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March 20, 2018

tomboy tailoring | how to fit your hips into a men's shirt

How to fit your femme hips into a men's shirt
Hello, and welcome to a new segment on the blog! I'm thinking of calling Tomboy Tailoring... I was initially going to name it Dyke Tailoring, but then I realized that that's kind of exclusive, because not all tomboys are dykes, and not all dykes are tomboys! Basically, these types of posts are going to cover a topic that I've discussed in the past (I'll link to a few previous examples at the end of this one), which is tailoring men's clothing to fit a woman's body. Because let's face it - a lot of men's clothing is just better than women's. Better materials, better construction, longer lifespan... but! Ill-fitting for a curvy, cisgendered female frame. Which is why learning to alter your own clothes is amazing and will completely expand your wardrobe options.
Create extra hip-room in a men's shirt with this quick tailoring edit

Today's edition of Tomboy Tailoring is going to cover an issue I've commonly run into: button-down shirts not fitting in the waist. It makes sense. Men's shirts are built for people without hips. I definitely have hips, so my shirts always pucker around the bottom. If you've run into this problem, it's an easy fix.

What you'll need:

  • A seam ripper
  • Matching thread
  • A sewing machine
  • Pins
To fix your button-down, you'll have to open up the side seams and create more room in the hips. In order to do so, we have to have a little introduction:
How to use a gusset to create more room in your shirt
Everyone, meet the gusset. It's a little triangle of fabric that normally reinforces the side seams of your shirt, but for us, is going to be the extra material we need to create more room for our child-bearing hips (or not-so-child-bearing hips). If your shirt doesn't have a gusset, you can use a piece of matching scrap fabric instead!
Step 1: Remove the gusset

Step 1 | Remove the gusset

Get out your seam ripper, and remove this little triangle of fabric. You might luck out and see that it's actually folded in half, meaning it's double the size. Now have even more fabric to work with! 
If there isn't a gusset in your shirt, cut a small triangle of fabric that matches with your shirt. 

Step 2 | Open the side seams

Put your shirt on, and button it up all the way. Stand in front of a mirror and determine where on your body the shirt starts to get tight. For me, it was around the last button. Use your seam ripper, and open the side seams up to that point of tightness. Stitch straight across the end of the seam where the opening starts to keep the sides from unraveling further.
Step 3: Reattach the gusset

Step 3 | Reattach the gusset

Pin the triangle of fabric (whether it's the gusset, the open gusset, or scrap fabric) under the open seam. Stitch it in place. If you're using scrap fabric, you'll need to hem the bottom of the triangle, too. Done! Enjoy your extra wiggle room.
How to create extra room in your shirt!
Tomboy tailoring tips
If you're looking for more way to alter men's clothing to the femme frame, read how to shorten a cuff length and how to tailor a blazer sleeve.

Thanks for reading, gang!

- m.e.

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