Friday, September 20, 2013

diy // how to skinnify a t-shirt

So, I love t-shirts but hate feeling like I'm stuck in the 90's. This is too much of a flashback to the shirt with Lee Pipes and slicked back hair I sported in elementary school. *Shudder*. Non-fitted tees shouldn't be seen on a woman outside of the home, and even then? Sorry. Personally, I'm not a fan.
Talk about unflattering! Check out my midsection; I look pregnant, and I'm definitely not.

However, giant bulky t-shirts are a TON cheaper than fitted tees, and so therefore are more common in this household because I'm cheap ;) Thankfully, a little surgery can skinnify them and make them appropriate for, you know, women.

Look! I look like I have shape. Ignore the dorky face.
I love this little trick because it's pretty simple and it completely changes the look of a t-shirt. I do it all the time! I took some photos while I was fitting the shirt they gave us for our Color Run, and thought I'd share the process with you! My process is slightly more involved than simply sewing up the sides and arms because it requires deconstruction of the whole shirt, it allows for a more professional-looking finish. Take a look!

Too-big t-shirt
Shirt that fits you well
Sewing machine and thread (ideally same color as the shirt fabric; mine isn't so you can see better)

Step 1. Cut off sleeves of too-large t-shirt and set aside. Keep track of which sleeve came from which side. It helps if you do it while its inside-out so the subsequent steps are easier.

Step 2. Fold too-big shirt in half and place on a surface. Fold a more fitted shirt in half as well and place on top, lining up the shoulder seams.

Cut your too-big shirt near the edge of your fitted shirt, leaving at least a quarter-inch for seam allowance. Cut along the bottom as well if desired.

Step 3. Fold the sleeve of your fitted shirt inside, so you can see the shape of the armhole against your other shirt. Cut the excess fabric (you can do both at once if you're careful).

 Unfold your shirts and place your reserved sleeve inside the armhole at the desired placement. I followed the shape of my fitted shirt, but that isn't necessary.

Cut off the excess fabric from your sleeve piece, along the line of your arm hole. Again, leave a little wiggle room for seam allowance.

If your sleeve is still a tube, snip the connected material so it can open up.

Do the same for both sleeves, and keep track of which sleeve goes where!

Step 4. Open your sleeve and shirt and line up the shoulder seam with the center of the sleeve piece, right sides together. Place one pin to hold it in place

Pin the sleeve all the way around. I place my center pin and then the two pins at each end, then stretch the sleeve to fit the arm hole. It should fit with little difficulty, but it won't lay very flat since the arm is curved.

Sew along the edge of both sides. For security, I zigzag the raw edges as well, but since t-shirt knits don't fray it isn't necessary. I like to do it especially for arms and sleeves because of the extra strain they get.

It looks odd, but its so much easier than doing it with the sides attached first. It's so quick!

Step 5.  Turn the shirt inside-out and pin up the sides. Sew a quarter-inch from the edge, zigzagging if desired.

At this point, you could turn your hem under and sew for a more professional look, but since this shirt was just for our 5k I didn't bother. It won't fray anyway, so you don't HAVE to do it.

Much better!

Next week, I'll show you how to alter the neckline of a t-shirt as well, keeping the ribbing but allowing for a little more breathing room :). It's my SECOND favorite t-shirt alteration, and again, it makes a big impact on the overall look of a shirt.
What do you think?

1 comment:

  1. Looks cute but for a non-sewer like me, complicated! I wish I could sew like you!


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