Tuesday, November 24, 2015

T-Shirt Surgery

Two weeks ago, a friend invited us over to make custom t-shirts. I went to Joann's Fabrics and bought a slightly oversized shirt to make a specific Geek Girl Crafts log shirt. The shirt I chose was oversized shirt because they didn't have any in my size in grey; a color I thought would look good with our logo.

The shirt is too wide & long for me. I wanted my t-shirt to be a bit more fitted, shorter, and have a V-neck instead of the high crew neck.  A little bit of t-shirt surgery would make it fit.


First, I grabbed one of my existing t-shirts that I knew fit me fairly well. (I got that one from Tee Fury several months ago.) I turned the grey t-shirt inside out, and lined up the shoulders and general neckline.


I traced around my fitted shirt and pinned accordingly. I added an extra 1/2" seam allowance to the initial line that I drew, and basted along that new line.


NOTE!! Make sure to add that seam allowance BEFORE you sew, otherwise it'll be too tight!

I tried on my t-shirt to make sure that it fit first, before I did anything permanent (like cutting the fabric). For myself, I actually added a tiny bit extra seam allowance for a total of 5/8ths seam allowance for this t-shirt.

Once I liked how the t-shirt fit, I used my serger to sew an overlock stitch along my baste stitches. If you don't have a serger, your sewing machine should have a zig-zag stitch.  (Make sure that your sewing machine is set to the correct type of fabric -- in my case, knit jersey.)

Once you have sewn your new seam, cut off any excess fabric.


My trace line actually was shorter than my fitted shirt. I simply cut off the bottom of the shirt, used my serger for an overlock stitch (or you can use a zig-zag stitch) all around the bottom of the t-shirt and hem it.  I ended up cutting two inches of extra fabric from the bottom before hemming it with a straight stitch.


Here's the newly modded t-shirt next to my fitted shirt. It's a little bit bigger, but I'm okay with that.


The next thing I wanted to tackle was the neck. I found a good tutorial that walks you through creating a V-neck from a crew neck and re-using the ribbing band.

As a warning, Steps  8-10 are a bit fiddly. I suggest stopping at Step 8 from the edge and sew the band down by hand first.

But I really like the results!!