Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Step by Step: Altering a T-shirt

You know when you are really excited about getting that free T-shirt in the mail and then it arrives and ends up being a baggy one-size-fits-most? Some T-shirts are made of soft enough material that they drape nicely and look great, but others are a little stiffer and make you look fat. Those are the kind I am talking about here. Those are the kind I like to alter.

I think this is one of my favorite projects. T-shirts are so comfortable and versatile, and I like making them a bit more flattering, too.

Step 1: Using a shirt that fits you well as a guide, pin the edges of the shirt you are altering where you want to take 
them in. You can also pin along the bottom at this point if you are going to be making the shirt shorter.

Step 2: Sew in the side seams and cut off the excess fabric. (The sleeves on this shirt were a little wider 
than I wanted them, so I took in some fabric there as well.) Cut the desired length off the hem.


Step 3: For the hem, turn the edge under once to about three quarters of an inch. This is probably the only time I will say 
this, but you don't have to worry about zig-zag stitching unless you really want to. T-shirt material doesn't unravel easily. 
Sew two lines of stitching for the hem. I always sew the top line first to make sure it catches the raw fabric edge.

Step 4: Take the ribbed edge, fold it under past the seam lines, and sew it down with two lines of stitching, 
just like the hem. This will probably create some unsightly gathering, but in my experience, a hot 
iron takes care of that. It also helps to cut off any excess ribbing, as I did in the second picture.

If the sleeves are too long, you can shorten them the same way you did the hem. 
That's all there is to it! Here is how the altered shirt compares to the unaltered one:

Altered T-shirt

Much better, in my opinion! If you're one of those people who looks great in the shirt on the right, kudos to you! But for those of use who don't, this is a quick and easy save for all those free (or not-so-free) T-shirts that we love so much.

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