How to Adjust a T-Shirt That Is Too Big or Too Small (Easy Tips) Update 05/2022

Don’t toss your t-shirt into the charity box just yet if it’s too big, too little, too long, or too wide.
T-shirts can you alter? Even for people with little sewing experience, altering a t-shirt at home is surprisingly straightforward (in fact, some adjustments can be made without you having to so much as thread a needle).
If you want to brag about having the best-fitting t-shirt in town, you’ve come to the perfect place.

How to Alter T-shirts That are Too Big

A t-shirt that is too big does no one any good. But, before you cut it up and turn it into dusters, try turning that saggy nightmare into a well-fitting dream. Modifying the size of a t-shirt is a piece of cake if you have the know-how (and if you don’t, you’re going to get it). This is how you do it.
How to Refashion a Too-Small Shirt: 7 Different Methods — Sabrina Lee | Sewing and Thrifting Inspiration
The Approach
  • Gather your materials first. A pair of scissors, some basic sewing equipment, and a well-fitting t-shirt are all you’ll need. Turn the t-shirt inside out to make the changes. Cut the sleeves off at the shoulder seams with a pair of scissors (although be careful to leave them still attached to the body).
  • Step 2: Iron the sleeves flat before removing the seams. Maintain the hemline.
  • Step 3: Turn the well-fitting t-shirt inside out, tuck the sleeves out of the way, and place it on top of the larger one, aligning the collars and shoulders.
  • Step 4 – Trace the outline of the well-fitting shirt onto the larger one with a fabric marker, providing a 12 inch seam allowance.
  • Remove the smaller t-shirt in step 5. Place a series of pins just inside the larger t-designated shirt’s lines. Cut the t-shirt along the lines once they’ve been pinned. Remove the pins once you’ve completed cutting.
  • Step 6: Pull the t-shirt and sleeves open. You may wish to cut the sleeves along the length if they are too long. Right side in, pin the sleeves to the shoulders. Sew the sleeves to the shoulders with a stretch stitch and a 12 inch seam allowance. As you go, remove the pins.
  • Step 7 – Once the sleeves are joined, flatten the t-shirt so that the side seams of the t-shirt and sleeves are aligned. Stretch stitch from the sleeve hem to the bottom hem of the shirt, allowing for a 12 inch seam allowance. Backstitch the seam at the beginning and end for added strength.
  • Step 8: Try on the shirt to see how it fits. Mark how much you want to remove from either the sleeves or the hems, then fold at the mark. Before trimming any additional fabric, sew the fold in place, providing a 12 inch seam allowance. Trim any stray threads, turn the garment right side out, and you’ve got yourself a perfectly fitting t-shirt.

Altering a T-shirt That’s Too Small

It’s not difficult to alter a t-shirt that’s too small. It does, however, necessitate some self-assurance. And yet another tee.
The Approach
  • Step 1: Turn the tee inside out. Take a deep breath and cut the t-shirt straight up the side seams from the bottom to just beneath the arms with a pair of scissors. Before cutting the side seams on the sleeves, take another deep breath (although make sure not to cut the sleeves clean away from the body).
  • Step 2 – Grab a spare t-shirt that you don’t mind losing (choose one that’s a similar color and material to the one you’re modifying for a more subtle look). Choose a contrasting color or print for a more dramatic look). Cut two rectangles from the t-shirt, each slightly tapered (6 inches wide at the bottom and 5 inches wide at the top) and slightly longer (1 inch) than the length of the t-shirt you’re changing.
  • Step 3: Flip the rectangles and the t-shirt over to the wrong side. Pin the rectangles to the t-sides. shirt’s
  • Step 4: Sew the panels on the shirt with a stretch stitch. Using a 12 inch seam allowance, work from the bottom hem to the edge of the sleeve. For added strength, backstitch a little at the beginning and end of the seam.
  • Step 5: Remove the pins and trim any excess fabric or hanging threads. Finish by turning the shirt right side out.

Make A Big Shirt Fit 5 Ways! With or Without Cutting | No Sewing! T-shirt Styling + Cutting Tutorial - YouTube

How to Alter T-shirt Sleeves

If the sleeves on a t-shirt are excessively long, they can easily be shortened for a better fit.
The Approach
  • Step 1: Look for a t-shirt with the sleeves you want. This will be your starting point. Measure both the hems and the total length of the sleeves separately. After adding the length to the hem measurement, cut the sleeves of the t-shirt to correspond.
  • Step 2: Create a new hem by folding the cut sleeves (this should match the measurement you took in the previous step). Pin in position, then iron, being careful not to iron over the pinheads.
  • Step 3 – Using a hemstitch or a long zig-zag stitch, sew the new hem in place, removing the pins as you go. To finish, press the hem.

How to Alter a T-shirt Neckline

A t-shirt neckline can sometimes gape. It can also droop at times. It can get a little boring at times. Why not change a boring crew-neck into a scoop neck if your t-shirt issues fall into the final category? These straightforward instructions will show you how to do it.
The Method
  • Step 1: Trace a second collar below the current neckline on the front of the t-shirt with a fabric pen. It should be two inches lower on the sides and one inch lower on the bottom.
  • Turn the t-shirt inside out and draw a line 1 inch below the back collar. Cut parallel to the lines. You can leave the collar here if you like the way it looks. Hem the raw edges if you want a cleaner look.

