How To Make A Shirt Smaller or Shorter [Complete Guide]

A shirt that’s too big won’t fit well and will come out of shape as you wear it. A shirt that’s too small won’t fit in all the right places and will end up being uncomfortable.

If you have that stylish shirt you love, you don’t want to throw it away because it doesn’t fit right. There are many ways to make your shirt smaller.

How To Make A Shirt Smaller

You can use the following ways to make your shirt smaller without having to get rid of it:

Can You Make a Shirt Shorter or Smaller?

Yes, it is possible to make a shirt smaller or shorten your shirt using several methods, such as using a dryer, using safety pins, sewing, and many others. 

Some methods work better than others. The method you choose will depend on what kind of shirt you have and how it was made.

How to Make a Shirt Smaller without Sewing

If you want to make a shirt smaller or shorter, there are several ways to do it. For example, you can simply take it in at the waistline or shorten the sleeves.

Soak the shirt in hot water

The first method is to soak the shirt in a large bowl of hot water for 30 minutes. The goal is to shrink the shirt with hot water so that it will become smaller than before.

  1. Boil water to the highest temperature.
  2. Soak the shirt in the hot water. 
  3. You use a spoon to push the shirt and make sure it is completely covered by the water.
  4. Soak the shirt for 30 minutes.
  5. Once that’s done, take the shirt out of the water and squeeze out as much excess moisture as possible. 
  6. Then hang it up to dry completely.

Wash the shirt in hot water

You can easily make a shirt smaller by washing it in hot water. The hot water will shrink the sleeves and body of the shirt.

  1. Set your washer to the hottest water settings possible. 
  2. Wash the shirt on a gentle or regular wash cycle.
  3. Turn the shirt inside out
  4. Once you have washed your shirt, turn it inside out again and hang it up to dry.

Use a Dryer

 If you want to shrink your shirt, you’ll need to dry it on high heat

  1. Put the shirt you want to shrink in the dryer
  2. Dry the shirt at the highest heat temperature

The heat from the dryer will shrink the shirt. The hotter it is, the more quickly it shrinks. 

Use a Hem Tape

The temporally way of making a shirt small is to use hem tape, which is a strip of fabric with adhesive on one side. It’s like duct tape, but it sticks to the fabric instead of just sitting on top.

Step 1. Measure your shirt to the correct length. To measure your shirt, fold it in half, with the right side facing out. Place the measuring tape around the outside of your shirt at the point where you’d like to make it smaller. Make sure that there’s enough extra fabric so that you don’t have any problems when ironing later on.

Step 2. Identify where you want to cut out parts of your shirt using a ruler or pattern paper if needed. Cut along this line using a pair of scissors or an electric knife if needed and make sure that both edges are square with each other and straight across at all times before ironing

Step 3. Next, cut a length of fusible hem tape that is slightly longer than your desired finished size. You may also want to consider using bias tape as it gives an extra stretch to the material without compromising its shape.

Step 4. Then, fold it over and stick it on the inside of the garment (as if you were wrapping it around a roll). This will make your hem smaller and shorter

Step 5. Iron one side of the hem tape over your fabric before folding it back on itself and pressing it down with an iron. This will give you a neat finish and enable it to be sewn onto the garment.

Use Elastic 

Elastic is a kind of fabric that has elasticity. You can use it to make your shirts smaller by sewing around the armholes and then stitching over the elastic. The shirt will stretch when you wear it and pull back into shape after you take it off.

How to Make a Shirt Smaller by Tying it (Basic Front Knot)

  1. The first thing you want to do when you’re trying to make a T-shirt smaller is to gather up the fabric at the front of your shirt and fold it in half. 
  2. At this point, your shirt should look like a tube.
  3. Next, twist the two halves together until they form a spiral around the ball of fabric. This will create a small knot at the top of your shirt that will help hold everything together while sewing.

Make a Shirt Smaller by Sewing

Sewing is a great way to make any garment smaller. It’s quite easy to make a shirt smaller by sewing. All you have to do is follow the instructions below.

Step 1. Put your shirt on, and mark the length where you want it to hit your waist.

Step 2. Measure around the shirt where you want it to hit your waist, and mark it with a pen or pencil.

 Step 3. Take off your shirt, and measure around your body for a good fit, as close to your actual measurements as possible.

Step 4. Cut off the sleeves and collar and sew them back on using a wide zigzag stitch or a similar pattern.

Step 5. Sew these new measurements into place at each end of your garment, as well as all around the top edge before finishing it off with another 1/2 inch seam allowance for stitching through all layers (and if necessary, adding more stitches at the beginning and end).

This will give the finished look of a shirt that’s been tailored to fit your body better than before.

How to Make a Shirt Smaller By Hand

It’s easy to make a shirt smaller by hand. All you need is a pair of scissors and a needle.

Step 1. The first step is to determine what size you want your shirt to be. This can be accomplished by using a measuring tape or by measuring yourself and comparing the measurements with those of your current shirt (if you have one). 

Step 2. Once you have established the new size of your shirt, measure out how much fabric is needed for each additional inch of shrinkage (or whatever amount of shrinkage you want).

Step 3. Make sure the shirt fits you well before cutting it up.

Step 4. Cut off all the excess fabric at one side of the shirt. You may want to do this on both sides of your shirt so that you don’t have to worry about which side is meant to be smaller than the other.

Step 5. Fold each piece in half so that it fits nicely in your hand and doesn’t get caught on anything while sewing (i.e., no creases).

Step 6. Sew each folded piece together using a straight stitch, leaving one side open for turning later on (so that you can turn right-side out).

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