Blouse Fitting Idea – How to make Shirred Cholakaapta?

Easy step by step instruction with an animated GIF about cutting and sewing of a Shirred Cholakaapta (Blouse Adjuster) for fitting a sari blouse bodice. This tutorial also covers styling tips for Shirred Blouse Adjuster.

Dear Tantu Enthusiast! Sari blouse is a sensitive to fit upper garment. We have discussed about the conceptualization of Cholakaapta (Sari Blouse Adjuster), its types, usage and style tips last week. Let us see how to make a shirred Cholakaapta (sari blouse adjuster) in detail in this post.

Shirred Cholakaapta

A tutorial about Making of Shirred Cholakaapta (Blouse Adjuster), a sari blouse fitting idea.Shirred Cholakaapta is a shirred rectangular panel used for blouse bodice fitting with hooks and eyes fastening at sides to attach with blouse at its fastening. This blouse adjuster is inspired by magic fit blouse design from Tantu.

This type of blouse adjuster is designed for new moms. The measurement changes at the bust are frequent during the breastfeeding phase. So, a new mom’s blouse adjuster needs to adjust to different bust sizes time to time. And Shirred Cholakaapta serves the purpose. However, anyone can use this blouse adjuster.

How to make?


  • Shirred Cholakaapta length – This length is taken measuring the centre front of the blouse. It varies depending up on blouse type and design variation.
  • Shirred Cholakaapta width – I have taken 15cm (6 inches) width. After shirring, this width will decrease to half and will comfortably add 10cm (4 inches) to the blouse width. This measurement can be increased if you expect more girth increase.

Materials used

  • Absorbent cotton material (good quality lining material or cotton 2×2). Any colour can be selected. I chose a brown coloured lining material.
  • Matching colour thread
  • Blouse hooks 5
  • Elastic – Cord type (bobbin type) elastic and braided type elastic

Tools needed

  • Basic sewing machine
  • Hand sewing needle
  • Hand shears
  • Thread trimmer

Method I followed

Blouse Fitting Idea - Shirred Cholakaapta Making GIF

How to sew a Shirred Blouse Adjuster – Animated GIF

  • I took the pre-washed fabric in two layers placing the fabrics with wrong sides together. I marked the length and width.
  • Length = Shirred Cholakaapta length + 1cm seam allowance at the top + 1cm seam allowance at the bottom
  • Width = Shirred Cholakaapta width + 2.5cm for fastening allowance at the right side + 1cm seam allowance at the right side + 1cm seam allowance at the left side
  • Then follows cutting of the fabrics together.
  • Fabric strips are kept with right sides facing together. I sewed them together leaving a two inch gap in the middle of a side. This gap is for bringing the right side out.
  • I trimmed the seam allowance near the pointed corners in V shape. This helps to avoid bulky point after turning to the right side.
  • I turned the fabric panel inside out.
  • I sewed along the edges at about 2mm from the edge and sealed the opening.
  • I sewed along the length of the panel, 2.5cm away, in the right side. This is to position eyes for fastening.
  • Now it is the time to mark for the hooks and eyes. In the side 1, I marked hooks positions at the right side. I turned the panel to the other side. I marked eyes positions at the right side of the panel in the side 2. This means hooks and eyes are in opposite sides.
  • I drew parallel lines along the panel width where hooks and eyes positions are marked. These lines are for shirring. Shirring (multiple lines of elastication) can be done with bobbin elastic or with narrow braided elastic. I used braided elastic in the first and last lines. This is to ensure support while wearing the blouse. I used bobbin elastic at the middle lines. The elastication is visible in the side 1 which is the wrong side of the blouse adjuster.
  • I sewed hooks in the side 1 and eyes in the side 2.

Now the Shirred Cholakaapta is ready to wear. The blouse hooks are fastened with Cholakaapta eyes and Cholakaapta hooks are fastened to the eyes in the blouse while wearing.

Tips for using Shirrred Cholakaapta

  • Shirred Cholakaapta can be used with traditional 8 darted yoke front blouses, easy to make sari blouses without yoke and princess cut blouses too.
  • Shirred Cholakaapta can be paired with back opening blouses. This creates a design variation. In this case, the fabric that appears on the right side is changed according to the blouse material.
  • Shirred Cholakaapta is not suggested to use with sheer sarees. If at all it is used, same coloured blouse adjuster is preferable. It is possible to use a contrast coloured blouse adjuster, but requires expert advice.
  • Using bobbin elastic: Bobbin elastic is wound on the bobbin and used instead of bobbin thread. Top thread tension is lowered while sewing.

Dear Tantu Enthusiast, hope you found this tutorial of Shirred Blouse Adjuster making useful. If yes, please let me know about your feedback. Thank you!

