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December 29, 2015

A Gorgeous Gusset Resize

I have two favorite colors: black and glitter. I have plenty of black in my wardrobe and I am always trying to add shinier, sparkly items; mostly in the form of sequins. Sequined tops are always on my ongoing mental checklist I keep while out thrifting.

I found this blue number at Goodwill and instantly fell in love with it. I noticed it wasn’t my size but I still got it and decided I would figure it out later.


More details of the top:





After examining the top a bit more (post-purchase), I noticed it had already been altered (to be made smaller).



I decided I would reopen the seams on the sides and add two panels of fabric (gussets). I headed to the craft store (with top in tow) to see if I could find fabric to match the color of the top. No such luck. But, I wasn’t going to be defeated. I went with my back up plan and got some black, shiny(ish) fabric.

The Steps

  • Before ripping any seams, take measurements: The top and your body.
  • Calculate how many inches you need on each side. I added an extra half inch.  Just to be safe.
  • Rip the seams on the side of the top


  • Pin the right side (of the fabric) to the right side of the top. Repeat on the other side.


  • Start at the armhole, with a straight stitch and sew to the end of the top, leaving about 1/2 inch (you are going to hem this portion to match the existing hem on the top). Repeat on the other side.

Raise your hand if you’re ready for awkward photos!

I prefer displaying the things I make on a hanger and show them off that way but that doesn’t always give a good visual. #notafashionblogger





This top has definitely become a contender for my NYE plans. What are those plans you ask? Just seeing the one and only LAURYN HILL at Famously Hot New Year’s Eve. This will be the first time I’ve gone out for NYE in quite some time (like 10 years). Fingers crossed I can make it!

What are your plans for NYE? Quiet night at home? Dinner with friends? Party? How are you using Goodwill to get prepared to bring in the New Year?



  1. I see these gorgeous Indian Sari-type tops at the Goodwill all the time and have to pass them up because they are so tight. I love this! Have fun NYE!

    • Pass them up no more! Getting some extra can be so inexpensive! I got 1/2 yard and that was too much. Happy New Years!

    • Nerd alert: These tops are called “kurtas” or “kameez” and also “pyjama” in Indian shops (which refers to the whole outfit including the traditional drawstring pants worn with it aka “salwar”). The word we use in English “pajama” is borrowed from the name of this garment.

      • I love a good Nerding Out Moment.

  2. Love this beautiful top. That blue fabric looks gorgeous on you. Cheers, Michele

    • Thank you!

  3. What do you do with the arms? Did they fit? Do you continue with the black under your pits and onto the sleeve?

    • I did add the fabric underneath the arms. I used one long strip for the black fabric. Luckily this was a easy top to reconstruct where the arm wasn’t a completely different piece of the pattern. Hope this clears it up!

  4. Ditto, about the arms. I have a peplum top to refashion. It is red and I was going to add a faux leather strip up the sides. I guess we add the stop to the arms the same way if we need to add size to the armholes but we do it separately, marking the top of the cap before we remove the sleeve. Well here goes….(thanks for doing this refashion. I probably would not have worked out my question if I had not viewed this).

    • Good luck on the refashion! I lucked out with the top since I didn’t have to stop at the sleeve. I was able to add one long strip. But there are always possibilities to do things differently!

  5. That IS a beautiful top Shanika. I have passed up so many tops, but no more! I’ll just tell folks that I was ‘into the whole color blocking thing’! Thanks for posting your work – I’m pinning your tute so I can refer back to it when I need it.

    • Awesome! Glad I could help!

  6. I have a gorgeous beaded short sleeved sweater that is not only a little too small but the beads rub against my arms along the sides. A gusset might take care of both my problems!

    • Oh, that’s an annoying feeling. Gusset it up!

  7. Thanks for this idea! You and I are built a lot alike. It’s gets frustrating when cute things are too small. I have a closet of thrifting finds that I can now make work!

    • It really is (frustrating)! I guess I have an hourglass(ish) figure and a lot of the vintage items weren’t made for my size. It’s great to be creative and be able to think outside the box. I had this top for quite some time but I knew it was too good to just leave.

  8. Great job with the top!! That was really clever. I’m going to keep this in mind the next time I find a fabulous top that’s too small.

    Also: I totally prefer to “model” my clothes on a hanger too! It’s such a struggle being a maker who likes to share your creations, but hates to model them! You look great though 😉

  9. OH MY Girl you did GREAT!!! I am going to absolutely do this with some gorgeous tops I find that are to tight! Question for ya…at the arm pit do you leave a 1/2″ to hem and do you round it out or leave the extra piece added left straight? Thanks so much for sharing! You look FABULOUS!

    • Thank you so much!

      Good question! So i lucked out with the fabric I got so when they cut it one of the edges was kind of finished and I knew it wasn’t going to fray to I didn’t have to hem. BUT, I did hem it at the bottom (of the top) and left a little slit. If you look at the second photo (of my crazy posing) you will see the bottom of the top has some beading and kind of goes up the side. There was already a little slit there. I hope that makes sense. If not, I’ll have to take a photo and post it.

  10. Shanika, you had me at “I have two favorite colors: black and glitter.”. LOVE THAT!! And what a great re-do!!

    • Thank you! Glitter is one of the greatest colors ever.

  11. You are so brave! It would have been so tough to have taken such a beautiful top part but the end result was certainly worth it!

    • I’m usually not afraid of taking things apart. Especially if they’re from goodwill and I didn’t spend too much. Sometimes a good thing. Sometimes not so much.