has been most gratefully received and I will keep a copy of them for later use -thanx once again

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