Shirt: Princess Highway
Shoes: Chie Mihara
Today’s remix project is my little secret when it comes to button-up-blouses.
Princess Highway and my all-time-favourite cardigan suppliers Friends of Couture are sister companies, and both have an aesthetic that appeals the the preppy, vintage-loving square that I really am. Cardigans and buttons and peter pan collars and polkadots. Yum!
I live just near Brunswick Street at the moment, and almost every day I walk past the Princess Highway flagship store, which can be agony. The skirts and dresses are little too short for my personal taste, but the blouses and cardigans often leaving me yearning.
But yearning’s all I ever do, because the top size at Princess Highway is a 14, and there’s no way a size 14 will encompass the Rack Of Doom. Open cardigans & stretchy t-shirts, maybe. Blouses and shirts? No.
I saw this, most gorgeous, cream blouse in the window a few weeks ago, and I couldn’t resist. I figured as long as the 14 would fit my shoulders, I might be able to perform my favourite remix, the “gapectomy”, and then it could be mine!
What’s the gapectomy? It’s a necessary alteration that I do to 99% of my button-up wardrobe. AKA, the sew-the-front-trick that anyone with a big bust should embrace.
See, this is the Princess Highway blouse BEFORE the Gapectomy:
Boo to you, boobs! Why won’t you let me have nice things?
And this is the same blouse, a quick five minute remix project later:
It’s pretty self explanatory, but here’s what you do:
1. Button your blouse up and make sure you can actually pull it on and off without undoing it. There’s no point in sewing up the front of something if it makes it unwearable! If you’re working with a narrow neckline unbutton it until the point where you can fit your head through the hole, then make a note of how many buttons need to stay functional.
2. Set your sewing machine up with thread that closely matches the fabric, and adjust the needle so that it’s closest to the side that the buttons are on. For instance – I buttoned the right side of the blouse over the left, so I had to move the needle as far to the left of the foot as I could.
3. Take your time, sew smoothly and straight down from the collar (or the highest button that you can keep fastened up and still put the shirt over your head) to the bottom of the shirt. Try and sew as closely to edge as you can.
4. And you’re done! No more gapeage!
Love what you’ve done here, what a fabulous idea! I have a small bust but have this same issue in many shirts… well no longer! I’ll be taking your approach! Thanks so much for sharing.
It seems to be an occupational hazard of button-up shirts in general!
Once de-gaped the blouse has a lovely line on you! Lovely preppy look!! Have we seen these chies before?
Hey Shell, it does, doesn’t it? It fits better in the body than a blouse that actually fit my bust would, I think. The Chie’s a at least a year old, but they’re not my most regularly worn pair. I think I wore them for the first time on the blog here: http://frocksandfroufrou.com/2011/09/not-that-white-dress/
What a great idea & such a beautiful blouse – the collar is just gorgeous, Lilli! Now to try & resist buying one myself. The way you have styled it with the cardigan & pencil skirt makes it very hard not to! 😉 The perfect outfit for work!
Thanks Jo! I have to admit when I saw it in the window at Princess Highway it was layered under a red cardigan, and it was VERY easy to talk myself into buying it!
I also have a Rack of Doom, this a great solution! 🙂 It’s a very cute blouse too.
Thanks Ashley! I fell in love with it the moment I saw the collar!
This is such a great idea! I wear cardigans almost every day, and I’ve been thinking about modifying them so I don’t have to use my current solution to deal with gaping – safety pins between the buttons (but between the two layers so that the metal is hidden). I’m only an E cup, clothes shopping shouldn’t be this hard.
The colour of that cardigan is just lovely on you!
Thanks Gracie. I’ll admit I’ve given the same treatment to a few of my cardigans, and it works just as well 🙂
ALL my shirts get this treatment now!
awesome blouse! I want one! I love it, and you look adorable, like modern princess 🙂
LOL, thanks Lena 🙂
You look purdy!!!
Aw, thanks, Cilla 🙂
Well done, you! 🙂 I’m just amazed that sewing it closed like that makes SUCH a difference! Maybe I’ll give button-downs another go– I long ago banished them from my wardrobe and stick with knits.
It changed my life, LeslieLe! I spent years trying to find button-up shirts that fit my body properly, but didn’t gape – I even tried specialist shops like Pepperberry – but everything was either too bulky in the body, or too tight in the bust.
Oh thankyou Lilli! I have a very buxom 15 year old – the boob issue makes her more self-conscious and we have a lot of trouble finding button-downs for her, in the past buying them too big and attempting to take in at the waist and hips (not good – I had tiny boobs as a teen so I’m a bit unsure of how to help!). She hates trying on clothes, not only has your blog helped her see how she can still look beautiful and even glamourous – but this one tip will free her so much, thank you!
This is probably my favourite comment, Angela! Like your 15 year old, I “developed” early and fast, and had a similar experience when it came to feeling uncomfortable in my clothes, and my skin. I’m so glad I was able to help <3
Thank you SO much for your comment!
What a great idea, I feel that regardless of bust size, many women have this same problem with gappage. I am so going to try this. And I love this whole outfit-OK you look like a BOMBSHELL in a straight skirt! Very flattering! I tend to wear full skirts/dresses because my thighs are larger than my hips, but I really believe the right straight skirts is so flattering.
Thanks Laina! I’m like you – I often steer away from pencil skirts because I also have wider thighs than hips. This one works OK, I think, but I’m definitely more at home in full skirts
Genius, genius, genius!!!! I’ll definitely use this fix. Loving the blog, found it today & have been reading for over an hour. Loving it!
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This is one of those, “Why didn’t I think of that!” moments. I have pretty much given up on button up shirts, but I think if I see one I like, I’ll go ahead and pick it up now. Thanks for tut!
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