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3/19/2009

Trashion Tutorial - Resizing a T Shirt

You can make an XL T shirt into a size small? Yes, you can. And it's easy.


Many times you have t shirts (often giveaways for events, etc.) that are WAY too big. They just print a batch of XL and figure they will fit everyone. These shirts either get worn as sleepwear or sit around waiting to become rags.
But often the shirt is from something special you've done and you want to wear it. The answer is to make it your size. And you can do that! This is something I've done for my daughter, with shirts from some of her college events, making the shirts a part of her wardrobe rather than a gift to Goodwill.

This is a great job for a serger, but I use a zigzag stitch on my regular machine and it works fine. This could also be done by hand by any competent stitcher.

This tutorial seems long because I have shown each step. After you've done this once, you will see how easy it really is!

Your most important tool is a shirt that fits; this will be your pattern.
(The brown shirt is the pattern shirt here.)

1. Cut off the sleeves of the big shirt at the seams.

2. Lay the pattern shirt on the big shirt folding sleeves up and out of the way. Match the shoulder seams of the two shirts.

3. Cut shirt approx. 1/4 inch larger than pattern at each side, and 3/4 inch longer at bottom.

4. Turn shirt inside out and pin the side seams from armpit to bottom.

5. Sew along pinned sides 1/4 inch from edge. Then turn up the bottom and stitch around hem.

6. For sleeves the shortening is done from the cut edge, you will keep the sleeve hem as is. Use pattern shirt to cut sleeves, match hems and cut top edge 1/4 inch longer. Then cut seamed edge to narrow the sleeve leaving 1/4 inch to sew.

7. Turn sleeve right sides together and stitch underarm seam.


8. Turn sleeve right side out and pin inside shirt armhole opening. Match seam of sleeve with seam of shirt, make sure you have right sides together. Shirt is inside out, sleeve is rightside out, see photo.


9. Sew around pinned sleeve seam. This is not as hard as it looks. Just follow the edges around, and since the fabric stretches it goes together easily.

10. Last step, cut out that size label!


Enjoy a shirt that fits! This technique can be used to make a basic T into a "girly fit T", you would make the sleeves extra small and curve the side seams in at the waist. Use a well fitting girly T as your pattern.




23 comments:

auclairdelalune said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TheRedCan said...

Holy smokes. What a great idea. Can't believe that never occurred to me. (slaps self in forehead). I need to dig through my daughters closet and give this a try.

http://theredcan.etsy.com

auclairdelalune said...

A terrific way to make use of unused t-shirts! I love finding ways to repurpose t shirts --everyone just seems to have too many, and thrift stores are just filled with them.

http://auclairdelalune.etsy.com

Punkinhead said...

This is AWE-SOME!!! I wish I had shirts I need to make into smalls, but just being able to make the big bulky shirts fit better is great - I've been wondering how to do it and you've answered the question for me! Thanks!!

nectorgirl said...

I love this technique, it saves a lot of tees! I enjoy making little puff sleeves on my work logo shirts with scoop necks. ;)

I learned how to make undies from a tutorial on etsy out of old tees as well. That's been really fun!!

disrepair project said...

This is a good way to show this. It took a little trial and error the first time I tried this. now it's pretty easy. I made paper templates to use for the sleeves, as well as to make boat necks and different things like that.

lisa winter said...

what a great tutorial. i really liked the way you showed each step. thanks!

loneweever said...

Wow. This is a really achievable-looking process. Thanks for posting it for us. I have just the T shirts to practice on ......

zJayne said...

This is so great! I actually said out loud, I can cut those sleeves out! ha!

ReDo to your liking, I love it! Thanks fisheye!

Custom T-shirts said...

its a nice idea. Thanks for sharing

Anonymous said...

Or you could put it in a boil wash...

Anonymous said...

Is there a good way to make an extra small t-shirt larger?

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Anonymous said...

can you do this with oversized formal shirts

Alisa said...

This is AWE-SOME!!! I wish I had shirts I need to make into smalls, but just being able to make the big bulky shirts fit better is great - I've been wondering how to do it and you've answered the question for me!

Funny Teeshirts

Jov said...

Yes! Some people think you can just throw a shirt into really hot water and it'll shrink to the perfect size but NEVER has that worked for me. This sounds so much better. Thanks, it's next on my to-do list.

denverallens said...

I absolutely love this tutorial. I've recently lost almost 100 pounds and there were half a dozen t shirts I couldn't part with. Now they fit and look beautiful!

Charlotte Davis said...

Used this for two tees myself, and shared with all my twitter friends. So useful - thanks very much for making and posting it!

Connie said...

Thank-you so much for a tutorial that includes how to alter an entire t-shirt (not just the side seams)!!! Thaaaaaaank-you!!

Connie said...

Thank-you so much for a tutorial on how to alter an entire t-shirt (not just the side seams)!!! Thaaaaaaank-you!!

madeinmoris said...

Now I can buy XXL shirts with design that aint available in small size and resize them.

Rose Garden said...

Just tried this today. The photos are important. I missed the part about cutting into the shoulder seam and even arm scythe so that the sleeve would be set in the proper place. So that part isn't looking so good on my first try. But encouraged enough to give it a try on a second shirt. Thanks so much for posting this tutorial!