How to alter a garment to make it fit tighter?

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#1 sadievic on 1 year ago

Hello! Im currently working on a Mad Love Harley Quinn costume, I have the bodysuit practically finished. It fits well but needs to be tighter, If i mark where it needs to be tighter and then sew on said marker then cut the excess fabric on where the previous stitches were, will it fit tighter? Or do i need to do something else? Many thanks in advance

#2 ShinobiXikyu on 1 year ago

Pictures will help us figure out exactly what needs to be done, but that's the simple way to go about it (usually works, but not always. Like I said, pictures of where/how you want things to be adjusted help a lot!)

#3 Penlowe on 1 year ago

It greatly depends on the area to be fitted what technique is best.

: pulls out soap box:

"Tight" is not a desired factor in clothing. "Tight" indicates that it does not fit correctly. "Fitted" is what I deeply hope that you mean and are simply using the wrong term. So, what's the difference? In any garment, fitted is close to the skin, but [U]does not have creases or wrinkles or pulls[/U]. Any of those factors indicate a poor fit (they can be the result of too loose as well as too tight). I see far too many people who mistakenly think those creases, which indicate the fabric being strained to it's maximum potential, mean that the garment is at it's best 'tight fit'. This is wrong (Tim Gunn will back me up on this until he dies). Fabric that is fitted but not strained over a body will always be more flattering to the human form underneath it than a too tight garment. Doesn't matter if it's a suit or a leotard.

: puts away soap box:

#4 Scunosi on 1 year ago

I'll admit you're right Penlowe, unless of course someone's going for tightness as a fetish thing. Which normally I wouldn't bring up, but it is Mad Love Harley Quinn, the originator of many a person's latex fetish. :P

To OP, you've got the general idea right for getting a garment more fitted. It's how I tweaked my skirt for Wicke, which I wanted as form-fitting as I could get it. Do be sure to try it on before cutting the excess first to make sure it doesn't change the shape somewhere else though. It may fit a little off with the excess still there but you don't want to find out after the fact that it's now too tight.

#5 nathancarter on 1 year ago

If you're machine stitching, see if your machine can do a baste stitch - it's a temporary stitch using the longest stitch length that the machine will do, a thread tension that's just barely enough to hold the fabric together, and the ends of the stitch left with long thread tails and not tied off. When using the baste stitch, if things don't line up correctly, it's very easy to undo simply by pulling the threads out. And if things DO line up correctly, you stitch over it with your real/secure stitch.


Mark your suit, baste stitch along the marks, try it on, see how it fits, make adjustments if needed, then once you're happy with the new fitment, do the final stitch and trim your new seam allowances.

#6 sadievic on 1 year ago

Many thanks guys, you all answered my question. And yes, fitted is a better word than tight and is a better way to describe what im trying to achieve. The areas that im trying to fit better are the calves, hips and armpit area. And with your help i can fix those areas. Again thanks so much, i truly appreciate it

#7 CapsuleCorp on 1 year ago

I honestly would not do marker. Use pins. No matter how precise your seaming is, you run the risk of having ugly marker lines showing if you don't sew correctly.

Repin the costume on your body. Have a friend help, or at the very least put it on inside-out and repin your seams as necessary.

#8 Penlowe on 1 year ago

I use dressmakers pencils. I've probably got a dozen and a disappearing ink pen specifically for fabrics that I got at a quilt shop. If I can't lay my hand on those I use an ordinary pencil, but never a marker.

I do keep sharpies on hand because they are excellent for tracing patterns, the bleed through is actually handy in that case.

#9 StarsOfCassiopeia on 1 year ago

[QUOTE=nathancarter;5063003]
Mark your suit, baste stitch along the marks, try it on, see how it fits, make adjustments if needed, then once you're happy with the new fitment, do the final stitch and trim your new seam allowances.[/QUOTE]

This is a great idea IF your material is something like spandex. Ir your suit is PVC or latex or one of those very plastic-y fabrics, definitely be 100% sure before you start stitching. Otherwise, if you mess it up and have to take the stitches out, you're going to end up with a row of tiny holes-- and that's not great.

Another piece of advice-- generally it's smarter to modify a garment along the already existing seams. Make your marks/adjustments there.