06 March 2012

How to Tuesdays // Reshape an oversized t-shirt

This is probably one of my most favourite t-shirts ever. Why? Because my lovely, handsome Jim bought it for me. He made a print that shows a private joke between the two of us (if anybody watches Archer you'll probably get it) but it was ordered on line and some, er, mistakes were made with it. After showing him the photo in the frumpy 'before' section he apologized repeatedly claiming that it looked like 'a t-shirt that you hide in the back of your closet and only keep for sentimental value' and swore to get a new present. I refused to let him and promised I would wear it because the silly thing made me smile :)

So here's what I did with it...

1. Cut around the neckline. Be sure not to go too far as this is what stops your shirt from falling off your shoulders and exposing too much in public. Start small and only cut an inch or so, then try it on. Make sure it won't fall off before cutting more if you want.
2. You should end up with a scooped neckline. This will already be far more flattering than the previous neck.
3. For the v neck at the back, cut downwards and stop at the center. Remember not to go too far at this stage also.
4. Now cut upward from the center of the V. Cutting down first and then up will increase your chances of it being even.

And now for the slits...

1. Fold your shirt in half so that the crease is down the center of what is normally the front and back.
2. Start your first slit where ever you would like. I wanted mine to run the whole way down my back so I started close to the v neck at the back. I cut them close to the armpit, but they don't need to be this long.
3. I measured 3 fingers in between every slit.
4. Continue the slits down as far as you would like.

And here is what you will end up with:

and this is what it will look like...

The slits look great, but the t-shirt will still be baggy. If you want to tighten it around the waist and add a design I would suggest laddering. Here's what you do...

1. Take the piece of material from where ever you would like to start... first, second or third slit. It's up to you, try a few and see what looks best. 
2.Put it over the piece underneath it.
3 + 4. Now take the piece that was originally underneath and loop that on top.
5. Repeat. Take the piece that is next in line and is now underneath and loop it over and on top.
6. Continue this the whole way down the shirt.
7. Start over again in the middle and create two or three lines of this. Don't worry if it looks and feels tight, it will stretch out when you wear it.

The result will be something like this (I started at the very top slits)...

You can cut the end loop and knot or stitch it to keep it permanent.... I, however, didn't as some days I like to wear the laddering, but when I feel like just the slits I unravel it and wear it as is.

I'm glad I kept this shirt and promised to wear it, regardless of how frumpy it was. Making that promise made me do something about re-shaping it. I get to keep the silly little shirt that made me smile and I like how it looks now. Win, win :)

Aoife x


  1. Love it! Have a few I could do this to.

  2. I have so many oversized "high neck" t shirts that I love and bought for sentimental value but don't really look right on me - definitely taking the plunge and trying to change to neckline myself!

  3. Awwwww yeahhhhh :D

  4. This is such a wonderful DIY. Not only will we be able to save an old over sized shirt, but we can create and design something of our own as well! :-) Thanks for sharing this project!