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Too busty for that blouse? Try this trick!

There is nothing I love more than a cheery button down shirt dress.  The buttons and placket are a wonderful fashion design element as well as, of course, practical.  Button down shirts have been considered a wardrobe basic for the past 100 years and I don’t see that trend changing anytime soon.  The button down shirt was originally invented for men but quickly became popular with the ladies. Of course, there are  two things *ahem*  that get in the way of making a button down shirt lay flat, looking great on women, if you get my drift…

Friends, I am a busty lady.  I have more curves than Lombard Street and I LOVE a good, flatteringly cut button down shirt.  I also have a complete and utter weakness for shirt dresses. I simply can’t say no to one. However, if I find a shirt that fits over my chest, it is usually too big everywhere else—covering my tinier waist and making me look like a block of cheese. And really, looking like a block of cheese has never been big on any girl’s fashion agenda.

I’ve also found that most shirt dresses/button down shirts look great when you are standing in front of the mirror, but as soon as you sit down, they’ll gap awkwardly. Or sometimes, they’ll just gap awkwardly regardless.

I’ve tried pinning them shut, but that can create its own problems. And I’ve tried those little long pieces of two sided sticky tape, but they pop open and I’m constantly buying more tape, so I’ve come up with this great solution that has made all the difference: SEW IT!

Here’s the way I tackle sewing a button front shirt/dress:

IMPORTANT NOTE! Before you sew it up, make sure you can get out of the shirt/dress without undoing the buttons. This is the most essential step!

1) If you have one, change out the sewing foot of your machine to the narrower zipper foot, it will make sewing around the buttons so much easier, but if you can’t or are too lazy like me, just take great care sewing around the buttons.

2.) Starting from the TOP of the shirt*, place placket buttoned up on sewing machine and hold it tight so, there is no slack. You CAN put pins in to hold the pattern in place.

3.) Very very slowly, start sewing close to the edge of the garment in a straight line, easing by hand the buttons around your sewing foot.

4.) Finish and wear with joy!

*If you are working on a half shirt dress, which buttons only on the blouse part, I would recommend starting from the waist and working your way upward to the collar.

If you are a perfectionist (and I salute you if you are!) I would recommend taking the buttons off, pinning the placket closed and then sewing it up and then sewing the buttons back on.

You can also take your dress/shirt to your local dry cleaner and they’ll do it for $10 or so.

Now you can go out and wear those shirts and dresses you’ve been passing on wearing and actually WEAR THEM!

 

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Posted in Crafts + DIY, Dottie's Kraft Korner.


12 Responses

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  1. Moe says

    So clever! I have done the same thing but with the lower portion of a button-front dress. After sitting all day, the buttons around my hips and waist are always pulled open.

    • Dottie says

      Oh, totally! I usually do all the dresses from top to bottom.

  2. Susie says

    I just love that dress!! Thanks for the great idea x

  3. danielle thompson says

    how cute are you?!?! love this!! very clever idea. :D

  4. Rachel says

    I wore a button up today to work that popped open a few times… thought about giving up on the shirt. Hopefully I can handle sewing it!

    • Dottie says

      If you can’t, bring it to your local dry cleaner/tailor that does quick sewing fixes. I bet they’ll do it for $5.00!

  5. Gloria Daniel says

    Thanku, u have solved my problem
    CLEVER U

  6. Nasim says

    i love it! but…um… how do you then get it on if you can’t open the buttons anymore?

    • Dottie says

      Ah! You have to try on your shirt/dress all buttoned up first and see if you can take it off, like a t-shirt–not undoing the buttons. Most shirts have at least two inches of ease, so it shouldn’t be a problem.

  7. Dana says

    Darn it… this won’t work for me. :( I need to have “nursing access.” And the search for a solution continues!

    • Jessica says

      I would think a waistband hook and eye sewn to the edge of the button placket and the back side of the buttonhole placket (so they’re not visible from the outside) would work.

  8. Nicole says

    Hi Dottie, I love the article!
    For those tops you don’t want to change permanently I recommend PINX by Just Between the Girls. You can find it at http://www.justbetweenthegirls.com or on Amazon. I created PINX because I gapped on all my button-up shirts. It is almost like adding two more buttons between the gaping offenders, and because I can take it out, I can still wear my tops open with a cami underneath if I choose. Hope this is another solution which may work for you!

    Cheers!



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