The Fast and Easy Way to Shorten Knit Tops

If you have a knit top that is too long, rather than take the hem up, why not ruche the sides rather than take up the hem.

You can also use this method to shorten sleeves too.  It’s really simple and you don’t need to know how to sew to do it.  Watch this short video that explains how.


  1. What a great idea, so simple and effective.

  2. oooh, i love this – an easy fix to several of my wardrobe problems. but i need a zoom lens to see what your fingers are doing! no sewing skills at all and am not even sure what a knot stitch/tacking stitch is.

  3. What a handy tip! Thanks!

  4. Imogen, you really are a genius! Thank you for all the information you give us. If I didn’t live a whole world away (in Canada) I’d sign up for one of your workshops (or all of them) in a flash. Many, many thanks!

  5. Hi Imogen, if you have a sewing machine, you can sew thin elastic along the inside seam line. Secure each end first and then stretch out and sew, trying to sew along the middle. Stretch out the elastic quite firmly and it should gather up well. Best on fine fabrics and knits.

  6. Genius!

  7. Hi Imogen,

    I use this idea by using elastic thread on sewing machine, for converting long tops into maternity tops which have a lot of shirring on the side.

    Fantastic idea to shorten the tops and sleeves, I agree!

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