I made it into this -
I wish now that I had taken more photos in the alteration process, but to be honest I don't think that I thought I'd be as pleased with it as I am, so didn't bother!
Basically what I did was -
1 Remove the sleeves as close as possible to the armhole
2 Cut about 1" off the armhole all the way round
3 Took in the sides
4 Re-attached the sleeves (using the flat method - more on that in a minute)
5 Cut off a few inches off the bottom of the sleeve
6 Made two pleats on the outside of each sleeve, and bound the raw edge using offcuts.
7 Gathered about 4" on each side of the shirt just under the arm, and stitched over this with pieces of the cuff plackets.
8 I couldn't resist putting one of my old Bag Lady labels (I used to make and sell bags) on the back, and then I did the line of running stitch in embroidery thread.
I didn't do anything to the collar as it looked fine as it was.
|End of sleeve, pleated and bound
|Pieces of cuff placket used to stitch over the gathers
The end result is well below bottom length, which I like as if I want to I can wear it with leggings. It is lovely and baggy but in a way that actually looks as if it was made to fit me. I can wear it on its own at this time of year, or wear layers underneath in colder weather.
Flat method of attaching sleeves
I'd never really cottoned on (almost a pun there...) to the fact that sleeves aren't always sewn in the same way until I had a job ironing. I had one of those "aha!" moments when I was ironing the shirts of the man of the family. I could see that the sleeves were attached flat to the opened out armhole and then the sleeve seam and side seam were stitched in one go.
While I had been reasonably successful in the past at setting a completed sleeve into the completed armhole of a blouse or dress, and easing out the excess fabric at the top, there would sometimes be a telltale pucker at the top and I thought that surely this way it must be easier to eliminate those. I tried it on something though I can't remember what but it is indeed easier. There is an excellent explanation of the method here - do have a look! She even has a "combination" method which I shall try out next time I make something with sleeves.
I shall now be on the lookout for more XXXL linen shirts!