Easy T-Shirt Alteration

Taking in the Sides of a T-Shirt

My son is tall and skinny, and some t-shirts don’t fit him the way he likes them to fit. This t-shirt in particular was really sort of boxy. While it fit well in the shoulders, it was huge at the hem. We agreed that taking in the sides of the t-shirt would make it fit him a whole lot better, so I got to work…

Taking in the Sides of a T-Shirt_Featured

This is a super-simple alteration that anyone who can sew a straight stitch on the sewing machine can do!

First, determine how much the shirt will need to be taken in. I took in nearly 2″ on each side.

Taking in the Sides of a T-Shirt_Before

The trick is to make sure that the new seam will blend – for lack of a better term – “seamlessly” with the existing seam. I used a chalk pencil to draw a new seam line that curved from the sleeve seam then ran parallel to the existing side seam.

Taking in the Sides of a T-Shirt_Chalk Line

It is hard to see in the photos, so I took a close up…

Taking in the Sides of a T-Shirt_Chalk Line Closeup

Once I had the new seam marked, I folded the shirt in half lengthwise, matching up the sides, then cut along the chalk line. I placed a few pins along each side to hold the shirt together.

Taking in the Sides of a T-Shirt_New Seam

I used a serger to sew the new seam. A regular sewing machine with a narrow zig-zag stitch will work equally well – just feed the fabric through the presser foot without stretching.

Taking in the Sides of a T-Shirt_Finished

He is so happy with it – it is almost like having a brand new t-shirt! Well, in all honesty, he’s had the shirt forever but was just waiting for me to start with this simple alteration – taking in the sides of the t-shirt! (Good work takes time, right?) How would you take in a shirt that didn’t quite fit? I’d love to read your ideas!

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