If I were in charge of the world, I would declare every day as National Celebrate Your Curves Day. I would proclaim that on this day, in every household, there would be at least one traditional refashion of a boxy man’s shirt into one that will enhance those womanly curves. So, to get you ready for this imaginary new holiday, I’ll show you one way to transform a shapeless shirt into a more feminine one.
Start by cutting off the sleeves right around the arm hole seam.
Then measure and mark your desired waistline and add a 1/2 inch for a seam allowance.
Now cut along your new waistline.
Cut off the collar.
Turn the shirt around so the back now becomes the front. Cut straight down the center until you get to your newly desired neckline.
Cut one side of the neckline, and then fold it over and use it as a pattern to create symmetry when cutting the other side of your neckline.
Cut the back of the neckline to your desired shape. I chose a deep V-neck in the back.
Fold over 1/4 inch all around the new neckline (front and back), and then press.
Fold over another 1/4 inch all around the neckline, and then press and pin.
Sew the new neckline hem.
Use your seam ripper to remove the pockets.
Use a pin to mark the center front on the new neckline of your shirt.
Fold and pin pleats toward the center of your new neckline. I used four pleats, but the number of pleats will vary depending on how much you need to take in your shirt and the specific look you’d like to achieve. You can get creative here by placing the pleats close together or far apart. Experiment until you come up with the look you prefer.
Fold and pin the pleats to match on the bottom of the bodice.
Sew across the new top and bottom pleats to hold them in place.
Pin and sew the side seams to fit. Trim off any excess fabric to a 1/2-inch seam allowance, and press the seam open.
Cut off a 2 3/4-inch piece from the part of the shirt you cut off earlier. Save the bottom of the shirt to use later.
Take this piece in so it is the same measurement as your waist plus 1 to 2 inches, depending on how fitted you’d like it to be. To determine the length, wrap it around your waist, and pin it when you get it to fit comfortably. Take it off and sew along your pin lines. Trim off the excess fabric.
Mark the center front of your new waistband and the center front of your new bodice.
Using the longest stitch length on your machine, sew along the bottom of the bodice.
Pull the bobbin thread to create gathers. Distribute the gathers evenly until the circumference of the bodice matches the circumference of your new waistband.
Match the center front marks and pin, with right sides together.
Continue to pin the waistband to the bodice all the way around, with right sides together.
Sew the waistband to the bodice with a 1/2-inch seam allowance.
Mark the center front on the bottom piece of the shirt, and repeat the gathering process by basting and then pulling on the bobbin thread to gather to the same circumference as the waistband. Match the center front marks and pin, with right sides together.
Continue pinning the rest of the waistband to the bottom of the shirt, with right sides together.
Sew the bottom of the shirt to the waistband with a 1/2-inch seam allowance.
Press the new waistband with the seams toward the middle.
Topstitch along both edges of the waistband to create a finished look.
To create the sleeves, first measure how long you would like your new sleeve, and add 1/2 inch for a hem. Mark this length, and cut off the bottom of the sleeve.
For the sleeves to fit in the arm scythe (arm hole) now that you have altered the side seams, you will need to trim some fabric off the top of the sleeve.
With right sides together, pin and sew the sleeves into the arm scythe, matching the bottom seam of the sleeve to the side seam. To create the sleeve hem, fold under the sleeve hem 1/4 inch, press, and then fold under 1/4 inch again. Press and sew all around.
Ok, now you’re ready to get out there and celebrate your curves in style for any holiday that strikes your fancy, real or imagined.