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Topic: Upsizing recon tutorial  (Read 2951 times)
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« on: August 18, 2018 08:24:41 PM »

A few of you were interesting in getting a tute, so I made one!

Things you'll need to get this done:

-all the standard sewing stuff (pins, measuring tape, etc)
-too small shirt
-a pattern you already know fits you
-if said pattern has a 'front' piece that is 'place on fold', a copy of it that you've put on spare pattern paper that's a full front (mine is on cotton because i use it all the time)
-two co-ordinating/purposefully contrasting pieces of knit fabric (i've found it very difficult to actually match plain knit to the standard gildan/other shirt manufacturing company colours. it sounds silly, but seriously, matching blacks is nearly impossible)

So this time around, my prompt was finding out the daycare I started at a few months ago was having a memorial day for a staff member who'd died last year, specifically an orange themed day because it was her favourite colour. I didn't have any orange short sleeved shirts, and it's been much too hot to wear something long sleeved. One trip to Value Village later...

So I do almost all fabric prep sitting on the floor, it's where I have the most room. Whatever your style is, first shake out the shirt so that it's flat, and put it collar towards you. Lay down your full front pattern, careful to keep the exact centre down the centre of the shirt. My pattern piece has a permanent crease in the centre, maybe mark yours with a marker? Get your pattern neck as close to the crew neck collar WITHOUT including any of the crew neck, or if you have to, just the tiniest bit, less than your 5/8th seam will be.

Once that's pinned, fold in the side of your pattern so that it stops BEFORE the seam attaching the sleeve to the shirt. You'll be able to feel where that is without lifting up your pattern. If it's a shirt brand that has side seams, also make sure it's folded before that seam. It's okay if it's diagonal. The larger a body you have, the more a flat diagonal line is straight on a 3d body.

Once you do one side, measure and do the exact same to the other side. I generally measure at the point of the hem, and the point of the arm/side seam. This is when you find out if you've centred your pattern properly, because the other side should also not be touching seams. If you haven't, unpin and try again. It's annoying, but worth the effort to be symmetrical.

Cut it out! You'll have pinned through both layers of the shirt, everything gets skewed if you try to lift things to only pin through one layer. However, it's super important you only cut through the top layer. I suggest tiny cuts and checking every few inches.  Wink

Following the seam carefully, cut off the sleeves. It's better to do this now than before you cut out the front, you maximize the room your pattern has when you cut that first. But now you want things flat, so cut the sleeves off. You can toss them, they're useless. You'll be left with this:

Eyeballing it, cut up the centre. Without measuring anything, sew each half to the front, making sure of course to have good sides together. Once it's sewn together, press the seams open.

Fold your shirt in half again, matching the points of the top of the collar and the wing seams. Lay down your 'place on fold' original pattern piece and cut it out.

Now that you have a completed front piece of your shirt, sew the rest of it as normal. Try it on, and compliment yourself!

Note: this way only works when you're only upsizing a few sizes. My original shirt was a 1xl, and I'm about a 3/4xl. If you're trying to go further, like my Fringe Festival shirt from my previous post, there won't be enough fabric in the back to get the wings done. In that case, sew multiple stripes of fabric for the wings.

I hope this is all clear enough. Feel totally free to ask if you have any more questions!

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« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2018 08:27:51 AM »

Thanks for the great tutorial!  I've got scads of too-small shirts, and this is definitely inspiring.  Smiley
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« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2018 05:00:25 PM »

you are a frickin' genius! i hope to make you proud some day and post a pic of a shirt you've inspired with this tute. thanks so much for taking the time to post it.
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« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2018 08:54:12 AM »

You are the queen of this technique!

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« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2018 07:03:45 PM »

Brilliant.  Thanks so much for the tutorial Smiley

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« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2018 01:15:24 PM »

This is amazing! Thank you for the details. I'm always looking for ways to upside shirts. I looked at your awesome other thread with pictures, too! Great work!
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« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2019 09:55:02 AM »

Fantastic tutorial! Thank you!


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