Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer and mom of two little ones. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
I 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!

Simple handsewing makes a top more modest!

Modest in a good way--as in, not gapping and showing my bra or tummy in the middle of the button closure.  That's never a good thing.

Let me back up.  I got this top at Old Navy while it was 75% off or something, one of their sales.  I've been wanting more things in a powerful, true red color!!  (You may remember my red jeans and brights Pinterest board...)  So I picked up this tee.

I tried it on at home and it had some serious gappage issues.  You'll notice the buttons are spaced pretty far apart--and the bottom button has a big gap before the tie at the bottom.  Tummy peek-through!  NOT flattering.

But I had a solution (more elegant--and permanent-- than a discreet up-and-down safety pin between the buttons, I swear!)!  I do the safety pin thing on blouses that I have to unbutton to put on and take off, but this is a knit with a decorative button front.

Rather than return it, I did a little mending to repair the gapping places--mainly the bust, where my bra was showing!, and the space between the bottom button and the tie.

So here's my simple handsewing technique--using the seam allowance of the placket, you can easily do invisible stitching with a little whipstitch.  You never grab the main fabric of the shirt, so it won't show through anywhere!

The "after"--all better!

Hmm.  Actually, if you really scrutinze, as I write this post I notice the space between the second and third buttons from the top is gapping a little, too.  I can't even imagine how this top would fit someone with a larger-than-average bust.  Guess I need to do a little more hand sewing!

But hey, the point is, check it out now.  Way easier to wear!

Have you solved gapping problems on tops and blouses before?  Is the safety pin good for you, too, or have you had success with fabric tape, sewing, or other methods?


  1. My button ups ALWAYS gape between my breasts even if the top is 2 sizes too big everywhere else. I like to use those clear small snappers. 2 stitches are all that are visible and if you match thread it doesn't show at all. Safety pins are fine for the short term but the effort of putting them in exactly the right place every time I put on a top makes the one time sewing placement fiddling more than worth it.

    1. Clear snaps are a great idea! Just a little more handsewing, but definitely more wearable for things that you have to open to put on. Good call!!

  2. I've done this to pockets on the sides of pants, haha! :-)

  3. Really cute top, well worth a few stitches.

  4. I fixed my gapping problem with snaps as well, but I didn't know there were clear ones, so I just used silver ones. It works well for work shirts you know you'll never leave open casually.

    I also found a great sweater at Target that has a little bit of a soft sheer fabric that comes off of the placket - it looks like a cute ruffle detail, and it also hides any gapping that my sweater does! Super.

    I have a larger bust than normal, and I can only buy cardigans from a couple of stores because otherwise I have to buy them so big that they don't fit in the waist anymore. I buy V neck cardigans from Old Navy and bypass buttoning them at the bust at all! http://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=60783&vid=1&pid=898256&scid=898256052 I really hope that they never discontinue this style, I must have 5 different colors of this sweater!

  5. I generally use a safety pin, but this is a smart more permanent fix.

  6. That is he curse of the "larger than average", I have many tops that are sitting in the back of the closet because of this.

  7. I love your solution, it is really pretty. I have made a cardigan a size bigger, by crocheting a new buttonholedtripe in the middle. You can see it on my blog: http://worldaccordingtoagi.blogspot.com/2012/01/upcycling-cardigan-up-size.html

  8. Great job! I've actually sewn v-necks that are too deep for my pleasure up so that it's more coverage. I've even done it on a swimtop too.



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