How to Fix a Shirt That is Too Big Without Sewing

Have you ever gone through your closet and found a favorite shirt that was just way too baggy?

You know, the kind of shirt where even if it’s not tight on anyone else but looks like it should be hanging off of your shoulders and down to your knees?

The good news is there are actually plenty of ways you can get this type of shirt shrunken back down so it fits properly without having to go out and buy a new one.

No worries about you being inexperienced with sewing skills. Here are the right way to take into a tee so that a larger one looks smaller – and still looks great

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How to Fix a Shirt That is Too Big Without Sewing

Method One: Shrink it in the Washing Machine

This is by far one of the easiest things you can do to have your shirt altered and fit properly on your body.

  1. Try washing the shirt in hot water with some detergent and then hang dry.
  2. This will shrink the shirt and cause it to fit a lot better on your body.
  3. The downside is that you may end up with some wrinkles in the shirt, which can be taken out by using an iron on low heat.

Method Two: Tighten the Sleeves and Bust with Safety Pins

This is a very effective trick. Just use some safety pins to pull in the excess fabric at your bust and shoulders and you will be left with a shirt that fits better.

  1. Take off the buttons on the sleeve and cut off both sleeves at an angle
  2. Cut off, or just fold up, the bottom hem of the shirt
  3. Fold it up to make it shorter
  4. Tuck the excess fabric up into the sleeve and sew together.

Method Three: Tighten the waist with a belt

This is one of my favorites because it’s so simple and looks great.

All you need to do is put on a belt that matches your shirt or pants that are worn under it.

The width of the belt will be enough to take up the extra fabric you don’t want hanging around.

 Method Four: Fixing Your Shirt With Hem Tape

Fixing a shirt that is too loose is possible with hem tape. Hem tape can fix anything from loose hems to added length. It’s also really easy to work with!

  1. Measure how much fabric needs to be gathered up and cut it off.
  2. Cut a piece of hem tape according to that measurement and apply it to the bottom of the sleeve or side seam.
  3. Press it down with a hot iron set on medium heat for a couple of minutes without letting it touch anything else, like your clothes or the ironing board cover.
  4. Press on the hem tape until it cools down and wraps around the fabric properly.
  5. This will give you a nice clean finish and a shirt that fits better.

Bonus Tip: How to Make Your Shirt Look Better If You Can’t Fix It

You can also use some tricks to make your worn-out shirt look better even if you can’t fix it with any of the above methods.

Simply remove or roll up the sleeves, fold up the bottom hem, and tuck in any excess fabric.

Then add some accessories like a belt, suspenders, or tie to the shirt to hide its flaws.

How to make a shirt smaller without washing it

  1. Cut off the shirt’s sleeves on the seam and hem them all the way around to make a new cuff.
  2. Use the bottom of a t-shirt as a pattern for cutting out a piece of elastic long enough to go around your waist and to create button loops at one end.
  3. Sew it together, adding corded ribbon or trim to match the neckline of your shirt (I used a 10″ piece of 1″ grosgrain ribbon).
  4. Cut off the hem from the shirt and sew it into place so that the neckline is now a little lower than you’d like.
  5. Hem it under, sewing inelastic so that there is no need for buttons or zippers at the back, which would look bulky on a man’s shirt.
  6. Sew up the sleeves so that they don’t unravel and hem the bottom over the elastic band.
  7. Now you can wear it as it is, or roll the sleeves back to your taste.

How to make a button up shirt smaller without sewing

It’s near impossible to make a shirt smaller without sewing if it’s too big, but if you’re wearing a button-up shirt, there are some ways you can make it fit a little better.

  1. First, start by unbuttoning the shirt so that the front is open and the back is tucked.
  2. The button will have stretched your shirt out more than the other buttons closer to your neck.
  3. Put one hand on each side of the waistband and pull upwards so that your shirt is resting against your stomach.
  4. Then button the waistband, which should be sitting much higher now.
  5. The buttons may be bunching up because of how tight the bottom part of the shirt is—it won’t last long!

How to alter a t shirt that’s too big

How to make a shirt tighter without cutting

If you just want to make your shirt tighter without cutting, some options are to wear a sweater over the shirt or put on (or wear) a vest.


If your shirt is big, it can be lightened to give you a more tailored look by adding stitches. It’s a simple fix that will make your clothes wearable again.

Fold the shirt in half length-wise, and then lay the middle on top of the part where it is too large.

Wherever there is excess fabric, pinch the fabric together and stitch over it.

Do this all along the sides and sleeves of the shirt, and then cut off any excess fabric for an even hem at both ends of each sleeve.

How to wear a shirt that is too big for guys

A new shirt that’s too big is a pretty easy fix for guys. All you need to do is tuck in the shirt inside your pants and it will look just right!

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How to make a big shirt fit better

Here are a few tips on how to make a shirt fit better if it’s too big:

  1. – Wash the shirt in cold water instead of hot water. This will shrink the shirt.
  2. – If you have lost weight, layer the shirt with an undershirt or tank top.
  3. – Remove any extra buttons from the outfit. You can also remove some of the fabric in order to reduce the size of the blouse without shrinking it.
  4. – Sew darts or gathers into your shirt so that they don’t create “sags” when you wear them.
  5. Darts should be at the waistline and underarm, while rear gathers should be placed towards the back of your blouse.

How to make a shirt fitted without sewing

The first thing that you can do is to start by folding the shirt in half and then tucking it into your pants.

Next, pull on the shirt until it is tight enough around your stomach so that it doesn’t stick out.

The last step is to turn the shirt inside out and put it on. This should get rid of any extra room in the shirt.

How to tighten a loose shirt without sewing Machine

Lay the shirt flat, face side up, and use a ruler to measure the width across the back.

Now take the amount that you want your shirt to be smaller by (in inches) and divide that number by 2.

From here cut the front of the shirt at that distance from where it curves upward on either side of your chest.

Cutting the front of the shirt at this point will give you two pieces that are essentially triangle shaped when flattened out-

Finally, lay those two pieces together with right sides facing each other and stitch a seam that connects them together along both curved sides then sew straight across the top edge of the triangle.

How to alter a t shirt that’s too big

If your shirt is too big and you have the ability to sew, try taking it in.

  • -Take a seam ripper or scissors and remove all of the stitches on one side of the shirt, from top to bottom.
  • -Take some scrap fabric that’s about two to three inches wide by twice the length of the shirt.
  • Buttons are optional and can be used as a decorative embellishment if desired.
  • -Sew one side of the scrap fabric under the same row of stitches you just removed and pull tight so that it’ll cinch up even more when it’s sewn together with the other side.
  • -Cut off any excess fabric on each end of the scrap fabric using either the seam ripper or scissors.
  • -Sew the other side of the scrap fabric along the same row of stitches, matching up with the first scrap piece so that you have two pieces that are basically triangle shaped when flattened out.
  • -Lay these two pieces together and fold them flat, then stitch a seam connecting both curved.

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How to cinch a shirt without sewing

To cinch a shirt without sewing, take the shirt off and lay it flat on your lap.

Next, fold it in half length-wise so that the sleeves are now together.

Lay the middle of the shirt over the part where you need to cinch it to create an even hem.

Now, pinch any excess fabric on either side of the shirt–between your fingers–and pull until you have loosened up enough room to fit your hands under the tissure.

Sew along each edge with a small stitch (about 2-3 cm in length).

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