How to Take in a Shirt





Introduction: How to Take in a Shirt

So your shirt is too big? flowing around you like the Nile?

In this instructable I will show you how to take it a shirt, in other words, make it smaller.

Step 1: Step 1: Materials

things you will need:

-cloth tape

-needle and thread -OR- sewing machine



Step 2: Step 2: Measuring

you will need to measure the shirt-ee for fit -OR- you can just wing it, and take in an inch or so at a time.

measure in a few places, to get an idea of the size you want.

VERY IMPORTANT: turn the shirt inside-out.

write down the measurements;
say, waist:32 belly:28 bust:30.
now take each of these numbers and divide by 2.
so, waist:16 belly:14 bust:15.
now measure those out on the shirt, and mark with your sharpie.

Step 3: Step 3: Sewing

sew along your sharpie marks

Step 4: Step 4: Cutting

now cut along the outside of your stitching.

Step 5: Step 5: Finish

congrats on your now-smaller shirt.



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    This is a great post. I use this all the time to make shirts I get at goodwill and rummage sales fit.

    whenever i do this, where the sleeve attaches from the shirt on the underarm looks all wrinkly. any tips on how to avoid this?

    1 reply

    Flattening out, and even ironing the shirt first usually gets rid of this problem. Though if you're trying to take in something other than a tshirt, you might run into other trouble.

    Very helpful instructable! I've always had trouble taking in shirts, but this is a simple method. My alternative is just laying another shirt on the one I'm taking in and tracing. xD I'm really picky about how my shirts fit.

    I don't understand the "divide by pi" step. Are you saying to measure out 10in on the shirt for your belly if you measure your body at 32in?

    5 replies

    if you measure your belly at 32in, measure the shirt at 10in (32/pi)

    Why pi? Let's say you resize the shirt so that the front is 10in wide. Since you're marking on one side and sewing straight through, the same happens on the back, right? Doesn't this mean that you have to get a 20in loop (10in in front + 10in in back) around a 32in belly? Since the shirt has two layers, it seems like you would actually want to divide by 2. Then you have 16in in front and 16in in back, which matches the 32in around your body.

    ummm... actually, I think you're right. thanks for pointing that out.

    Thanks for writing up a neat Instructable!

    Not a comment on your instructable, just on my apparent inability to read. I read the title as "How to take a sh;t" The actual instructable seems clear enough, well done.

    Let's see it on? Come on, model it!

    It's so simple. L

    I've done this before, and you also need to re-sew the arms. I've found it adds a nice touch to do some random decorative stitching all over the shirt...I've resized mostly white shirts, and so the stitching distracts from the seam allowances on the inside of the shirt. Great Instructable!!

    You should consider cleaning up the junk! Fortunately, that shirt won't be a great loss when the single thread stitch comes loose.