Altering a Too Deep V-neck T-shirt

A V-neck t-shirt might sometimes disclose a little too much for comfort. If the entire t-shirt is too big, try washing and drying it on high heat to shrink it. If the V-neck is the only thing bothering you, consider one of the following alternatives:
  • Method 1: Sew a button to the V-bottom. neck’s Fit it to your body. If the gap persists, put a second button close to the first. Continue to add buttons until the right fit is achieved.
  • Method 2: Attach a ribbon to the neckline on either side. Check to see if it’s in the appropriate spot, make any required adjustments, and then stitch it in place. To avoid the terrible gape, simply tie the ribbon into a bow to bring the deep v closer together.

Alter a Neckline Without Sewing

Altering the neckline of a t-shirt with sewing is straightforward enough, but if you’re afraid of needles or need a quick fix, there’s a simple way to make a fresh new neckline with just a cutting mat, a medium-size plate, a rotary cutter, and a dash of imagination. Try this simple approach to transform a tight crew neck into a sexy scoop neck.
The Approach
  • Step 1: Flatten and press your t-shirt as much as possible, giving special attention to the seams.
  • Step 2 – Align the plate’s edge with the current neckline by roughly an inch (if you want a deeper neckline, go a little lower). To avoid an uneven scoop, make sure the plate is exactly placed between the two shoulders.
  • Step 3 – Weigh down the plate (if you don’t have a weight, just use your palm), then cautiously but firmly run the rotary circle around the plate. The rotary cutter will ensure a crisp finish, and the fabric will roll sufficiently to eliminate the necessity for hemming the edges.

Alter T-shirt Length

Adjusting the length of your t-shirt is a straightforward enough operation, whether you want to turn it into a crop top or just make it a more manageable length.
The Method
  • Step 1: Put the t-shirt on and measure how much you need to take off. Remove it, then measure with a fabric pen, adding 12 inches for the hem. Carefully cut along the line.
  • Step 2: Pink the raw edge using pinking shears to finish it (pinking will create less bulk than standard hemming methods). Fold and pin the hem in place.
  • Step 3 – Sew a long zigzag stitch directly below the pinked edge of the shirt with your sewing machine. To complete, press the new hem.

How to Take in Shoulders On a T-shirt

Finding a t-shirt that fits across the shoulders might be difficult for many ladies. If this describes you, learning how to narrow shoulders can make a huge difference in how comfortable a garment feels on you. Best of all, it does not necessitate extensive surgery.
The Approach
  • Step 1: Turn the tee inside out. Rip off the shoulder seams all the way from the shoulder to the armpit.
  • Step 2 – Pinch the fabric on the outside of the sleeve as much as you wish to take in– one inch should plenty unless the t-shirt is exceptionally ill-fitting. Put the t-shirt on and pin the fold in place. If it’s still too big, unpin it and squeeze in another inch before trying it on. Continue adjusting until you’re completely satisfied with the fit.
  • Step 3: From the inside of the t-shirt, sew your new shoulder seams in place. Cut away any excess cloth and clip any dangling threads to complete.

Alter T-shirts Without Sewing

Don’t worry if you don’t want to sew — you don’t have to. Without ever pulling out the sewing equipment, a variety of modifications can be performed quickly and easily.
How to Resize a T-Shirt- Altering a Shirt From Baggy to Fitted - YouTube
Shortening: This procedure works for both the sleeves and the body of a t-shirt. Calculate the amount of t-shirt that needs to be removed. With a fabric pen, trace the area, leaving an extra 1 inch for the seam allowance. Cut the lines with scissors carefully (if you want a less bulky edge, lower the seam allowance to 12 inch and cut the edge with pinking shears rather than standard scissors). Tuck the hem tape into the fold at the mark. Simply push the new hem into place to complete.
Stop a sagging neckline from falling down your shoulders or revealing a little more than you meant by using double-sided clothes tape. Remember that this is only a temporary solution, and you’ll have to remove the tape before washing the item.

Alter T-shirts With Scissors

We’ve looked at a few different methods for altering a t-shirt without sewing, but we haven’t yet covered how to alter a shirt with scissors. Granted, you won’t have an exquisite couture look with this, but who needs haute couture when you can have a wacky crop tank instead?
The Approach
  • Step 1: Trim the sleeves as close to the seams as possible without actually cutting them.
  • Step 2 – Starting at the seam and working deeper towards the center, cut a scoop shape from the neck. Use a bowl as a template if you want a cleaner finish. Use a fabric marker to sketch the outline so that it touches each shoulder in the same location. Cut as near as possible to the line.
  • Step 3 – After cutting the neckline, squeeze each side and pull it out slightly to give the edges a smoother finish. And there you have it — a plain t-shirt transformed into a statement tank in just 5 minutes!

Do Tailors Alter T-shirts?

T-shirts are altered by tailors. To put it frankly, tailors will change almost anything for money. T-shirt alterations are usually simple enough to make at home, but if you’d prefer leave it to the specialists, you won’t have any trouble locating one. You shouldn’t have to pay more than $10-$20 for a simple fix because t-shirts don’t require serious surgery.

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