altering clothing: basic shirt

I have a shirt which I really like, but was a little to big on me; it didn’t fit me nicely. So I decided to take it in…it was so easy! I’ll show you how. šŸ™‚

Put the shirt on and determine how much you want to take it in. It is easiest to just pinch the material in from the sides and determine how much you have in your hand (how much material you want to trim off). Take off the shirt and prepare your work area (sewing machine, pins, scissors, seam gauge).

First, take the shirt and turn it inside-out (please note that I took in a shirt which had side-seams, unlike many t-shirts. This one was a button-up plaid shirt). Then lay it flat, making sure no material is folded or wrinkled near the seams you are going to take in. Then, using a seam gauge, mark all along the edges how much you want to take in. If you are taking in an inch, make one-inch marks all along, making sure they are parallel to the original seam.


PIN! šŸ™‚ Make sure all the material stays flat and smooth!


As you can see, mine had short sleeves which tapered off on the underarm — which worked out great for my altering. I simply gradually tapered off with my seam (line ^_^ ) and met the sleeve with it.

If you wish to take in the sleeves as well, simply gradually turn the seam onto the sleeve as you’re sewing, tapering off to create a slimmer arm.

Unfortunately I don’t have a picture of the finished product, but it turned out perfectly! I sewed along the line you see, keeping my seam parallel to the original seam (thus keeping the curve and fitted look). As you can see, the original seam was done using a serger to finish off the edges neatly. I don’t have a serger, though, so I simply zig-zag stitched the edges once I had trimmed them. I trimmed them because I took it in by one inch, but if you do a centimetre or less there’s no need to trim the extra fabric — unless you want to, off course. šŸ™‚

Hope you found this helpful!



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