Kurta Shoulder & Armhole Alteration Tutorial

This tutorial post is about making even or uneven shoulder and armhole alterations in over-sized Kutra/Kurti/Kameez by adding darts based on individual style and design, thus giving suitable style tips resulting best possible fitting.

Namaste Dear Tantu Enthusiast,

Trendy women’s tops are readily available in the shops. But the challenging part lies in finding the right sized ones. This series of Kurta alterations is to help ourselves to fit those larger sized Kurtas for us.

Today’s Kurta shoulder and armhole alteration tutorial is the fourth one in the series of Fitting an Over-sized Kurta/Kurti/Kameez. You may check the previous shoulder alteration method with darts, shoulder alteration method with tucks and shoulder alteration method with pleats posts in the series if at all you have missed them.

This Kurta alteration method is a combination of shoulder and armhole alterations. Both shoulder and armhole are fitted by taking darts at the respective places.

Kurta Alteration by combination of Darts, Tucks & Pleats- Style Tips

Darts can be used to fit an over-sized Kurta/Kurti with even/uneven shoulder or for a person with even/uneven shoulder. Darted style shoulder alteration looks best on small or medium overall designs as well as on solids. Like the sample garment shown, collared Kurtas can be altered by this method. This style is not suitable those garments with emphasising large designs at the neckline and shoulder. This alteration method won’t suit for deep back necked ones.

Difficulty level: Medium. But this method requires some basic knowledge and dress making skills.

Time required:

  • To measure and mark 10 minutes
  • Armhole darts (2) hand tacking 15minutes + machine stitching 15 minutes
  • Back tuck in the yoke line10 minutes
  • Single dart stitching on shoulder, each side (total 2 two pointed darts) invisible hand tacking 30 minutes

Materials Required:

  • Matching Colour Thread

Tools Required:

  • Measuring Tape
  • Marking chalk
  • Scissors
  • Hand sewing needle
  • Sewing machine

Kurta fitting for even or uneven shoulder – Combination of Darts, Tucks & Pleats

  1. We have to measure the shoulder. Two sides can be measured separately if needed more accurate fitting. Say, shoulder is 34cm wide i.e, approximately 13.25 inch wide. This means, for an ideal even shoulder, each side is 17cm (6.6 inch) wide. If shoulder measurement is different in two sides, then we have to note it. Say, 16.5cm at left and 17.5cm at right.
  2. Then, we have to measure the Kurta/Kurti shoulder. Remember to measure the two sides separately. Say, left side is 20cm and right side is 20cm
  3. Note down difference in measurements of left side and right side. In the example of even shoulder, Kurta has 3cm extra width each side. In the example of uneven shoulder, Kurta/Kurti has 3.5cm extra width at left side and 2.5cm extra width at right side.
  4. Then, we will note down the armhole depth in the Kurta. Just squaring the centre front with armpit will give this measurement.Measuring armhole depth on Kurta
  5. Note down difference between actual armhole depth measurement and that in the Kurta. The extra depth noted in Kurta will be taken as a tuck across the back and as armhole darts at front.
  6. First, hand-tack the tuck across back about 2 inches below the nape. This is then machine stitched. First back tuck is given so that it helps adding the darts.Back Tuck Marking and Stitching
  7. This is the very important step. Observe the armhole curve in the Kurta. Mark a point at the mid way of the armhole. From here, take a curved dart downwards smooth it towards centre front as shown. Note that dart ends have to be above bust line (shown in pink dots in the picture) and dart width has to be same as the fabric consumption in the back tuck (shown in white dots).Armhole Dart Shaping & StitchingArmhole Dart Shaped & Stitched
  8. The Kurta has emphasising embroidery at the neck. Shoulder is wider than the actual measurement. Solution is, to take a dart near the shoulder end. So, next we have to fold the extra shoulder width as a pleat as shown below.
  9. This pleated part is finished like a dart in the front and like a released tuck in the back.
  10. At the front, the pleated part is smoothed down ending at the armhole dart. This is hand stitched from right side as shown. Shoulder Pleat (Front) Hand-tackingHow to give invisible hand-tack
  11. The shoulder pleat is also shaped at the back but finished like a tapered released tuck as shown. The tuck length is equal to the armhole depth.Back Tuck Hand-tacking

The Outfit looks as shown below when alteration is complete. Photography is by Venu.

Kutra Shulder & Armhole Alteration Done


  • Refer to Taking Measurements for proper method of taking shoulder measurement, bust point and armscye depth.
  • This combination method can be used when equal or unequal amount of fabric is to be concealed on each side. That means, if Kurta/Kurti has even/uneven shoulder or the person has even/uneven shoulder, we can do this alteration to cover up the extra width.


Do let me know how this alteration idea worked, when you try this. Valuable suggestions are always welcome!

Take care!

Bye until the next post!



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A nature lover and dreamer who expresses herself as an artist, fashion designer and blogger. Persued B.Sc fashion design at Karavali College (Mangaluru University 2003 - 2006) with first rank. Former lecturer for fashion designing at Gloria College, Puttur for five years (2006-2011). Blogger since 2013.


  1. Wow u r highly talented dear:-)

  2. Sindhu awesome u have great ideas

  3. It’s really helpful…you’re multitalented! 🙂 ….

  4. Really you are multi talented Madam…

Your words make my day! Thank you!