Amelia's List

the personal blog of amelia lin

DIY: How to make t-shirts smaller to fit you

with 2 comments

In this post, I’ll show you how to make your oversized t-shirts smaller so they fit you. I’ve done this 4 or 5 times and it only takes me 7 minutes by now. This is the quick and dirty solution–you don’t need to be a seamstress!

I’m really short and skinny, which means that just about any shirt someone gives me is too big. Recently, I went to a conference and they gave out free t-shirts. As usual, their smallest size was way too big for me. Here’s how I altered it, step by step.

What you’ll need:

  • Sewing machine
  • A t-shirt that fits you well
  • Chalk or a marker
  • Scissors
Here’s my too-big t-shirt.

Step 1: Turn your shirt inside out.
Step 2: Take a shirt that fits you well, and turn it inside out too (this is to prevent messing it up later when you start marking things). Lay it on top of your too-big shirt. Line up the top edges of the arms and neck and center it from side to side.
Step 3: Trace the outline of your good shirt onto the oversized shirt with chalk or a marker that won’t bleed through the shirt. You only need to trace the undersides of the arms and the sides of the shirt. You do not need to trace the top edges of the arms, neck, or bottom edge of the shirt. (Remember this is the quick and dirty solution we’re doing here!)
Step 4: Sew along the outline you traced. I just use a straight stitch. Tip: If you use shorter stitches, the seams will hold better later.
Here’s what it looks like after sewing along the outline. You can see I wasn’t exactly aiming for perfection. :)
Step 5: Trim off excess fabric outside the outline you just sewed with a pair of scissors.
Note: If you’ve only altered the shirt a bit, you may not need this step. But if you’re altering as much I am here, the excess fabric will be uncomfortable when you wear the shirt later, so you’ll want to cut it off.
Step 6: Turn the shirt inside out again–voila! You’re done!
Before and after photos:

Written by ooopsnevermind

Fri 09/23/11 at 10:07 AM

Posted in DIY

Tagged with , , ,

2 Responses

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  1. It worked wonderfully! I was given a company shirt (too big) and a date to wear it (the next day). So I spent the evening making it smaller. Thank you

    Wendy, Vermont

    Mon 05/02/16 at 7:19 PM

  2. Love DIY stuff – especially with all those huge free shirts from college that I can’t bear to get rid of.


    Fri 09/23/11 at 4:52 PM

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