June 5, 2011

Taking in a Blouse with Pintucks

I was given quite a few nice blouses that fit me in the shoulders and sleeves but are much too big through the torso and bust. I noticed two of these blouses are already constructed with pintucks along the torso. These are very small pleats spaced evenly apart that help shape the torso of the blouse.

I started this process by pressing the blouses and trying them on to get a good idea of how much I needed to take in. I took a few minutes to study the construction. One blouse had tucks along each side of the front and the back; the other had tucks on the front and a smocked panel in the back.

 I looked closely at how the tucks were formed and measured the spacing between them.  I made sure I was measuring between the seams that form the tucks, not the topstitching details.

On the first blouse, I decided to add news tucks to the back of the garment first. I thought it would be less noticeable if I messed it up. I used my ruler and chalk pencil to mark where I wanted the new tucks to go.  I folded the tuck along the line I marked, and folding the extra fabric to the inside of the garment, I pinned it in place along the length of the tuck. I put matching thread in the top and bottom of my machine and I sewed along the new seam line using 1/4 inch seam allowance. I started sewing at the bottom hem of the blouse and tapered the top of the tuck to a point (which followed the pattern set by existing tucks). I pressed each tuck to the side, and topstitched it down, again following the pattern set by existing tucks.

After finishing the two back tucks, I took a minute to try the blouse on again. It was still quite roomy so I repeated the process on the front, adding one new tuck to each side.

The blouse with smocking on the back only required one tuck on each side of the front of the blouse to sufficiently take it in.

There you have it! Now I have two blouses that fit ME much better!

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