altering ready-to-wear

One perk of being pregnant these days is you can easily find non-maternity shirts that cover your tummy…and are still cute. Long Tees, babydoll dresses, tunic tops—yes! Thank you Forever 21, H&M, Target, and Old Navy.
I picked up this shirt (was it a dress?) at Forever 21 last week and loved its silky, red, 70s flare. But the back was a bit too low; my bra strap was showing.
So I gave it a quick fix!….which is the beauty of sewing. You can easily be your own tailor and make store-bought clothing fit your needs. I love semi-homemade tricks.
I could have worn a tank under the shirt but I wanted to keep the V in back and who needs extra layers when you’re pregnant and hot? Thankfully the shirt-back opening had a facing on the inside, so it was easy to sew a strip of fabric to it–without the seam showing.

I couldn’t decide which color to use for the strip. Red seemed too boring (and hard to match), so I bought 1/3 yard each of nylon-acetate gold and ivory. I found buttons to match the existing ones as well but ended up not using them.
To fix the shirt…..I cut 4 strips of fabric, sewed 2 and 2 together, ironed them, laid them inside of the shirt, measured, drew a line where the fabrics should come to a “V”, sewed the 2 strips together in a “V”, and taped them in place–so I could keep it secure, while pinning it to the inside facing.
Then I sewed the “V” strip to the inside facing and my store-bought shirt was ready to wear!

Cool pleats on the front (glad I didn’t have to sew those).
A simple extended V in the back.
And one more secret about Forever 21….they now carry maternity jeans!
Just when I was getting ready to cut up my normal skinny jeans and add a maternity waistband, I scored these for $15. The maternity selection isn’t huge but I found 3 cute pairs of jeans and leggings. And that made me happy.

  1. 1) Jen

    You are SO brilliant. Love your website, stumbled across it today looking for a simple pattern for skirts for my girls. Bless you for sharing your wealth of knowledge!!

  2. 2) Joyce Sandy

    Good idea. This good also be used for the front of a low cut shirt. I’m ultra modest and find most shirt to low cut so I’ve come up with several ways to alter them but this is a new one. Thanks.

  3. 3) Tree

    Great idea and it looks wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I delight in, result in I discovered just what I used to be looking for.
    You have ended my four day lengthy hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day.

  5. 5) Janey

    Thank you for saving me from buying an insert – which would not have fit as well as the one you have shown.
    I wasn’t quite following your words, but the added pictures made it do-able.

  6. 6) mawmawgiggy

    This is wonderful and thank you so much. I have been trying to come up with something simple to add a little to the front section. first due to double mastectomy from cancer and no reconstruction, I need something there to cover, and also I have lost a lot of weight and I need for that cover also.
    thanks again,

  7. 7) Janet

    Thank you so much just what I have been looking for
    Happy sewing

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