Monday, October 11, 2010

T-Shirt Extravaganza

When I was eleven, I got a karaoke machine for Christmas. I love singing, I really do. I've done a handful of musicals and I even wore my Sound of Music tee today. As much as I love it, I wanted to exchange the karaoke machine for a sewing machine. Sad thing is, aside from one Home-Ec class, I'm clueless on that thing. My specialty a straight line.  Just today I got a package of no-sew adhesive to fix my dining room curtains, but this evening everything changed.

Last week was homecoming where I teach and, as usual, game day is school spirit day. It was insanely warm on Friday, which made wearing a sweatshirt a terrible idea. Trouble was that my school t-shirts are all XLs. I'm no skinny mini, but an XL just makes me feel frumpy. I wore one anyway and end up tying it up a little in the back. By the end of the day, I had counted at least ten students with the same...ahem...idea.

I decided there was no better time than now to alter my tees. I fail pretty regularly when using my sewing machine, but knowing that I could buy a new shirt was a small comfort.

This evening, I did not fail. Huge sewing win, huge.

I started out by finding a shirt that fits perfectly. Then I laid the big tee out inside out and front up. I matched the little tee up at the neck and shoulder line. Then I pinned the bottom of the big tee together. My hope was that pinning the bottom would prevent them from slipping.

I absolutely dread pinning before sewing. I would rather something come out crooked than have to concentrate on pinning, but I thought this project was short enough to just suck it up and do it.

After pinning the bottom shut, I traced along the edge of the little tee with pins, pinning the sides together (and creating an outline for me to sew next to). I went ahead and did the sleeves too because I thought it would look silly to have a slim shirt and floppy sleeves.

I had the right thread color, but once again my laziness took over when I saw that my bobbin was already full of thread. Sure it wasn't the right color, but no one is going to see that...I hope.

I finished sewing all the way around. The pic above is with one side trimmed. I mistakingly turned it inside out before trimming the edges and it looked terrible. Horrible. Bad. In fact, it was so ruffled and pinched up around the edges I considered throwing in the towel. But I pushed on and to my surprise, after trimming the edges it looks juuust fine. Fine enough for a t-shirt that is.

And here are the finished pieces. I'm pleasantly surprised. I can actually wear this to school. In total, I spent about 45 mins from pinning to flipping right side out.

We all have a few shirts that we wish fit a little better, try this out. Big thumbs up! Let me know if you'll try this or have tried it before and how it turns out!

<3 dani



  1. I do kinda the same thing to make "unskinny" jeans into skinny jeans. On the outside seams. I think this is a great idea!

  2. Great idea! I've done the same thing with sweatpants because I need a big size for the length but they're way too big everywhere else.

  3. I know what you mean, I hate pinning. In fact, I just don't do it. So, everything I sew is just a tad crooked. :-) Good tip though, amazing how simple and easy something can be if you actually just think it through.

  4. I actually wore the light blue shirt to school on friday and told my students how I had altered it. They were pretty impressed. Hey, if I can impress a twelve year old, I think I can impress just about anyone ;-) juuust kidding. (kinda!)

    thanks for the kind words ladies.


Drop me a line, a link or some good old fashioned love.