Instructables

How to tailor your own shirt

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Recently, we received a video submission from John Paul. He wanted to know how to make a baggy shirt fit, because we all know how expensive it is to get a shirt made specifically tailored for you.

We're going to show you a little method that we think is the best called the "Pinch and Pin"

To watch the entire video, click below. Also, remember to subscribe to our iTunes store for more DIY fashion tips or check out our website, Threadbanger.



 
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Step 1: Measuring the shirt

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Take your baggy shirt, turn it inside out and put it on.

Step 2: Pinch and Pin

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Make sure you have a friend help you with this step. Get our a bunch of pins and then pinch the excess fabric and pin it so it fits how you want it to.

Be sure to pin all the way to the bottom of the shirt and don't forget under the arms. Repeat on the other side.

Step 3: Sewing the shirt

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Once you've got your shirt pinned, you're going to start sewing a seam starting above the armpit all the way down the side.

Step 4: Cutting the excess fabric

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After you're done sewing both sides, try on the shirt to make sure that it's the right fit. If you're happy, you can cut off all the excess fabric and you've got yourself a shirt that fits!

Step 5: For serious shirt-makers

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If you're serious about make a shirt from scratch, we recommend purchasing "Shirtmaking" by David Page Coffin.

Happy sewing!

Why is the 'after' picture so terrible? His shirt isn't buttoned, and you can't see how it fits at all because of his posture and hand being in the way.

AnnaLove1 year ago
Thank you! My husband is a tall, fit guy but tall sizes are few and far between, so he often just has to get XL shirts, which are long enough, but also much too wide.
GuitarHog1 year ago
I just did 5 of my shirts today, and they came out terrific! Thank you so very much for doing the video, it has totally changed my wardrobe!
rparker62 years ago
I keep seeing these pinch and pin videos and tutorials.. but they make it sound so easy.. "now just pinch and pin." But if I start at the armpit then when I get to the bottom the and back aren't lined up so one side is longer.. It seems no matter how hard I try to line it up with the original seem it doesn't work.. any advice??
chiok5 years ago
This is a neat little trick. Most all my shirts are too wide for the neck (who are they designed for?) and taking them in is a super idea. However I'm having some trouble with the bit underneath the arm. Is there a line to stitch that doesn't result in a kink and bulge in the line of the seam under the arm? I tried tapering it out, but it's still not neat.
As for buying the shirts, most button-down dress shirts are sized in the 17-34 manner. The first number refers to the neckline. You might consider getting a smaller neck on your new shirts.
dhendriks3 years ago
Some of my ready to wear shirts that fit well have a pair of darts running from the hips towards the shoulder blades. Would adding these to my baggier dress shirts work?
Yes, I do make my own shirts.
I've been doing this for my shirts for a while. It looks really good on a band t-shirt that you want fitted semi-tightly. Good instructable video, reminds me that I have to go alter that jacket of mine.
Works great. BTW you can make the stitch line curved for the guys with slim hips. OKAY--Now, what do I do with the shirts that are too tight in this same area???lol
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Ah, this is awesome. I am a girl who likes to wear guys' button-down shirts, but they're always really loose below the chest. Time to commandeer the sewing machine!
fisherman237 years ago
This is great, I never can buy shirts that fit right. Thanks for the post.
nagutron7 years ago
Good idea! I've done this with old, baggy fleece sweaters with even better results (fleece is really forgiving.)