When you buy most of your wardrobe off the clearance rack and from thrift stores, odds are that most of the stuff is not going to be in your size. ie: GiNoRmous trousers and teeny tops. :) While I haven't figured out a way to make small things larger, I do have a system for making shirts smaller. Fair warning-- this is not rocket science and I'm not one for specific measurements when it comes to sewing up thrift store finds. This makes my detail-oriented, sewist/seamstress of a mother VERY uncomfortable... but that's just how I sew. ;)
How to make a shirt smaller:
Step 1: Try on your extra large shirt and figure out just how extra large it really is on you. Holding the seam of the shirt together at your side, take a ruler and measure how much you want your shirt to be taken in. Remember that number.
Step 2: Take off the shirt and turn it inside out. Make sure all of the seams line up straight. With a piece of chalk or a pencil, measure the number of inches that you wanted the shirt to be taken in from the previous step. ie: If you wanted your shirt to come in 2'' then measure 2'' from the seam and mark it. I would say be a little bit conservative with the amount you measure in-- it's easier to sew in more than it is to rip everything out if you sew your shirt too small.
Step 3: Sew it up! A couple of notes-- be careful around the arm pits. DO NOT TAKE TOO MUCH IN. This will make your shirt very uncomfortable. If I said be conservative in the amount that you take your shirt in at the waist, be REALLY conservative around the armpit and on your sleeves.
Extra tip: I pinned the shirt in place along the chalk like that I wanted to sew up-- this just keeps everything in place and it makes it so that there is less that could go wrong.
PS-- Sorry I don't have more tutorial photos. I accidentally deleted them off my camera. :/
From extra-large to a good fit. :)
Wearing my mint pants and my DIY Anthropologie scarf flats.
Want to see how I tied my scarf? Check out "The Knot Library" that I've been working on at work! :)
And my chevron belt. Guess where it's from? Yup. A thrift store. ;)