Girl's Sewing | Sewing

How to Lengthen a Too Short Top

Learn how to add length to a too short top with this easy sewing tutorial!

Learn how to add length to a too short top with this easy sewing tutorial!

Does your little one have a beloved top that’s just a little bit too short for your taste?  Maybe when they raise their arms, a wee bit too much belly shows?

My little missy must be in a bit of a growth spurt, because we have quite a few tops that fall into this category, lol.

Sometimes I can size up on a top to get a bit more length.  But unfortunately, that doesn’t always work, since sizing up can cause the neckline or underarm area to be huge!  Plus we have a ton of tops I bought last year that technically still fit, except for the length.

I have a couple of other posts you might be interested in that are a similar theme:

How to Lengthen a Too Short Top

My lil missy has this adorable sequined cat sweater I gave her last Christmas. (from Target, but now sold out)  The sweater is definitely on the short side, and she wants to wear it to school.

My solution to this problem?  Just add a few inches with a strategically placed ruffle!

How to add a ruffle to the bottom of a top for length

For the added ruffle on this sweater, I used a very lightweight (and oh-so-slippery) ivory chiffon I already had in my stash.  The result is absolutely amazing, but working with that chiffon was a definite challenge.  So if you choose to use chiffon, you might want to opt for something with a bit more weight, or just definitely be prepared to fight the fabric.

Even though it’s tough to work with, I’ll probably make another one or two with this chiffon, just because I already have it.  But I’m definitely going to be on the lookout for another ivory fabric that will be slightly easier to work with.  I’d love to find a knit that doesn’t curl at the end. (no hemming, yea!) Or maybe a sturdier rayon polyester type fabric – I’ll know it when I see it, lol.

My missy and I are pleased as punch at how this top turned out!  (So much, she wore it on our little Saturday, girls day adventure, slept in it that night and continued to wear it until I made her take it off before we went to the neighborhood chili cook-off, lol)

While we were outside taking pictures, my son decided to join us and goaded her into “playing catch” with the pumpkin!

How to add length to a too short top

He caught it thanks goodness.  I would not have been a happy camper if he dropped it, as that is our last pumpkin!

Check out how easy it is to add a bit of fabric and extend the length of your favorite top:

Products used and recommended in this post:

Favorite fabric suppliers: knits: Funkalicous Fabrics and NR Fabrics on Etsy, Girl Charlee and for cottons Fabric.com and Joann’s

Materials needed:

  • Too short top
  • Fabric ( lightweight knit or rayon-y woven fabrics, chiffon.  Something with good drape and flow)
  • Ruler, scissors, and other basic sewing supplies

Step 1:  Determine how much length you want to add to the top.

To that measurement, add additional length for the top and bottom seam allowances.  Don’t forget to take into account where you will be attaching the layer to the existing top.  (In my case, I sewed along the top of the bottom ribbing, which meant I needed to add an extra inch to my length.

Measure the bottom, multiply this by 1.5 and add in .5 for seam allowance.  (If using a sturdier fabric, you may want less ruffle, in that case, multiply by 1.3 or 1.4.)

Cut a strip of fabric to your calculated width and height.

Step 2:

Using your preferred method, finish the top and bottom of the strip.  Line ou the side edges, sew together and finish the seam.  (In my case I did a rolled hem on the bottom, and I finished the top edge and gathered at the same time with my serger.)

Step 3:

Sew a gathering stitch along the top of the fabric and gather the ruffle until it is the same width as the bottom of your top.

adding a chiffon ruffle to the bottom of a sweater

Step 4:

Line up the ruffle with the bottom of your shirt and sew in place with a stretch stitch or a double needle.

That’s it; you’re done!  Doesn’t it look great? And I’m sure your little one will love it too!

If you end up trying this out, be sure to come back and share your finished project to my facebook page or tag me on Instagram @scatteredmom, using #scatteredmompatterns

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