How to: Upcycle by enlarging arm holes

G Magazine

Here’s a great way to make baby clothes last longer, plus it also works on all tops and dresses for adults too.


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For this simple sewing task, you’ll need bias binding for the trim, which you can buy from most shops that sell fabric. Bias binding is a narrow strip of folded fabric that is cut on the cross-grain or ‘bias’, making it stretchier than the rest of the garment, which should be cut on the grain.

Step 1:

Turn the garment inside out. Cut off the old bias trim around the armholes by at least 1 cm (and the neck trim too if you want it to match).

Step 2:

Measure how much bias you’ll need to fit the new holes. Starting on the inside, use pins to hold the pretty side of the bias out and sew all around the armhole with a sewing machine.

Step 3:

Now turn the garment back right-way-round and fold the bias over the raw outer edge of the armhole. Sew the bias in place around the outer edge and when you arrive at the beginning, overlap the binding by about 1cm, tuck in the excess and sew a few times to hold. The end result – the inside should show two lines of stitching, and the outside will show just one.

If you’re not the type to do your own sewing, try the expert tailors at LookSmart Alterations.