How To Make A Shirt Bigger Without Sewing

Last Updated on 11 months by Susan Mayrich

When you buy a shirt that’s just a little too small, there are two options: You can take it back to the store and try it on again, or you can make it bigger yourself.

How To Make A Shirt Bigger Without Sewing

The latter option is the less expensive one, but not everyone feels comfortable taking scissors to their clothing.

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to make a shirt bigger without sewing, and they don’t require any fancy tools or skills. Let us find out.

How To Make A Shirt Bigger Without Sewing

Making a shirt bigger is a lot easier than you might think. All you need to do is try one of the following methods below and we are good to go

Here’s how:

The Washing Method

 If you have a shirt that’s too small, it may be possible to make it bigger without doing any sewing. Here is how you do that using the washing method.

Wash machine

One of the most common ways to make a shirt larger is by washing it. The easiest and quickest way to do this is to put your shirt in the washing machine and run a normal cycle. 

As you know, washing machines have different settings and spin speeds as well as temperature settings that can affect the way your clothing fits.

how to make a shirt bigger without sewing

Let it lay on a towel

Remove the wet shirt from the washer, and lay it flat on a clean towel.

Let it lay on a towel

Spread out the shirt till you see no bulges or wrinkles

Once your shirt is completely dry and not wrinkled, spread out all the wrinkles so that there are no bulges or wrinkles left in your shirt.

This allows the fibers in the fabric to relax and allows more room for expansion when they’re stretched out later on.

The shirt should now be bigger than before, but not by much. This process works well for most shirts but not all of them.

Spread out the shirt till you see no bulges or wrinkles

Iron Stretch Method

The iron stretch method is another easy way to make your shirt bigger without having to sew. This is a quick and easy method that will take you less than 20 minutes.

iron stretch method

Soak the entire shirt in cool water

Fill a sink with cool water, then submerge your shirt in it for about 15 minutes. This will loosen up the fibers of the fabric, making them easier to stretch out later on.

Lay it on a flat area for ironing

Lay your shirt out on a flat surface and place an ironing board or another flat object on top of it. This will help keep your shirt from moving around while you’re stretching it out with the iron.

Lay it on a flat area for ironing

Iron on medium-low, using pressure

Set your iron to medium-low heat and press down firmly (but not too hard) while going over each area at least once or twice more than necessary so that no wrinkles remain when you’re finished (this may take anywhere from 1-5 minutes). Leave it to dry.

Pressing Method

  1. Put your shirt on an ironing board. 
  2. Press the sleeves of your shirt with a warm iron so that they’re straight and smooth from top to bottom and side to side. 
  3. Remove the sleeve from the press to see if there are wrinkles near the cuffs or underarm area that need removing. 
  4. Put your shirt back on the board with both sleeves together and press again until all wrinkles are removed from each sleeve separately as well as from both sleeves together at once. 
  5. Once this is done, hang up your shirts and let them dry completely before wearing them again.

pressing method

Conditioner Stretch Method

 If you have a shirt that’s too small, it just might be time to try the conditioner stretch method. This method is super easy and works like a charm.

Step 1: Mix hair conditioner with lukewarm water in a bowl or bucket large enough to submerge your shirt in. 

Step 2: Submerge your shirt in the mixture for 10-15 minutes until it absorbs all the liquid (you may need to turn it over every few minutes).

Step 3: Rinse out your shirt thoroughly with warm water until no more suds come out of the material. You may notice that there is some excess water left on your shirt once this step is complete, don’t worry about it. You can leave this excess.

Step 4: Next, lay the shirt on a flat surface and carefully stretch it until all of the wrinkles are gone from its surface (don’t worry about stretching it too much). Let it dry naturally before wearing it again.

conditioner stretch method

Weight Stretch Method

This method requires no sewing at all. You’re going to stretch out the arms and torso of the shirt by applying pressure from the inside with weights. 

weight stretch method

This can be done with anything from canned goods to sandbags, but you’ll want something heavy enough so that it doesn’t shift around too much while you’re working on it.

Body Stretch Method

If you have a larger friend, they can wear the shirt to make it larger.

body stretch method

This method doesn’t involve sewing at all. Simply put the shirt on your friend, and have them lift up their arms as if they were about to perform a push-up.

The fabric will stretch out around their armpits, making them bigger. 


These are some pretty simple techniques for adjusting your shirts without having to do any sewing. Some of these tricks will work on any type of shirt, while others work best on button-ups. Experiment and see which ones you like the best.

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