comments 15

How to Resize a T-Shirt

Been there and got the t-shirt, right?  The only problem is, the t-shirt they gave you was made for a man and, well, you’re not a man.  So here’s a 10 minute fix to help make it more curve friendly.

Find a t-shirt in your wardrobe that you like the fit of.  This will be your size guide.

Turn the oversized t-shirt inside out and lay it flat. Place your other t-shirt on top, making sure the shoulder seams line up.

Draw around the top t-shirt with tailors chalk.  You’ll see the sleeves are hugely different here so I just eyeballed it and drew vague sleeve lines.  For now, the seam lines are more important than the sleeve length.

I love long t-shirts, so I don’t usually trim any length.  I just continue the line to the bottom.

Remove the top t-shirt and sew 2 side seams following the lines you’ve made (simple straight stitch is fine, but remember to use a ballpoint needle on knit fabrics).  Start from the bottom and go up to the armpits, then follow on around down the arms.  Just go right to the end of the sleeve, you can shorten that later.

Don’t cut off the excess fabric yet!  Try on the shirt for size and if you like it, then cut the excess away.  The knit fabric won’t fray, so just chop leaving a couple of centimeters (1/2 inch) as a seam allowance.  If you don’t like the fit, tweak some more.

Finally, work out how long you want your sleeves and add 1 cm.  Chop.  You can leave the edge unfinished and it’ll curl up slightly or fold the edge under and sew it down.  I like to use a zigzig, but anything goes.

Ahh, that’s better.  Now to do something about the tired eyes.  I’m not sure how many times I was up to the kiddies last night.  I lost count after 4, but maybe 7 times?  Yikes.  Good thing they are so darn adorable!


  1. Good work on the t Shirt. I had a draw full of t shirts that were never worn, so over the summer I altered them and now they are getting lots of use:)

    • I know exactly what you mean and I love that look too. It’s nice with the sleeves chopped off like a singlet for a relaxed look. I used to find knit a little scary to work with, but the fact it doesn’t fray makes it fabulous! T-shirts are such fun to alter. I’m sure you’re rockin’ the new alterations too!

  2. Cool! I’ve been doing a lot of resizing lately, its so easy to do, yet makes a world of difference doesn’t it. A bit trickier with trousers I find, but I’ve just resized a pair which I’m going to blog about soon. Hope you get some rest!

    • Can’t wait to see the trouser refashion! They are a bit trickier so I love seeing how others tackle it. Good job

  3. Anna

    This is great. Thank you. No longer do I have to wear those big t-shirts that I love as PJs. Thank you.

    • Hi Anna 🙂 Oh totally, a girl can only wear so many t-shirts to bed! Hee hee. I like Michelle’s comment here about chopping the neck too. It’s worth experimenting a little if you have a few on hand. I’m still feeling very inspired about your craft night idea too. After chatting with a couple of local friends, we may have the beginnings of one and it’s all thanks to you! I’m very excited, so thank you 🙂

  4. Lisa

    Did you leave the shoulder seam on the blue shirt where it was? Didn’t it end up halfway down the sleeve?

    • I just left it as is. It does sit below the shoulder, but isn’t really an issue as t-shirts are usually a casual fit. You could just press the seam when you’re finished so it sits flat and isn’t as noticeable. Alternatively, you could remove the sleeve (before removing any length from it) and attach it further up the arm. Pin well, trying it on before you sew and be sure to iron it afterwards to help the knit fabric to relax into place. Hope that helps!

  5. Something really useful. Great tutorial. Wonderful guidance. I’m going to try this, Thumbs up for the post.


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