How to fix shirts that are too big

Written by freddie silver
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How to fix shirts that are too big
A tapered shirt will look better and feel more comfortable. (Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images)

Sometimes there are shirts hanging in our closets that we don't wear because they are just a bit too large. It may be that the sleeves are too long, but more commonly, the shirt will be too wide to look fashionable. With just a few basic sewing skills, it is possible to taper the shirt to make it a size or two smaller and more attractive.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • A smaller shirt that fits well
  • Tailor's chalk
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Iron

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  1. 1

    Button up the large shirt if it is a button-down shirt. Turn the shirt inside out. Lay the shirt on a flat surface.Turn the smaller shirt inside out and lay it on top of the large shirt.

  2. 2

    Use the tailor's chalk to draw two lines, one on each side on the side seams on either side of the shirt. Draw the line 1/2-inch wider than the side seams on the smaller shirt. Remove the smaller shirt. Cut along the drawn lines with scissors.

  3. 3

    Place the straight pins along the two cut seams, spacing the pins about 1 inch apart.Stitch the two side seams using a straight stitch on the sewing machine and matching coloured thread. Clip the excess threads. Press the seams open.

Tips and warnings

  • If the sleeves of the shirt are too long, fold the ends over 1 or 2 inches and stitch in place with a straight stitch, 1 inch from the folded edge. Sew a second line of stitching once more around the sleeve, near the edge.
  • Do not leave pins and scissors where small children might pick them up.

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