Have a dress or top with shoulder straps that are too long? The other night, I was getting out a dress to wear to an event and realized it had that issue, so I figured out how to alter the garment to fit me better.
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It was a fairly simple fix and took about an hour from start to finish.
Sewing machine – Janome 7700
Pins (I like silk pins)
Small fabric scissors (Gingher)
Panasonic Cordless 360 Freestyle Iron
Seam roll is helpful
Embroidery needles for hand sewing
Coordinating thread (should match your garment to blend in)
Here’s how I altered my shoulder strap, which had a facing:
1) Using a seam ripper, open up both sides of the shoulder seam – 6-8 inches
2) Turn the shoulder portion of the garment inside out, revealing the stitching and seam allowance (SA)
3) The seam allowance will likely be pressed open, press it closed and pin to keep fabric in place – there should be two sections – one for the exterior fabric, and another for the lining / facing.
4) Sew a new line of stitching the desired amount of length you want to reduce – don’t forget that the new seam allowance will equal half that (ie: 1/2 inch SA = 1 inch total reduction in shoulder length).
5) Cut off old SA stitching line, press new SA open gently with iron over seam roll if you have one
6) Turn shoulder right side out again and tuck raw edges in, then hand sew using a ladder / invisible stitch
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