How To Alter A Shirt That's Too Big?

How To Alter A Shirt That's Too Big?

Are you struggling to find the perfect fit for that oversized shirt in your wardrobe? Don't worry, altering it to achieve a more tailored look is easier than you think. With a few simple adjustments, you can transform that ill-fitting shirt into a stylish and flattering piece that you'll love to wear.

To alter a shirt that's too big, start by determining the desired fit and measuring the areas that need adjustment. Use pins to mark the excess fabric and carefully remove it. Next, sew along the new seam lines, making sure to keep the stitches even and secure. Finally, try on the altered shirt to ensure the fit is just right. With a bit of patience and attention to detail, you'll have a perfectly fitting shirt in no time.



How To Alter A Shirt That's Too Big?

Alteration Techniques for a Shirt That's Too Big

Having a shirt that is too big can be quite frustrating. It can make you feel sloppy and unkempt. However, you don't need to give up on that shirt just yet! With a few simple alterations, you can transform it into a well-fitting piece that looks and feels great on you. In this article, we will explore various techniques and methods to alter a shirt that's too big, so you can salvage your oversized garment and give it a new lease on life.

1. Taking In the Side Seams

One of the easiest ways to alter a shirt that's too big is by taking in the side seams. This method involves sewing along the existing side seams to reduce the overall width of the shirt. Here's how you can do it:

  • Put on the shirt inside out to determine how much you want to take in.
  • Pin the side seams along your desired measurements, starting from the armpit down to the hem.
  • Take off the shirt and mark the pinned areas with chalk or a fabric pen.
  • Use a sewing machine or needle and thread to sew along the marked lines.
  • Try on the shirt to ensure the fit is perfect, and make any necessary adjustments if needed.

This method works well for shirts that are too loose all around. However, keep in mind that taking in the side seams excessively may affect the balance and proportions of the shirt, so it's essential to strike the right balance.

1.1. Additional Tips:

If you want to fine-tune the fit of your altered shirt, here are some additional tips to consider:

  • Gradually taper the side seams from the armpit down to the waist for a more fitted look.
  • Consider gathering or pleating the excess fabric at the back for a more tailored appearance.
  • Add darts at the bust area for a better fit and shape.
  • Be cautious while altering patterned shirts as it may affect the pattern placement.

By utilizing these additional tips, you can achieve a custom-fit look for your altered shirt.

2. Reducing the Shoulder Width

If the shoulder width of your shirt is the main issue, you can easily correct it by reducing the width of the shoulder seams. Follow these steps:

  • Put on the shirt inside out to assess the excess shoulder width.
  • Pin the shoulder seams to your desired width, ensuring both sides are equal.
  • Remove the shirt and mark the pinned areas with chalk or a fabric pen.
  • Using a sewing machine or needle and thread, sew along the marked lines to reduce the shoulder width.

It's crucial to be careful while altering the shoulder width of a shirt because drastic changes can affect the overall fit and comfort. Take it slow and make gradual adjustments until you achieve the desired fit.

3. Shortening the Sleeve Length

If your shirt sleeves are too long, shortening them can instantly improve the overall fit and appearance. Here's how you can do it:

  • Put on the shirt and fold the sleeves to the desired length.
  • Pin the folds in place while ensuring the fold lines are straight and even on both sleeves.
  • Take off the shirt and mark the fold lines with chalk or a fabric pen.
  • Use a sewing machine or needle and thread to sew along the marked lines, securing the folded sleeve.

When shortening shirt sleeves, remember that it's easier to take off additional length later if you find it necessary. Hence, it's advisable to start with a slightly longer length than desired initially.

3.1. Cuff Alterations:

If your shirt sleeves have cuffs, you may need to alter them as well. Here are a few cuff alteration options:

  • If the cuffs are too wide, you can remove a portion of the fabric and sew them back together, ensuring the new width matches the desired size.
  • If the cuffs are too narrow, carefully unpick the stitches, add a fabric panel, and re-sew the cuffs to increase their width.
  • If the cuffs are too long, shorten them using the same method as shortening the sleeve length (mentioned earlier).
  • Remember to match any pattern or stripe on the cuffs to maintain the overall aesthetic of the shirt.

By considering these cuff alteration options, you can achieve a perfectly balanced look for your shirt.

4. Transforming the Neckline

If you find that the neckline of your shirt is too wide or loose, you can transform it into a more flattering shape. Follow these steps:

  • Pull the shirt collar to determine how much you want to take in.
  • Pin the excess fabric from the collar along your desired adjustments.
  • Remove the shirt and mark the pinned areas with chalk or a fabric pen.
  • Using a sewing machine or needle and thread, sew along the marked lines to reduce the collar width.

It's important to maintain a natural curve while transforming the neckline. Avoid making it too tight or uncomfortable to wear.

4.1. Neckline Alterations: Other Considerations

Here are a few additional considerations for altering the neckline:

  • If the neckline is too high, consider reshaping it by following the steps mentioned above but instead, remove the fabric.
  • For a V-neck shirt, you can alter the depth of the V by either reducing or increasing the fabric.
  • Always make sure to align the new collar shape with the shirt's existing style and design.

