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 Shirred 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!


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. A very informative post, Sindhu. It would be very useful for new moms.

  2. Ideas are good. Would you suggest using the option of Cholakappta after exhausting the option of allowance available on side seams?

    • Thank you for your words, Rekha. Cholakapta can be used for many reasons, one is what you mentioned. Also, one can use Cholakapta to avoid ripping seams to adjust fit.

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