Tuesday, February 17, 2015

How To Alter a Man's Shirt to a Woman's Shape


I love that collared shirts are in style. They are versatile, comfortable, and can easily dress up a casual outfit. Unfortunately, however, I don't have many. And most that I do have are too short for today's style.  So I decided to hit the local thrift store in search of men's shirts (so they'd be nice and long) to alter to my needs. 

Here is the man-shirt pre-altering. I bought this on half-off at Goodwill for $3. Pretty big and shape-less, huh?  But it has good arm length and fun, unusual pockets, so I was hoping for some potential. It's important to choose a shirt that isn't way too big in the collar or arm-length because those are not easily altered.

Now on to the altering process. It is SO quick and easy. If you are a sewing rookie, this would be a good way to get your feet wet.

1. Turn the shirt inside out and flatten along the seam on the inside of the arm and torso. 

2. Use chalk to draw a smooth line along the seam the amount you'd like to take the shirt in. Blend the ends of your chalk line into the existing seams prior to the cuff and base of the shirt.  If you are unsure of how much to take in, lay a shirt that fits as you would like this one to, and trace along that shirt's outline.

3. Cut along the lines you drew.

4. Lay the piece you cut out from the first side along the opposite edge to use as a guide to draw another chalk line.

5. Cut along the chalk line.

6. Pin the edges together, being sure to line up the cross seams at the armpit. Sew the new edges closed, blending into the existing seams at each end. I used a serger, but if you don't have a serger, a zig-zag stitch outside your first straight stitch will help prevent fraying.

Here it is all sewn up, but still inside out. It actually looks like a woman's shirt now!

Now I have a "new" shirt! 
Go thrift-store shopping or raid your hubby's closet and enjoy!

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  1. this is wonderful. I never thought of laying a shirt on top of it. brilliant! thanks for sharing at Totally Terrific Tuesday!
    Jess liverandomlysimple

  2. Nice idea to make women’s shirt by using a men’s shirt. I appreciate your work. Thanks for sharing this nice tip with us. I love this shirt!! We can make new and stylist types of apparels of old clothes. Shop the latest Italian women's shirts, blouses and many more from Dressspace. Keep posting like this.

  3. Awesome tutorial! Thanks for sharing this at the Stitch It, Blog It, Share It Link Party! I hope you'll join the party each Sunday night at 7pm and share more of your creative sewing projects.

  4. I'd love for you to link this up on my party Fiber Tuesday! http://melsquiltingroom.blogspot.com/2015/06/fiber-tuesday-15.html

  5. In all the years I have sewn, I never thought of using a piece of "regular" chalk!!! All those other markers that claim to mark on dark fabrics do not really work. So glad to see you photos, so I could take away this tip! I'm off to sharpen a piece of "regular" chalk and put it to use!!! Thanks. Cute shirt, too!!!

  6. guys what about the sleeve cuff???

    1. I didn't change the cuff in this alteration. I just made a smooth transition from the original seam above the cuff to the new seam.