• Emily Keller

How To Adjust Shoulder Seams


This is all about how to adjust the shoulder seams and chest width on a shirt that is too big (often it’s a men’s shirt altered for a woman).


This will fix the shoulder seams so that they sit properly on your shoulders instead of falling down your biceps.

This same seam can also be extended down to decrease the width of the chest, and the hip if needed.


Can you see the seam? It's just to the left of the armhole seam. It's pretty minimal, or looks like part of the design of the shirt. The top stitching really allows it to blend in with the rest of the shirt.

Shoulder alteration take 3! I redid the video DIY Alteration Shoulder Seam Placement.


I had a few people asking about taking in the chest when taking in the shoulders. On this video, I extended the normal dart tuck that I do, down to the chest, so the chest is narrower as well. This garment is lighter, and hopefully more visible than the black garment I used in the first video.


There is also no cutting of the garment with this alteration. So if you mess up, or don't like it, you can grab a seam ripper and take the seams out. The shirt will be back to its original state.


Shoulder fit is the most important area to improve on because your shoulders frame your face. As you go about your day, your face and shoulder area is usually the most noticed part of your body by other people. Take the time to make sure your shoulder seams are in the correct place. Make sure the seams aren't hanging off your arms!


The most common fit mistake is shoulder seams on a garment that are too wide.

Adding darts or tucks to the shoulder middle is the quickest and easiest way to fit shoulder seams to your body.

Check out my video here on how to have the best fit, including shoulder, waist, wrist, and ankle placement.


Have you tried altering shoulders on a garment? How did it go? Let me know below in the comments!

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