A Tailor Challenge: WHO to Make My Carissa Rose Justina Shirt Look Even Better?

Last May, I told you about my chance to try on the Carissa Rose Justina shirt here, where you can see what a size LR looks like on a 5’3″ woman who wears a 34G (Prima Dona) or a 34FF (Fantasie) bra.* Soon after my own shirt arrived in the mail, I took it to the Miracle Worker that I wrote about yesterday. After she finished pinning it, I couldn’t wait to get it back.

Unfortunately, I was still waiting two months later, and I’m now searching for another tailor to finish the project. In the past I’ve written about searching for the Perfect Tee Shirt. Now you can look for posts about searching for the Perfect Tailor!

From the pictures below, it looks like it may not be entirely necessary to follow through with these alterations. The shirt on the left looks pretty good, and the shirt on the right doesn’t look that much better in its pinned state. However, after yesterday’s post, I’ve been bitten by the alterations bug. This shirt will be one of my favorites after I make the alterations that I describe after the jump.

Instead of taking it in at the waist, my insightful former tailor was going to take in each of the front princess seams by half an inch.

She would have shortened the arms by 2 inches, the back by 3.5 inches and the front by 2.5 inches. You can also see below that she was going to narrow each sleeve barrel by around a half inch.

Sigh. I’ll keep you posted on my search and show you pictures when my mission is accomplished!

*You can see Carissa Rose shirts on other real women here.

A Tailoring Victory! How to Make an AJRumina Shirt Fit Great

These pictures speak for themselves: A good tailor can make all the difference in the world. Read my complete “before” review here, and my “after” review below.

The main changes you’ll notice in front are that we

  • lopped off the dreadfully fitting sleeves
  • shortened the length (simultaneously getting rid of the weird skirt-like sides) and
  • took in the waist.

My favorite change is in the back. See what we–okay, what she–did after the jump.

When the tailor took in the waist, she

  • took out the side seam
  • folded up the excess fabric in the back, creating a seam across the back and carefully matching the darts,
  • and then sewed the newly shortened back sides to the front.

Although you can see the seam across the back, I think it looks much better than the folds of extra fabric that, instead of hiding my back flab, added to it.

Last but not least, here’s the side view, which reveals the only negative: the side dart placement that I pointed out in my original review. My tailor would have had to reconstruct the entire shirt to make a difference here, and we agreed that it wasn’t worth the cost.

However, the rest of the alterations were definitely worth it. They cost a total of $35, bringing the total price of the shirt to $70 (not including shipping). I’m sure it made a difference that I began with a shirt that was constructed for my figure. Next up, I’ll show you the planned alterations to my Carissa Rose Justina shirt!

Where Did Wednesday Go?

Way back in January, I reviewed the AJRumina shirt here. Way back in April, I dropped it off with a fantastic new tailor for alterations. Just last Saturday, it was ready. Yes, there’s a back story that I can’t wait to share. I also can’t wait to show you the new, improved version of the shirt, but it’s 8:40 pm and the only thing I’ve done is iron it. Look for a picture and details tomorrow.

So where did today go?

  • To ordering 3000 name labels, 1200 care labels and 1200 of each of my 18 size labels.

  • To calculating the best price and poring over finances.
  • To discussing the art work with my amazing art director.
  • To making sure my sewing contractor is on board with the correct button placement in the next sample.

These shirts are about to come a reality, ladies! (Nothing after the jump.)


1. Can a woman have an hourglass shape without large breasts? Mr. Campbell and I were taking the subway home from church on Sunday when I saw the tiniest waist walking ahead of me. Her shoulders and hips were a perfect hourglass. I had to see what she looked like from the front. Mr. Campbell said her bra straps were too thin for her to be large breasted. She turned the corner, and he was right. She was a B/C cup. The biggest surprise? She had bad posture! I was stunned that someone with such an amazing figure would slump.

2. After writing that exercise makes me body happy last Thursday, I wondered why I wasn’t doing it! So I took the book Strong Women Stay Young to the gym on Sunday and went through the weight circuit that the author recommends. I loved yesterday’s soreness that reminded me that I have muscles. The next step is finding accountability. According to a May 18 Wall Street Journal article (“The Power of a Gentle Nudge”), just a phone call from someone every three weeks, asking what I’ve done and encouraging me to keep going, will actually keep me going. Once I find my workout accountability partner, look for me to be “body euphoric”!

3. Some aspects of launching a clothing line are just like working in corporate law. Before a company files a form with the SEC, a law firm associate must do a “rule check” against the securities regulations to make sure the filing meets all the requirements. Before a clothing designer can have her clothing sewn by a sewing contractor, she must check everything in the contractor’s sample against the pattern. Yesterday I measured things like dart lengths, distances from seams and collar and cuff heights. It was as excruciating as a rule check. However, it paid off. We discovered that one sample was a half inch smaller in the chest than the pattern calls for. My technical designer has created measuring instructions for the sewing contractor to make sure this doesn’t happen in the next sample.

(Nothing after the jump.)