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Forum > Beginner's Forum > altering men's dress shirts up 2 sizes ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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altering men's dress shirts up 2 sizes
how to make a mans lrg dress shirt into a 2x using other shirts
Member since 3/14/13
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Skill: Beginner
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Date: 3/14/13 6:18 PM

Im new to sewing but can follow directions well. My new husband has a closet full of new button up dress shirts that he thought would fit him. NOT! Is there a way to take a large dress shirt and add other peices of other dress shirts to enlarge it to a xx lrg or a 2x? He has agreed to wearing them with mismatched designs providing they fit good. This is a task I do not want him thinking I don't know how to sew. PLEASE HELP any advise is greatly appreciated.
Member since 12/16/12
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Subject: altering mens dress shirts up 2 sizes Date: 3/14/13 7:56 PM

It would be helpful if you laid out what needs to be made larger. All parts or just some?

It will not be easy to enlarge a fitted shirt by 2 sizes or very pretty.

Posting in fitting woes may garner more help.

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In reply to ceilestereale
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Date: 3/14/13 9:17 PM

I've sewn for close to 40 years, and unless you're under financial stress the amount of effort involved to increase it by 2 sizes just wouldn't be worth it to.

It's not about being able to sew or not sew, it's whether completely remaking 1 shirt out of 2 is worth the value of the time spent.

Would you do this for your own clothing, and if you wouldn't the reasons why are likely to be the same as for his shirts.

I think you're going to have the most problems with the collars. That is, you'd need to make a new collar for each shirt you save, and probably new cuffs too. The shoulders won't be wide enough as well as needing bigger sleeves & torso. So although you could insert a panel for extra width through the underarm & side seam, you won't get extra shoulder width that way. You could then use the shirt you cut the side gusset to make a new collar & cuffs. However, that doesn't fix the shoulder width needed, if he needs them to be wider.

Sydney, Australia

Pam~Off The Cuff~
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In reply to ceilestereale

Date: 3/15/13 7:04 AM

I have been a Professional Shirt-maker for well over 25 years, hand-drafting custom fit patterns and then crafting shirts for my clients. I've made thousands of shirts over my career.

If the shirts are new, the best thing to do would be to return them and get the correct size.

To try to enlarge them by 2 sizes , you would have to piece-in fabric. If certain techniques are not followed to make this piecing virtually invisible...the result would resemble patch-work...and they would no longer look like dress shirts. In Custom-ShirtMaking there are rather complicated techniques we use to do this sort of alteration.....but only when some of the matching fabric has been saved with the custom-drafted pattern so that we can re-cut some pieces and stretch others. is possible to increase the size of the shirt's 'body'--

-- Remove the cuffs very carefully...preserving the folded-under raw edges--do NOT iron them flat.
-- Open-up the flat-fell seams (side seams) of the body and the long sleeve seams (leaving the sleeves attached at the shoulder, but now open at the under-arm point)
-- With right sides together, re-stitch the side seams from the hem up and around/over/through the under-arm point and then down the sleeve to the cuff edge....using a narrow 1/4" seam allowance.
--Zig-zag the seam allowances (or serge them).
-- Attach the cuffs by sliding their folded-in raw edges back onto the raw edges of the sleeves. (RAW edge of the now larger sleeve will be sandwiched INSIDE the *existing folded-under seam allowances* of the cuff.
-- stitch the cuffs onto the ends of the will need to make the pleat a little larger for the bigger sleeve to fit into/onto the unchanged cuff.

This will not make for the best-looking dress shirt....but it's one way to make it a little larger. I apologize in advance that I cannot give more detailed instructions within the context of a discussion forum. Not enough time! ...I have shirts for my clients that need to be stitched So I hope this basic over-view is enough to guide you a bit.

Good Luck!


-- Edited on 3/15/13 7:38 AM --


Pamela Erny
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