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So, as you know, I recently accepted a position with THEM.  THEM is a very different place than Company.  For one thing, they sent me a gift basket before I even started.  That was terribly nice of them.  They also give all their new hires a whole set of THEM-wear because…I suppose they want ALL YOUR ALLEGIANCE.

But anyway, before I started, I was asked my clothing size and whatnot so they wouldn’t know what size shirts to order for me.  To be safe, I told them XL since they didn’t give me any measurements that went along with these sizes and I figured I could always alter down.  It’s kind of hard to alter up.  You can…it’s just harder.  Well anyway, when I received my THEM-wear (three polos, two button-downs, and a jacket), they fitted me about as well as a two-person tent would.  That is to say…they were quite large on me.  Quite.

Not my favorite color, so obviously it’s the one to experiment on. Note the tent-like qualities.

Now, the jacket wasn’t a huge deal.  I actually really like to wear tent-like jackets.  Also, the particular jacket included in my THEM-wear is really hard to alter.  The polos and button-downs were another matter though.

For one thing, wearing a tent doesn’t look very professional and generally, I try and look like I belong in a professional environment in front of customers.  It’s remarkably difficult for a moose to blend into a professional environment.  You wouldn’t think so, but it is.  I would argue I could get away with it wearing a tentish jacket as it’s supposed to go over all my other clothing and stuff, but not with a shirt that would be the primary layer.

Another problem with wearing a tent is that in my line of work, sometimes I have to bend and contort into strange positions to get under machines and such.  If you’re wearing something that’s either too big or too small…well, it is a Bad Thing that can quickly escalate into a BAD THING.  It’s best for clothes to be fitted whilst still allowing room for movement.  That…doesn’t really describe a tent.  So, I had to alter the shirts.

Altering down the polos on each side wasn’t a big deal.  I ended up just taking in one side first until it fit how I wanted and then mirroring the new edge to the other side.  If you have a ginormous polo that you want to completely alter, then I would refer you to this series of photos.

The thing with polos is that they often have that split hem.  This was the case with my THEM-wear polos.  I didn’t want to get rid of the split hem because I thought it looked funny without it.  I was hoping I could get away with keeping the original split hem, which meant having a shirt that was extra wide at the bottom.  Yeah…that didn’t work out so well.  So, I had to recreate the split hem.  It’s really not a difficult process.  I’m just lazy.

Split hem

So here’s how I did it.  Sorry, it seems like I wasn’t interested in documenting the process when I was doing it.  I only have a very few photos.  I scribbled on one to try and help illustrate what I was doing.

  1. Alter the sides of your polo to your satisfaction.  If you’re not ripping apart the seams and completely redoing everything, I would recommend sewing the new sides down first before cutting or ripping seams or anything.  That way if you mess up, you can just take it apart and start over.
  2. Decide how long you want the split to be on your split seams and them make sure to sew at least 0.25″ past that point. (The greenish circle.)
  3. Rip apart the seams for the original split seam.  It’ll take some effort and care.  There are a lot of reinforcement stitches.
  4. Trim the raw edge of the split seam so that you have at least 1″ to the new sewn edge.
  5. Fold a small triangle from the raw edge.
  6. Holding the previous fold down, fold the raw edge to meet where the sewn edge of the shirt would be.
  7. Fold the whole thing one on itself so that the edge is approximately 0.25″ from where the sewn edge of the shirt would be.
  8. Sew the free edge down.  I recommend using your zipper foot.
  9. Repeat steps 1-8 for the other half of the split hem.
  10. Sew in the reinforcement stitches like you had earlier if you so desire.
  11. Repeat steps 1-10 for the other side.

Hmm…looking back, I see that this is a horrible tutorial.  But I do have one more polo I have to alter.  I guess I’ll take some pictures while I’m altering that one and update this post.  But you have some idea of how to make a split hem.  Right?  Riiiiight???


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