Category Archives: Tailoring

How to choose and work with a tailor, what garments are worth tailoring

Upsize: Custom Fit A Too-Small Blouse

Upsize: Custom Fit A Too-Small Blouse

Button Down shirts and blouses are are “must haves” according to most style experts. However, many women have trouble getting a great fit. Buttondowns tend to gap at the bust line or pull across the tummy, giving an unflattering look.

To get a good fit, look for shirts and blouses with a stretch panel in the side seams. This allows the shirt to stretch where you need the bustline, tummy area, back…wherever.  This Taos Top by Soft Surroundings has a stretch panel in the side seams that gives you a slim fit all over. The panel is made of a ribbed knit fabric in a color that matches the rest of the blouse so it’s invisible and stretches only where you need a little more room.

If your shirt doesn’t have a stretch panel, it’s super easy to add one yourself or with the help of your tailor.


  1. Find a knit shirt such as a t-shirt, Henley shirt or lightweight knit top. Choose a  top in a coordinating color with the same sleeve length. Look on sales racks and discount stores to keep the price low.
  2. Open the side seams and inside sleeve seams of the shirt.
  3. To make your stretch panel, cut a strip out of each side of the  coordinating knit shirt. Be sure to keep the side seams. When you cut the strip, center the side/sleeve seams in the middle of the strips.
  4. Insert the strips of the knit shirt into the side and sleeve seams of the “too small” shirt
  5. Line up the hem, underarm sleeve seam and sleeve cuff and sew the side panels in place.

Here’s an example of a George Roth shirt I modified with my tailor. I’m not a fan of a shirt collar, so we removed the collar, cut a scoop neckline and used the extra fabric to make a ruffle for the new neckline.

Want more ideas?

How To Find and Work With A Tailor

Looking like a million bucks is all about the fit of your clothes. When your clothes fit you perfectly, you look like a smashing success. When clothes are too loose, tight, short or long, you look sloppy and unsuccessful. Off-the-rack clothing is made from a generic pattern and doesn’t fit anyone perfectly. Almost everyone has… Continue Reading

Shopping Secrets

This segment appeared on Great Day Houston on March 10, 2009. To watch it, click on the link at the bottom of this post.What’s Sarah wearing?smocked blouse from Boston ProperLee Rider bootcut jeans from Walmart (altered by Rolando at hoop earrings from Boston ProperCorey pumps by Coach What’s the upside of a down economy?… Continue Reading