Whether it’s a thrifted piece with an awkward fit or a brand new shirt that just doesn’t look right, there will come a time when you need to fix your shirt. Yes, even if you have an innate ability to locate clothing that fits you perfectly the first time around. Whether we like to admit it or not, many of us (men and women alike) are guilty of buying clothes with the intention of shrinking them later on. But what happens when that lightning bolt moment strikes and we don’t have access to our trusty variety of shrinkable garments? We panic. And then we learn how to fix a shirt that’s too big without sewing.
How To Fix A Shirt That Is Too Big Without Sewing
- If you are going to wear the shirt anyway, try wearing it over a tee shirt or a thin tank top to see if the fit is still good. If it is, you can continue on with these steps.
- If your shirt is too big, but you don’t want to take the time to un-shrink it, try this trick.
- To quickly shrink a shirt that’s too big in a pinch, just place it in the dryer on high heat for about 5 minutes (or air dry). This will shrink any fabric very quickly without causing damage or leaving behind residue.
- You can also use an iron on low heat and steam (unplugged). Just make sure that you test the iron first on an inconspicuous area of your clothing in case there are any hidden issues with your garment’s material or construction that ironing wouldn’t be able to fix.
- Another great method for shrinking shirts without going through the trouble of taking them out of their packaging and putting them in the dryer is by using an oven drying trick. No need for a fancy steam-safe garment bag either! Just place your shirt into a bowl filled with uncooked rice and place it in an oven at 200 degrees Fahrenheit for 2 hours (or until it shrunk).
- There are other methods as well if you’re willing to take your time and have access to sewing equipment such as serger, zigzag, or overlock attachments on your sewing machine.
- If you’re really in a pinch, you can also use an iron to press your shirt while it’s still on the hanger to shrink it a little bit.
- You can also use a serger or overlocker to stitch up any small holes that may have formed from the dry-shrinking process. An extra bonus: if you’re using an overlocker or serger, this is a great opportunity to practice your stitching skills!
- If you’re going to be wearing the shirt anyway, consider investing in a lightweight, stretchy fabric like a poly-cotton blend. If you’re planning on wearing it for more than a few hours, you might want to think about getting one of these shirts made from a more durable fabric like poly-cotton blends.
Use Fabric Tape And Safety Pins
- If you have a shirt that is too big, don’t throw it away. You can usually find some type of fabric tape in your local craft store that will work wonders for keeping the shirt from stretching out of your favorite pair of jeans or pants. Simply cut a piece of tape about 1/4 inch wide and long enough to go around the entire shirt. Place it around the shirt as shown below and then fold over the ends as shown at the top of this post.
- Once your tape has been applied around your shirt, you can use safety pins to keep it in place for when you wear your outfit again. The pins will help keep the tape in place and prevent any more stretching once you get dressed again. If you are concerned about safety pins being visible through your clothes, simply conceal them by cutting off any excess length with scissors (make sure not to cut into any stitching), or wrap them up with a strip of fabric so they won’t be sticking out like sore thumbs!
- If you own an elastic waistband on a pair of pants, try using that instead! Whether it’s a pair of boyfriend jeans or skinny jeans, most pants have an elastic band that runs along the inside seam. Simply cut a piece of elastic band and wrap it around the waistband, as shown below.
- If your shirt is too big for your pants, but you don’t want to wear boxers or skinny jeans, you can simply use a belt! Simply wrap the belt around your waist and then tie it in a knot on top of your pants. You can also use a belt with clips so that the belt doesn’t slide down while wearing your outfit.
- If you have an elastic waistband on a pair of pants, try using that instead! Whether it’s a pair of boyfriend jeans or skinny jeans, most pants have an elastic band that runs along the inside seam. Simply cut a piece of elastic band and wrap it around the waistband, as shown below.
- If there is no way to conceal the safety pin or elastic waistband, you can always wear an undershirt underneath to hide any unsightly seams! This will not only hide any unsightly seams from view but will also help prevent further stretching out of your shirt once you take it off again after wearing it for a little while.
Roll Up Your Sleeves – Literally
- Roll up your sleeves and use a pair of scissors to trim the sleeves. This will make them fit more closely to your arms and reduce any bulk that may be causing the shirt to gap at the bottom.
- If you have a shirt that’s too big on the shoulders, you can use a pair of scissors to trim off excess material.
- If you want to take it one step further, cut off the bottom hem of your shirt (so it fits better against your legs).
- If you have a sleeve that’s too long, cut it off with scissors or an Exacto knife. You can also buy shirts with shorter sleeves if this is an issue for you.
- If you have a shirt that fits perfectly but is just too short, roll up the sleeve and cut off about an inch from the bottom hemline so it fits more closely to your body and doesn’t look like you’re wearing shorts underneath (or vice versa).
Tack Down The Hem With A Nail And Thread
1. Tack Down the Hem
This method is perfect for looser fits that may have some sloping issues, but it’s also useful for shirts with larger armholes or shoulder seams. Tack down the hem and then leave it alone to dry.
2. Make a Collar
Another great way to get around a shirt’s size problem is by using a collar to create more of a point at the neckline. This can be done by folding the collar in half vertically and then sewing along the fold with a simple straight stitch. If you want to add extra detail, sew on some small decorative buttons or embroidery floss before you press your shirt down.
3. Take In The Chest
If your shirt has an oversized fit in the chest area, don’t give up on it just yet! You can simply take in this area by folding back and pressing down along the seam line until you reach your desired level of tuck-ability. The trick here is not to leave any part of your shirt too loose or too tight; if you pin or glue down any fabric that should be left alone, it will only cause problems when washed (like shrinking). Once you’ve reached your desired fit (and washed it), thread a needle with thread that matches as closely as possible (or doesn’t clash) with what was sewn before this will keep it looking uniform throughout all of your garments!
4. Add Buttons/Embroidery
If you’ve tried everything else and it’s still too big, you can always sew on a button or embroidery before you press your shirt down. This will give your shirt a more tailored look and will also help to keep things in place. If you want to add buttons, make sure that they are fully functional (i.e., not just decorative). If you have an embroidery machine, by all means use that instead of sewing on buttons!
5. Pin and Pin Again
If the shirt is too big in the chest area but it’s not too loose around the shoulders, consider pinning and pressing down along the shoulder seam line at both sides of the shirt for extra tuck-ability. Make sure not to leave any part of your garment exposed that shouldn’t be—this may cause problems when washing your garment later on. Also make sure to pin or glue down any fabric that should be left alone this will create bulk where there should be none. Once pinned, iron over your pins or putty so they don’t show through on your finished garment.
In the end, this is just a quick guide to some of the most common ways to fix an article of clothing that’s too big. Hopefully, you’ve found at least one solution that works for you. It’s important to know that there’s nothing wrong with wearing clothing that fits a little too loosely. There are many stylish outfits that are designed to be worn a little looser, so don’t feel like you’re doing something wrong just because you’re not wearing something that’s skin-tight. If you’re wearing clothing that’s too big and you don’t have time to sew it, feel free to use one of these quick fixes to bring the article of clothing in at the waist. It’s better to wear something that’s too small than something that’s too big.