Ever get excited about getting a free t-shirt only to be let down because it was a size or two too big? Boy have I! I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve cut t-shirts into rags or passed them on to Jeff or my dad because I was swimming in all the extra cloth.
I was in an all-too-familiar situation when I received my VBS shirt this year. Luckily it was just one size too big and I knew I could manage wearing it the entire week. I was bummed though because I knew I wouldn’t wear it after that week and it would just go to waste. So, I decided to do some research and see how I might fix my t-shirt dilemma.
Turns out, making a t-shirt smaller is not a difficult thing at all. This project only took me 5-10 minutes. I’m beating myself up for not trying this earlier…to think of all the t-shirts I’ve let go.
The next time you find yourself in a similar situation with a t-shirt that’s too big, try these simple steps to make it fit just right!
- sewing machine
1. Flatten out the t-shirt that’s too big on a smooth surface with the front facing up. Make sure there are no wrinkles and the front and back are on top of each other as much as possible.
2. Lay a t-shirt you like the fit of on top of the t-shirt you want to re-size. Make sure they match up at the neckline and top of the shoulders and all the wrinkles are smoothed out.
3. Using chalk, draw a line on the large shirt that is about 1/2 inch out from the small shirt. The lines need to go up the sides of the shirt and out under the arms.
I just eyeballed this, but you can use a ruler if you don’t feel comfortable with that.
4. If you want the shirt and sleeves to be shorter too, continue drawing a line 1/2 inch out from the t-shirt along the bottom and sleeve.
I decided to keep the length of my t-shirt, but I shortened the sleeves up.
5. Remove the small shirt and cut along the chalk lines. Make sure to cut through both the front and back of the shirt at the same time.
6. Turn the shirt inside out.
7. Match up the front and back of the shirt and sew along the side and under the arms.
You can pin the two together if you want. I just moved my hands along to make sure it was matched up.
8. If you cut off the bottom or sleeves to make them shorter, fold up 1/2 inch and sew a seam along to finish it.
Most shirts do two lines of stitching close together on the sleeves and shirt bottom to give a finished look. I was planning on doing that but I ran out of thread so I settled for one line of stitching.
I was very happy with the results, especially since it only took me a little over five minutes from start to finish. The only thing I wish I would’ve had was more thread and matching thread. The closest thread color I had was light pink.