By paying attention to these neckline alteration considerations, you can achieve a more comfortable and stylish outcome.

Now that you have learned different techniques to alter a shirt that's too big, you can confidently modify your oversized shirts to fit you perfectly. Next time you find a shirt that you love but is too large, you no longer have to pass it up. With a little bit of time and effort, you can transform it into a well-fitting garment that accentuates your style. Happy altering!


How To Alter A Shirt That's Too Big?

Altering a Shirt That's Too Big

If you have a shirt that is too big and you want to make it fit better, there are several alterations you can make to achieve a more flattering fit.

The most common alteration for a shirt that's too big is taking in the side seams. This involves sewing a new seam along the sides of the shirt, removing excess fabric and creating a closer fit. Make sure to measure and mark the new seam line before sewing. You can also adjust the shoulder seams by taking in or letting out fabric to improve the fit.

Another option is to add darts to the back of the shirt. This involves sewing triangular-shaped fabric tucks that taper towards the waist. Darts help create a more tailored look and can remove excess fabric without drastically altering the overall shape of the shirt.

If the sleeves are too long, you can shorten them by cutting and hemming. Make sure to measure and mark the desired length before cutting. For a more professional finish, use a sewing machine to create a clean hem.

Remember to always try on the shirt as you make alterations to ensure the desired fit. Take it slow and make small adjustments as needed to avoid creating a shirt that is too tight or misshapen. With a little time and patience, you can transform a shirt that's too big into one that fits perfectly.


Key Takeaways - How To Alter A Shirt That's Too Big?

  • Use safety pins to temporarily adjust the fit of the shirt.
  • Tailor the sides of the shirt by taking in the fabric.
  • Consider adding darts to the back of the shirt to create a more fitted look.
  • Take up the shoulder seams to reduce the size of the shirt.
  • Shorten the sleeves if they are too long after altering the fit of the shirt.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions about altering a shirt that's too big:

1. Can I alter a shirt that's too big on my own?

Yes, you can alter a shirt that's too big on your own if you have basic sewing skills. Start by trying the shirt on and pinning it to your desired fit. Then, carefully sew along the pinned areas to take in the excess fabric. Remember to take it slow and make small adjustments so you can easily undo them if needed.

If you're new to sewing, it's recommended to practice on a scrap piece of fabric before altering your shirt. This will help you get familiar with the sewing machine and ensure you achieve the desired fit without damaging the shirt.

2. What tools do I need to alter a shirt that's too big?

To alter a shirt that's too big, you will need the following tools:

  • A sewing machine or needle and thread
  • Pins
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Iron

These basic tools will allow you to measure, pin, and sew your shirt to fit your desired size. Make sure to keep them handy before you begin the alteration process.

3. How can I take in the sides of a shirt that's too big?

To take in the sides of a shirt that's too big, follow these steps:

  • Put the shirt on inside out and pin along the sides where you want to take it in.
  • Take the shirt off and measure the pinned areas to ensure they are symmetrical.
  • Carefully sew along the pinned areas, removing the pins as you go.
  • Try the shirt on after sewing to check the fit. Make further adjustments if needed.
  • Trim the excess fabric and finish the edges with a zigzag stitch or overlock stitch to prevent fraying.

Remember to take it slow and make small adjustments at a time. It's easier to take in more fabric than to undo excessive alterations.

4. How can I shorten the sleeves of a shirt that's too big?

To shorten the sleeves of a shirt that's too big, follow these steps:

  • Put the shirt on and fold the sleeves to the desired length.
  • Pin along the fold line to secure it.
  • Take the shirt off and measure the pinned areas to ensure they are even on both sleeves.
  • Carefully sew along the fold line, removing the pins as you go.
  • Trim the excess fabric and finish the edges with a zigzag stitch or overlock stitch to prevent fraying.

Try the shirt on after sewing to check the length of the sleeves. Make further adjustments if needed.

5. Can I alter a shirt that's too big without sewing?

While sewing is the most effective way to alter a shirt that's too big, there are alternative options if you don't have sewing skills or tools. You can use fabric glue or fusible hem tape to temporarily alter the shirt.

Apply fabric glue or fusible hem tape along the areas you want to take in, following the product instructions. Press the fabric together and let it dry or adhere according to the glue or tape's directions. Keep in mind that these methods may not provide the same long-lasting results as sewing.



Altering a shirt that's too big is a simple process that can help you achieve a better fit and look. Start by assessing how much fabric needs to be taken in and decide on the appropriate alteration method. This can include taking in the seams, cutting off excess fabric, or adding darts for a more tailored fit.

After determining the alterations needed, gather the necessary tools such as scissors, pins, and a sewing machine or needle and thread. Take careful measurements and mark where the alterations should be made. Pin the fabric along the marked lines and try on the shirt to make sure the fit is comfortable. Finally, sew the alterations in place, removing any excess fabric if necessary. With these simple steps, you can transform an oversized shirt into one that fits you perfectly.


RELATED ARTICLES