How to Fix the Gap in a Woman's Dress Shirt

Button-down shirts look best without gaps.

Photo: Polka Dot RF/Polka Dot/Getty Images

Some shirts seem as if they won't button flat no matter what you try, but you don't have to put up with an unsightly gap. If you are dealing with a gapped-open shirt, you can choose between a temporary fix if you are in a hurry or a permanent fix if you have a little extra time.

Safety Pins to the Rescue

When you need to fix a gap in a hurry, safety pins offer a quick solution that gets you out the door and beats doing nothing. Take the shirt off without completely unbuttoning it and turn it inside out. Slide your fingers over the button placket to close it. Then just pin through all but the outer layer, or the very front, of the shirt's button placket. Close the safety pin on the wrong side of the fabric, then just turn the shirt right side out.

Sew-in Hook-and-Loop Tape

Take an idea from the makers of tear-away clothes for another type of gap closer; hook-and-loop tape. This solution can be either temporary or permanent depending on how you prefer to attach the tape. Use adhesive-backed strips between buttons for a temporary fix, or sew strips of plain hook-and-loop tape between buttons to permanently repair gaps. Make sure the tape matches your shirt, and cut the strips so they fit between the buttons.

Hook-and-Eye Closures

Take a tip from bra-making experts and use hook-and-eye closures, sometimes called bra hooks, to close a gap in the front of your dress shirt. Center the eye portion in the gap between the buttons and use a hand sewing needle to stitch it in place. Center the hook in the gap between the buttonholes. Hand-sew the hook in place, catching only the under-layer of fabric so the stitches do not show on the outside of the shirt.

Sew the Gap Completely Shut

If you don't want to risk the gap in your shirt popping open, sew the button placket shut. You don't have to close the whole front of the shirt -- it would be awkward putting the shirt on and taking it off if you permanently close the entire front. Just sew the part with the gap. Match the thread to the original top-stitching on the button placket and sew right on top of the original stitches.

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