I added some applique crochet flowers and changed the button on this white top last summer to make it more interesting…
but it had never really made it into my regular-wear clothes, because it’s a size or so too big and just hung in quite a baggy and unflattering way. I thought about taking it in, but i’d spent ages carefully hand-sewing some of the flowers over the side fabric i’d have to lose, and didn’t fancy unpicking and re-doing all that painstaking stitching.
So i took it in from the back in a really simple way. I pinched up and pinned two pleat-like lines of fabric either side of the middle of the back. I don’t have a photo of this step but hopefully you’ll be able to see from the finished photo that it’s not complicated. Then i just straight-stitched along the ‘pinched’ line to create two sticking-out ridges of fabric, kind of like reverse pin tucks. For this top they each stuck out about 5mm, obviously this could be adapted to take a top in by more or less.
The tucks didn’t take in the top as much as it needed, but they didn’t need to – the next step was to use a thick (but sharp) needle and embroidery thread to sew corset-style lacing down the back of the top. This is much easier to show than to describe:
You can see how the tucked strips of fabric now lie pointing inwards towards each other forming the sides of the lace-up section. I’ve done similar things before by just cutting up the middle back of a top and making it a lace-up, but this way the fabric stays in the back and keeps it a bit warmer and more modest. As you can see below, the top now looks more like my size and hangs better and the back has a bit more interest to it!