How to Down-Size a Sweatshirt for a Better Fit
I've had this TRUCKEE sweatshirt for many years. I never wear it because it fits like a sack. I want to narrow the body and the arms and shorten the overall length so that it's something to enjoy wearing.
Decide the Final Size
There are a couple of ways to do this.
- One way is to take your various torso measurements, mark the shirt accordingly, cut it up, and re-sew.
- A second way is to use a shirt that already fits well as your guide/pattern.
- So, my final size is my existing shirt that fits well.
Let's Get Started
- Turn your target shirt inside out. (This will make it ready to sew.)
- Lay your guide shirt over the top of it and pin together. I want to keep the shoulders and tops of the sleeves the same, so I line them up.
- I'm also going to cut off the hem and cuffs to make them shorter—you may like your length.
If you are using a regular sewing machine you have a couple of options:
- Cut the excess fabric now and leave a 1/2" seam allowance. Remove the guide shirt and go seam it up!
- Leave the guide shirt in place and seam 1/2" from its edges. Afterward, unpin the guide shirt, cut away the excess fabric then sew a second seam or do a zigzag stitch.
I am going to go straight to my serger, follow the guide shirt, and cut off the extra fabric at the same time. See below.
Reattach the Cuffs and Hem
- Turn your sleeve right side out.
- Turn your cuff right side in, and nest them.
- Pin to keep from shifting.
- Sew or serge for the amount of ribbing you want to keep.
- Repeat for the other cuff and the bottom.
You're done! Enjoy!
You now have a shirt that was sitting around doing nothing that you can wear often. This technique can be used for a variety of situations:
- Hand-me-downs that are great, but too big.
- A super-sale in a store for a garment that is too large.
- Make matching Father/Son, or Mother/Daughter tops when only the larger size is available.
Have fun making something new and useful.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Questions & Answers
Will down-sizing methods work with t-shirts?
Yes. Any knit, and many woven materials, should be fine.Helpful 1
© 2018 The Sampsons