Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
I co-host the Your Home Story podcast and believe you can love your home just the way it is, AND have the power to design and make big changes to make it better.
I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!
Mom to Otto born April 2018 and Lucy born August 2020!

"Vintage" 90's silk top makeover tutorial

Here's the tutorial for the top I shared yesterday in How to Wear DIY.

Yes, it's a little teeny bit big, but not much--you see the shoulder seams fit me pretty well, but the body is so baggy.  If this were several sizes too big as well as too sloppy, I'd have had to manipulate it even more.

Here's what I did do this top to make it wearable and fun for 2011.  You'll notice it's very saggy and baggy under the arms--to be cute, even a slouchy top shouldn't fold like that.  Here's the fix:
  • Turn the top inside out and look at the side seams.
  •  Now you'll cut off the seam allowance under the arm to separate your sleeve and body.  Trim thin wedges out off the seam allowance, through the serging and seam.
  •  Now, to drop the armhole, cut out a wedge from the side seam up--now your armhole starts lower on the shirt.  Don't make this too big or the sleeve will be too small to fit inside.
  •  Sew the sleeve back in!  With a regular seam allowance, 1/2" or so.
  •  This top was droopy and long, so I took a big hem.

Simple, but look how much better the whole thing fits!  I didn't take in the side seams at all.

Thanks for your tips yesterday!  I'm still working on the loose top concept--I worry about looking sloppy rather than chic.  Still learning!


  1. This was a fun fix and yes a big improvement, looks awesome!

  2. Anonymous10/13/2011

    crazy to think 90's is vintage
    thanks for the post!

  3. beautiful blog!!i'm following you!!!

  4. Huge improvement! I'm going to go through my closet this weekend!

  5. o wow! that does look alot better! loving it!!

  6. This is awesome because I never would have thought such a simple fix would make such a big difference. Thanks!

  7. Thanks so much for your tutorial. You've been a huge inspiration and motivation for me to start blogging as well! Thank you!


  8. That looks gorgeous - so much more shapely. Great minds think alike because I just blogged about my silk top refashion too LOL!

  9. I sure looks a lot better after your alterations! Now I wish I hadn't purged my wardrobe when those tops went out of style :)

    SOmehow, it seems to me that removing fabric from the bodice would create a larger armhole and sewing the same sleeve in would have been impossible - but there it is looking great.
    Did you need to make any tucks or anything to make up for the larger armhole?
    cute top!!

  10. Such nice comments, guys!!

    @a little sewing, THANK YOU for clarifying--I also cut down the sleeve armhole when I trimmed the seam allowance off, and the rest just eases and stretches because of the grain. That's what that first wedge is, the seam allowance/sleeve side. I just edited the post; hopefully it's more clear now!

  11. wow never thought something so easy could make such a difference.Sorry about deletions above.Had some mispellings in it.

  12. What a clever way to take in the sleeve and the side. :) Love your hair too.

  13. Looks great! (And if you decide to experiment further, adding a dart would eliminate the fold above the outer bust. Just open the side seams, dart the front, sew the side seams, and even off the bottom before hemming.)

  14. Sooo not sloppy! It fits wonderfully and is so pretty on you! I've been getting used to wearing loosely fitted clothing with a high-waist belt, I'm very curvy and used to think it would only make my body look bulgy but I'm thinking it's actually more flattering! Plus the belt helps clean up the loose "sloppy" look!

    1. Thanks! Loose plus a belt is super cute, I love belting things. =) Flattering on most everyone!

  15. Great refashion! And I love your whole vintage-inspired outfit!




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