Go Back to School in Style, Make Hand-me-downs New!




About: Sarah has taken her love of fish and is learning to love other animals too. constantly sewing, cooking, baking and making, I have lots of trouble sitting still. I'm spending my time becoming a vet, and tryi...

This instructable will show you how to take hand-me-down t-shirts from your brother, and make them into cute, girls fitted shirts.

Step 1: Tools Needed

First, you'll need:
sewing machine
sewing pins
Old man's (or big boy's) t-shirt

Step 2: Measuring and Marking the New Size

The first thing you should do is wash and dry the shirt. After you have a clean dry man-shirt, you're going to need to figure out what size girl-shirt to make it. Turn the man-shirt inside-out first.

There are two ways to determine what size girl-shirt you are:
A. use a fitted shirt you have as a template-THIS OPTION IS EASIER
1. lay the man-shirt down on a flat surface and iron out any creases
2. lay the girl-shirt down over the man-shirt, centering the girl-shirt neck with the man-shirt neck
3. use pins to mark the lines of the thinner girl shirt on the man-shirt


B. measure yourself to get the perfect fit
1. you'll need to measure yourself in 5 places,
-across the shoulders, (where the seam of the shirt will be)
-under the arms (where the bottom of the sleeve should come)
-the vertical distance from the top of your shoulders, to the bottom of your armpit (where the top of your bra strap goes under your arm)
-your proper waist (the top of your belly button, where your the thinnest)
-your hips (where a belt would land on your jeans)
2. start marking the man-shirt with your new measurements
-the vertical shoulder to pit measurement should be made from the top seam of the man-shirt
-once you marked how big your sleeve will be, you can pin the other measurements
-under the arms gets marked at the bottom of the vertical mark you just made
-mark the hip in the middle of the under arm mark, and the bottom of the shirt
-mark the hip towards the bottom of the shirt
-now, fill in the rest of the line in a smooth curve

Step 3: Sewing Curved Lines

Now, sew up your lines.
TIP- go at a moderate sewing pace (not too slow) to help you sew a smooth curve.
1. when your machine is moving quickly, it's easier to pull it through on a curved line,
2. line the fabric up at the beginning angle of your curve
3. hold one of the unsown edges a bit more than the other as it enters the machine, and you'll get a curve

Step 4: Fixing the Sleeve

now that you've taken care of the torso, let's shrink that sleeve!

1. measure the length of a sleeve of a shirt you like,
-measure from where the top, shoulder to shoulder seam ends, to the end of the sleeve. (you can also take off a bit more to make it sleeveless at this point if you wish, just adjust the curve of the torso to skip inside the bottom of the armpit seam)
2. measure diagonally from the armpit end of the sleeve, to the length found in #1.
3. cut the excess of the sleeve off 3/4" past the mark you just made
4. fold the cut end up 3/4" to make the hem at the marked spot and sew.

Step 5: Making Sure the Torso Fits Well

1. Now that you've given everything a quick sew, try it on and make sure the curve of the torso fits well, and adjust accordingly, (this may take some unstitching and re-sewing, but, you're a pro at sewing curves by now!)
2. Once you know the curve is right, add another stitch to the torso to make it strong
3. cut away the left over fabric, and you're ready to rock out in some hand-me-downs!



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    10 Discussions


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you soo much for making this instructable! I get my big brothers handmedown t's all the time! this rly helps me have nice shirts to where back to school! Great Job! :P

    2 replies

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Shameless plug, but please vote for this instructable in the singer kid craft contest!


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Shameless plug, but please vote for this instructable in the singer kid craft contest!