The parts I wanted to keep the same:
- The shoulder length (maybe a half inch too long)
- Across the upper back
- The bust dart (maybe half an inch too low)
- The sleeve around the bicep
- The hem around the hips
- The sleeve length
- The fullness in the front
- The fullness in the back
I learned before that things work out best if you take in before you shorten. Happily, I remembered that I had learned this before I started work on this shirt.
I turned the shirt inside out and used the pattern I've been working on for a woven shirt to pin the seam lines, smoothing into the existing seam lines. I tried on the shirt. I adjusted the pins. (This is where I learned the hem at the hips was a good width.) I tried on with the newly pinned seam lines. This try worked for me, so I measured both sides, took the average, and pinned both sides evenly.
I knew I couldn't fix the back completely, but thought I could make it better. I put in a double-sided dart from yoke seam to hem, taking about two inches out center back at the level of my waist. The back still hangs funny, but I don't think it's worse than all that excess fabric. Maybe one day I will remember to turn around and get a picture of the back of this shirt.
Having fixed what I could of the excess fabric in the front and back, I turned my attention to the sleeves. I debated making these full sleeves or three-quarter and decided on the shorter version because otherwise I would have to make the cuffs narrower. I ripped out the stitching attaching the cuffs to the sleeves. I tried on the cuffs to see how far up my arm they could go. I tried on the shirt and marked that place on the sleeves. I added seam allowance. I cut the sleeves and sewed on the cuffs. The cuffs are too high and I can't button them.
I tried on the shirt and debated shortening the hem. As it is, I have to have a long jacket if I wear this shirt untucked. I never tuck my shirts, but rather liked the longer length here, so we'll see if I end up shortening this once I start wearing jackets almost daily.
Even if there are things that could be better, for my skill level, I am pleased with the results. I can't wait until the summer reading program is over at work so that I can stop wearing t-shirts and start wearing the clothes I like. I think this shirt will get a lot of use.