Fitted Shirt Tutorial

You already know I love yard sales. And rummage sales, linen sales, fill-a-bag sales, etc.

There’s an issue I sometimes have with these clothes: they don’t fit.

Obviously when I’m shopping in a store, I try before I buy. But when I’m at a yard sale and there’s a great looking shirt in my size, I usually get it. And then sometimes I get home and realize there’s a fittage problem. Yes, I just made that word up. It’s cool.

Take this shirt for example:
big shirt before2

 I should probably mention, first of all, that I took these pics for you freshly showered with wet hair and zero makeup. Woot!

I got this at a fill-a-bag for $3 sale. I got 10 things in my bag, so I ended up paying 30 cents for this little shirt. It doesn’t look bad from the front, does it? But check this bad boy out:

big shirt before

Yikes. I tried not to pull too much at the shirt so you could tell it’s authentically baggy, not just me stretching it out. See that extra roll of fabric up there? Not good. So, I changed it. And here’s how you can do the same to any ill-fitting clothes in your {or somebody else’s} closet:

fitted shirt diy

Turn your baggy shirt inside out and lie it flat:

big shirt flat

Now, grab a shirt from your closet that fits you amazingly well, and place it on top in the center – making sure the top & neck match up with each other.

As you can see from this example, my fitted shirt is longer than the baggy one. No prob. As long as the top of the shirts are in the same place, we’re good.

fitted shirt on top

Grab a bunch of beautiful pins:


Select one lucky pin from the pile {resisting the urge to play pick up sticks with the rest of the pins}:


And pin the baggy shirt all along the line the fitted shirt creates:

pin shirt

After both sides of the fitted shirt are pinned, sew right along the pinned line on both sides of the shirt:

sew shirt

At this point, you can cut off the excess fabric or just leave it there. Mine isn’t too much, so I just left it on the shirt.

sewn shirt

And the finished product:


See how much better it is from the side? It actually fits instead of being all saggy-baggy-bleah:

fitted shirt

Oh, and just to rub in my good deals from this particular clothing in a bag sale, I also got this Banana Republic sweater for 30 cents. Bam. Love me some second hand steals!

shirt with sweater

So, do you have any shirts that need to be refashioned and refitted?

I promise…if I can do it, anyone can! Seriously, I am sooo not a seamstress. But this only took me 15 minutes {minus all the picture taking, of course}. I have used this method on a couple other shirts too {including one of my husband’s polos!}, all with fabulous results! Let me know if you try it out!






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  1. Christina says:

    Love the BR sweater too! 🙂

    I need to do this with some of my clothes. yes, some of them came from yardsales but some are just getting baggy on me cause I am getting smaller – yay!! 🙂

    thanks for the tip.

  2. Christa says:

    thanks, Christina! I’ve been blessed to find lots of fantastic clothes via yard sales and thrift shops. So thankful for this little trick that lets me get more wear out of them! 🙂

  3. Gwenda says:

    I am so glad I saw this linked on MoneySavingMom. I can so this to all the shirts I am shrinking out of. YEAH! I can look good until I hit my goal weight and do some shopping. 🙂


  4. Erika Hunt says:

    Now that I have lost 27 pounds I need to revamp some of my favorite tops and this is the best way for sure. As for sweaters, I can use a belt to deflate the extra on the sides if they are long enough. Thanks for the eaasy tips!

  5. Lynn says:

    I should do this with some t-shirts I bought at Target. They stretch out quickly and I can’t stand a baggy shirt. Thanks for the tutorial!!

  6. Amantha says:

    My husband does this to his own shirts all the time! Lol He has become obsessed with wearing pearl snap shirts so when we find good ones (wrangler is his choice) no matter the size as long as its bigger, we get it and he makes it work and you can never tell! He is awesome!

  7. Kristin says:

    I do this trick all the time now! I love that I don’t have to get rid of things that don’t fit– I can just alter them. I hope no one looks too closely at the seams because they’re not always perfectly even, but it works great for me. 🙂 Today I altered a sweater for the first time. It wasn’t nearly as difficult as I thought it would be!

  8. Janet says:

    How did you lose 27 pounds? It seems like pounds keep creeping up over the years. This year especially. It’ always someone’s birthday or a holiday, etc. If you have any helpful hints, please let me know. Thanks, Janet

  9. Marya says:

    Wow! Very cool…I also find really cute shirts at church and yard sales that end up being a bit big..thanks for the wonderful idea!

  10. PollyS says:

    I’ve lost 55 pounds since May. I started taking an herb called Gymnema Sylvestre after I read that it cuts your desire for sweets and assists in balancing blood sugar. One of the side effects is it makes your REALLY thirsty. I found myself drinking at least a gallon, many days more, of water. My husband and I also found that it cuts your appetite too. So between eating less and more water, the weight has just been falling off. I promise!
    Gymnema can be found at Amazon, Swansons (that’s where I got mine), Puritan’s Pride, etc. My friend bought hers at GNC.
    I take 2 400mg tabs twice a day.

  11. Yessel says:

    Hi Christa,
    I thought I’d let you know that I read this post a while back (like a long time ago) and you know those random thoughts that come into your mind sometimes, well I remembered your post and set out to fix a shirt I had that was a little too lose for me. I don’t have a sewing machine, so I did what I could by hand…and it worked. My shirt fits me way better and I’m glad I was encouraged to do it by your post. Thanks for sharing. Have a blessed day!

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