How to Tailor a Police Shirt

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Police officers are required to wear a department approved uniform. Most police departments also require that an officer’s uniform be well pressed, neat, clean and fit properly. Proper tailoring of a police shirt will allow it to stay tucked in and give the officer a professional look.

Have the officer put on his undershirt and bulletproof vest to get the proper measurements for tailoring the police shirt.

Turn the uniform shirt inside out. Have the officer put on the shirt over his vest.

Pinch and pin the under arms and sides of the shirt to fit around the bulletproof vest. Have the officer hold his arms up to shoulder height. Pinch an equal amount of excess fabric on each side of the shirt. Pin the shirt starting at the bottom; pinching each side equally and placing pins on each side as you move up to the armpit area. Continue to pinch and pin under the arm and down the sleeve if the sleeves seem too baggy. The pins indicate your new seam line.

After you have placed your pins, have the officer lift and lower his arms and twist side to side. The shirt should have a fitted look, but not be too tight. The officer should be able to lift and lower his arms and move comfortably.

Take off the uniform shirt. Thread your sewing machine with the exact color thread of the uniform shirt. Sew the shirt from the bottom edge, following the pins all the way up to the armpits and taper down the sleeve. Repeat on the other side.

Turn the shirt right side out and have the officer try it on again over his vest. If the shirt fits correctly, you can trim off the excess fabric. Turn the shirt inside out again and trim off the excess shirt material to ¾ inch from the seam.

To ensure the seams do not rip open, sew over the seam in a very tight stitch. Cut all thread close to the stitching.

Sew the patches on the uniform sleeves. Most departments have their own patches and regulations for patch placement. Make sure you are following these regulations. Pin the patch in the proper place on the upper sleeve. Use the same color thread as the outer embroidery on the patch. Carefully sew around the patch, staying on the embroidery.