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‘Cholakaapta’ – Blouse Adjuster for fitting Sari Blouses

Introducing the concept of easily fitting any sari blouse bodice with an easy blouse fitter panel named ‘Cholakaapta’ – the Blouse Adjuster, its types and usage tips.

Namaste Dear Tantu Enthusiast!

Are you always ‘festival ready’? Or do you often sit and try ‘to get that good fit on your blouse’ in the last moment?

Most of us fall under second category. I always thought how to get rid of frequent blouse adjustments. I have got solutions too. We have talked about temporary solutions to sari blouse bodice adjustments for slight weight gains in our previous article. This post is an introduction to the permanent solutions with the concept of Cholakaapta.

Cholakaapta – The Blouse Adjuster

Cholakaapta - Blouse Adjuster for fitting Sari Blouses

What is a Cholakaapta?

Cholakaapta is a rectangular panel for blouse bodice adjustment with hooks and eyes fastening to attach with blouse at its fastening. The blouse hooks are fastened with eyes on the blouse adjuster and blouse adjuster hooks are fastened to the eyes in the blouse to increase bodice size. Size variation is achieved by adding either shirring, tucks or eyes.

Cholakaapta – Idea and Name

It was a ‘Eureka’ moment when the thought of a Blouse Adjuster came to me. It was after Vallabhi was born. I was badly in need of adjusting my blouses like every new mother. After reconfirming N times with Amma, I knew the adjustments needed were temporary. So, undoing sideseams was a waste. Then, the idea of Cholakaapta flashed.

The idea came to life in April 2016. I named it as ‘Cholakaapta’. ‘Cholaka’ refers to blouse and ‘Aapta’ refers to friend in Bharatiya (Indian) languages. Cholakaapta can be abbreviated as ‘Aapta’. Wearing a blouse with ‘Cholakaapta’ (blouse adjuster) was so comfortable that I don’t know how I resisted my eagerness to share it with you. Finally, the time to share the idea has come! May we have a quick overview of the types of blouse adjuster?

Cholakaapta Types 

Shirred Cholakaapta

Shirred Cholakaapta with illustration

This Cholakapta is a shirred rectangular panel having hooks in one side and eyes in the other side. Shirring controls the amount of fabric stretched at various points.

This is the first Cholakaapta I designed thinking of expecting moms and new moms. But, anyone can use this to adjust bodices. Read how to make a Shirred Cholakaapta here.

Eye-controlled Tucked Cholakaapta or Cholakaapta with Tucks 

Eye-controlled Tucked Cholakaapta

This Cholakaapta is shaped with tucks. This thin layered blouse adjuster gives more shaped fit. In blouses, the size change is more in the prominent part of the bust than in the other parts. So, tucks are used to shape the panel. Then, as the size varies time to time, extra eyes are added at desired points. Since, tucks and eyes control the bodice adjustments, the name eye-controlled tucked Cholakaapta is given. 

This is the refined blouse adjuster designed after sewing a shirred Cholakaapta. This adjuster is useful when size changes are not much and are not much frequent. This type of Cholakaapta goes well with plain sari blouses and princess cut blouses.

Anyone can use this adjuster for blouse bodice fitting. Those who experience frequent size changes may add eyes to the adjuster time to time.

Eye-controlled Cholakaapta or Cholakaapta with Eyes 

Eye-controlled Cholakaapta

This is a simple rectangular panel designed for blouses with back fastening. This can be used with front fastening blouses too, when the size variation is equal from upper bust to the lower part. The eyes control the shaping and sizing in this Cholakaapta with Eyes.

Cholakaapta  – Some Styling Tips

  • Cholakaapta is a solution to the fitting issues due to weight gains when sleeves don’t need adjustments.
  • Cholakaapta may be paired with both front opening and back opening blouses.
  • Visibility of the Cholakaapta depends upon the sari draping style. A lehnga style sari draping reveals Cholakaapta while a Gujarati style draping doesn’t. Design, colour and style variation may be done in adjusters.
  • Skin colour/beige is the best choice for a Cholakaapta. It can be used with blouses of almost any light colour. Brown colour recedes and blends well with skin colour. This is suitable for dark coloured and autumn coloured blouses. Black coloured adjuster goes well with most dark coloured blouses. This tip is for the sari blouse worn with Nivi style draping in which Cholakaapta is invisible to the viewers.
  • You may follow these tricks for a temporary solution to adjust blouse bodice slightly.

Dear Tantu Enthusiast, hope you like the Cholakaapta. Please feel free to use any adjuster for your personal use. You may want to take the idea to your dress maker too. Detailed instructions of different types of Cholakaapta making will be discussed in the coming posts. You may use them for your personal use too. I am happy to share the idea. All I want is a smile on your face. Let’s be festival ready! Thank you!

Posted in Designing, Dressmaking, Dressmaking Basics, Sewing, Style Tips, tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments