How to Alter a Men's T-Shirt Into a Women's T-Shirt

Updated April 17, 2017

Women's T-shirts are generally much smaller than men's and they are often decorated with lace, beads, sequins, rhinestones, pictures and writings or other feminine designs. If you have an old men's T-shirt lying around, but don't want to simply throw it away, you can recycle it by altering it into a women's T-shirt with just a few minor changes.

Use a measuring tape to take your measurements around your upper arm, your waist, your bust and your shoulders. Jot down the measurements for future reference. You will be using them to alter the men's T-shirt to fit your body.

Turn the men's T-shirt inside out. Carefully undo the original stitching, and take the sleeves off. You will be left with four pieces: the two sleeves, the front of the shirt and the back of the shirt. Deconstructing the T-shirt will help you in making the alterations.

Take in the seams from the sides. Take in the fabric enough to fit your unique measurements. Re-sew the sides together, then cut off the excess fabric and discard. If you want to make the shoulders smaller, cut out some of the fabric from around the armholes. Make sure to measure accurately to prevent taking too much of the fabric.

Take in the sleeve seam until it fits around the measurement of your upper arm. Make the sleeve seam about a half an inch larger than your natural upper arm measurement so that it's not too snug. Cut off and discard excess fabric. Sew the sleeves back onto the T-shirt at the armholes.

Embellish with feminine details. Once you've made the T-shirt smaller to fit your body, you can add girlish touches that will make the former men's T-shirt more suited for a woman. A lace trim around the neckline, rhinestones in a heart or floral pattern or colourful iron-on decals will complete the alteration process.


Use cotton that matches the colour of the T-shirt's fabric. Use a Bedazzler to add rhinestones to the T-shirt. Ask for assistance from an experienced seamstress if you're having trouble altering the T-shirt.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Needle and thread
  • Sewing machine (optional)
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About the Author

Maggie Hira has been writing professionally since 2006. She has written for numerous websites and print publications, including "LA.Direct Magazine" and The Budget Fashionista. Hira holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of California, Los Angeles.