This simple gusset sewing guide will not let you throw your favorite pieces again. It will help you learn to alter a dress by a gusset or to sew a gusset underarm. Follow the tutorial and learn to sew one yourself!
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Gusset Sewing: How to Sew a Gusset to Garments
When your garments are too tight, you can simply add a gusset for extra space. It’s the little triangular pattern piece added to a garment. Its main purpose is to expand some parts of your pants, dress, shirts, and other clothing items–giving the wearer more room to move.
This sewing technique helped save my vintage blouse and jacket with damaged underarm.
Things you will need:
- A piece of fabric
- Sewing needle and thread
- Tape measure
- Pair of Scissors
- Sewing machine
Instructions to Make a Gusset:
- Remove the stitching on the area where you want to add the gusset. Turn the sleeve to the wrong side and backstitch the ends of the ripped seam so the sleeve doesn’t come undone.
- Clip right up to the seam where you stopped the backstitch (make sure to avoid cutting out the thread).
- Pull the garment apart and measure the space you need for the gusset. Then, measure the length from the top of the garment down to where you clipped.
- Turn the garment piece over and pin the gusset in place facing right sides together.
- When you start sewing, put the needle down at the tip where you reinforce the bottom of the seam. Sew it from the beginning from the bottom right straight up the end. Do the same on all sides.
- The fabric used for the gusset should be exactly the same as the clothing.
That’s about it. Now you’ve got your own!
There are so many ways to insert gussets into your garments. For more visual instructions, check out this video by Niler Taylor:
Sewing a gusset can be intimidating, but if you follow the instructions carefully, adding one to your garment will be a breeze. You can add them to other sewing projects like pants or bags. This is seriously one of the best sewing hacks to learn and master!
Have you tried adding a gusset to your sewing project? Let us know how it went in the comments section below!
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on April 5, 2017, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.
How do you determine how much gusset is needed?
I just started sewing again. I learned in jr high school when they still taught it in school. Yes I’m in my 40s. I saw a gusset in the armpit of one of my husband’s favorite shirts and thought it would be something nice to incorporate into the dress shirt I’m making for my son. Thanks for showing me how. I really appreciate the tutorial.
Vicki O'Malley says
Looking for a suggestion or confirmation on a way to alter my son’s dress shirt. He is very short with very short arms, but needs a large size. Because of this, when we buy dress shirts, the sleeves are so long they need to be taken up by 6-8 inches. So far, I have been taking off the placket and cuff, cutting the excess fabric off, taking the sleeve in and then reattaching the placket and cuff. My Mom suggested taking the sleeve off, cutting off the excess fabric at the shoulder, and then adding a gusset to make the new shoulder area large enough to fit in the arm hole. That seems like it would be less work, but I wanted another opinion. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Lin Clymer says
have a kid with the exact same fitting challenge and opted to take the sleeve out of the armhole and shorten it from the top. I marked the 5″ I needed to shorten at the top center and and the sleeve side seam, then used the other sleeve for a pattern to trim off the unneeded length. It won’t work to trim off the same number of inches around the sleeve cap! Then, since the sleeve was too small to fit in the armhole, I use the fabric I cut off the top of the sleeves to make a 2-piece gusset for each sleeve piece. I sewed the gussets to each side of the sleeves, then re-inserted the sleeves and re-sewed the side seams. It’s a bit tricky if the side seam is flat felled, but I still think it’s easier than removing the cuff, which I’ve done at times. Lin
Thank you for the tutorial on gussets. It was clear and easy to follow. I will be inserting gussets in a rhomboidal shape in the underarm of my new pajamas. I’m excited to get started. Thank you!
Thank you for this tutorial.
S Read says
Brilliant, love the video on inserting the gusset, just what I was looking for and so clear and professionally shown. Many thanks and let’s have more!
this was a terrific guide to making a gusset. thank you! i used it to alter a garment i had outgrown but loved.
Yeah thanks so much for this tips
Yvonne D Buckley says
Excellent, excellent tutorial. Thank you so much for your comprehensive instruction on this application. It is just what I needed.