Plus size clothes are usually more expensive than standard sizes and it can become quite costly to purchase new clothes because of a little weight gain. But, there are lots of ways to make your clothes larger and still remain fashionable. And the great thing is, you don’t have to give up your old favorites.
Whether it’s jeans or tee shirts, you can easily make the clothing larger by adding pieces in certain places. Most pants can be enlarged by cutting the side seam all the way down, then adding a strip of fabric between the split seams. In some cases, like with jeans, the best look is to add a strip of the same type of fabric. But some jeans look great when you insert a piece of decorative wide ribbon down the side instead.
For pants other than denim, try to find a similar piece of cloth, but any color. Many new fashions have a stripe of another color running down each side of the leg, so it won’t be an awkward look. And, there are lots of new fabrics that stretch but aren’t noticeably stretchy materials. Denim and cottons are available in the stretch variety, for example.
Shirts are enlarged in a similar manner. Tee shirts, and other designs with no fancy notions down the front center, are the easiest to make larger. One way is to split the seam from the hem, under the arm, and to the sleeve hem. Sew in a strip that will allow more room all over. Make sure to do the same to the other side.
You can also lay a shirt out on a table and simply cut it in half, from hem to neckline. Make sure you have found the exact center on both sides, and mark the entire area with chalk or disappearing ink marker. Cut through both front and back, then add the new fabric strip to each side.
The fabric you choose to go into the split area is very important. Choose the wrong fabric and you look like you cut your shirt and sewed in a piece of old cloth. Choose the right fabric and it looks like a unique design, straight from the factory. Consider decorative touches to the new piece, like buttons, small bows, or delicate lace touches. These will take away from the look of just a piece of cloth having been inserted.
Similar-colored strips of lace usually look nice on tee shirts and pullovers, particularly if you add the extra piece on the sides rather than the front and back. The extra piece can be stretchy, decorative ribbon rather than fabric, if desired.
For button-down shirts, cut the buttons off and purchase a ribbon or lace wide enough to cover the buttonholes. Cut two new pieces of fabric, for the front only, to go down the edges of the button side and the buttonhole side. After sewing the new pieces in, place buttons and holes. Stitch the new ribbon or lace over the old button and buttonhole spots.
In some cases it’s not necessary to add the extra piece in the back. For instance, if you’ve recently had breast enlargement surgery, or you’ve add inches to your bust line after having a child. In cases where you just need a little more room in the bust or stomach area, add the piece to the front but not the back. But, if you add a very wide strip, the garment will then look slightly awkward, with the side seams not exactly in the correct position.
Most of these remakes are permanent unless you are suddenly wearing a smaller size than previously. In that case, you can remove the new strip of fabric and sew the original seams back together, but that won’t work when you have inserted new pieces down the front and back center. Sew the seams back will make the garment much smaller than its original size, so keep that in mind before undoing the work you’ve done.