We’ve all run into that problem before. Ordered a t-shirt that wasn’t the right fit, was the wrong size or simply just didn’t look right. A lot of online retailers sell men’s fits or unisex fits (guilty as charged, but I’ve since learned from my mistakes!) for girls as well as guys and quite frankly, us girls are getting the shaft.
We want a nice fitting shirt just like the next guy. Sure it can have the same design as the guys styles you’re selling but we want to buy something that we’ll always wear. Something that’ll look ultra cute with leggings, jeans or shorts. Something that’ll become a “go-to” shirt for us.
Being an owner of a clothing business has it’s perks. I get a lot of free stuff from fellow brand owners and the additional perk of being a blogger for Hide Your Arms allows for even more free items for the purpose of doing reviews. Hey, I’m not complaining AT ALL, I love me some free clothes especially from brands maybe I haven’t even heard of. But the downfall is as I mentioned, sometimes the tees just aren’t the right fit. It doesn’t mean it’s not a good, quality tee though. It just means it’s one you’re going to have to tweak a bit to make it work – and a little hands-on work never killed anyone! Having worked as a wardrobe stylist for years after college, you learn that sometimes all you need is to be creative with an outfit. Maybe dress it up with some accessories or a good pair of shoes, perhaps even a belt. That’s where a stylist’s talent comes in. Not every person can envision how to transform an outfit. A lot of people won’t even buy an item because of how it looks on a hanger. You shouldn’t let these things stop you from picking out some awesome finds at a store; that’s why stores have dressing rooms and better yet RETURN POLICIES!! So let me share with you some tips on what you can easily do at home to some of those tees you’re just dying to wear but couldn’t figure out how to, until now…
Find a tee that you LOVE but never wear. Maybe it’s too big or small for that matter. Maybe it’s not a girl’s fit t-shirt and is unisex or men’s so it just doesn’t look right on you. I’m taking our very own STALKER – Winky Boo t-shirt. We’ve printed these on a unisex fitting American Apparel t-shirt. I love the color and the design of this tee (I should right, I mean I’m the one who produced it) BUT I didn’t think many girl’s would purchase so I went ahead and did a unisex fit that way either way men & women could have it but I wouldn’t be left with a lot of extra stock! (oh the ins and outs of being a clothing business owner!)
So here’s the starting point. I had purchased myself a Stalker in size small when we got them in. Sure it fit me pretty nicely BUT for some reason for a girl (and a stylish one at that) there just was something missing about the style of this tee from a woman’s point of view. I needed something a little more “hip” than just a simple t-shirt to be able to rock this with a cute outfit. So I grabbed my scissors and started chopping away..
I had a few options where I could take this. Turn it into an adorable summer tank? Do my go-to option which is a nice off the shoulder cut? No! I needed a little bit more!
Go ahead and lay your shirt flat out on the floor or a table or other flat surface. The floor always works easiest for me. Make sure your shirt is completely FLAT with no wrinkles and all seams lined up. Get your scissors and a measuring tape or ruler.
DECIDE the style you are going for. Once you make that selection, the rest is cake! My decision for this tee is to transform this tee into an off the shoulder cropped top! (I bet you’re thinking, how the *bleep* she gonna do that?)
Take your ruler or measuring tape and at the bottom of the shirt measure up towards the neckline 2 – 3 1/2 inches (this measurement varies depending on how short you want your cropped top). I like my cropped tees to be short enough for when I lift my arms over my head you can see my stomach but long enough that it doesn’t look strange wearing with shorts. Obviously if you want the shirt shorter or longer you can switch this measurement. I’m used to doing this so I eyeball it without measuring tape and go up approx. 2 1/2 inches.
Take your measuring tape to the point you measured to the neckline and lay it across the bottom of the shirt horizontal from side to side making a straight line. You are now going to cut the bottom of your shirt off. Don’t panic!! Once again I usually eyeball it because I’ve done this for years but if you’re good at cutting in a straight line then just line of your measuring tape and starting trimming. Be sure to pull your shirt taught as you cut so you don’t get snagged . If you are NOT good at cutting a straight line take a piece of chalk (ya, like you all have chalk lying around) OR a light colored crayon or colored pencil. No markers please!! Take your drawing utensil (see what I did there lol) and draw a line along your measuring tape from side to side. Now take your scissors and cut on the straight line.
This photo is not mine, but demonstrates how to cut the bottom seam!
Congrats!! You are now almost done with your brand new tee! Now go to the top of the tee where the neckline is. Measure in from the shoulder seam 2 inches. Start wider and you can always adjust later. I’ve made the mistake before of chopping the neck too wide and now my off 1 shoulder tee turned into an off 2 shoulders tee with basically leaves you with no shirt at all!!
So measure in 2 inches (the larger the shirt, add +1 inch) – this is because larger shirts obviously have larger necklines and you need to adjust to the size. Remember I’m working with a small unisex shirt so adjust your measurements accordingly to what I’ve mentioned above. Mark your measurements again with your pencil vertically. Now from shoulder to shoulder in a half moon shape you are going to cut.
This photo is not mine but demonstrates how to cut the neckline!
TIPS: The smaller you make the half moon the first time the better. You can always go back and cut it wider and/or deeper.
Start cutting from the right shoulder seam marker downward in a half-moon shape around the collar towards the other shoulder seam marker. You’ve now cut off the collar of your shirt.
Put the shirt on and see how much more you need to alter. Is the bottom short enough to your liking or do you want an under the boob cropped top?! If it’s too long then take the shirt off and make your adjustments trimming it up another inch or 2. While the shirt is on, check the neckline. Does it hang off your shoulder to your liking or does it just look like a deep u-neck? If it just looks like a deep u-neck that simply means you need to adjust your measurements as I mentioned above.
Make all your adjustments then try your shirt back on. Does it fit to your liking?!
Congratulations – you’ve just transformed your old “sitting in the back of the closet tee” to your #1 go-to Summer tee!!
NOTE: I did not chop mine too short on the bottom because I didn’t want to chop the design off. Usually I’d cut it shorter but either way, naturally when you cut fabric it curls upward afterwards and once cut it will shrink up after the first wash. I have not washed it yet after altering so I may need to do some touch-ups after it’s washed!
TIPS: Below are some photos of cropped tops. I do not own the rights to these photos. Use them as a guide to how you want your cropped off the shoulder top to look. Play with a few older tees first so you feel comfortable and try out a few different styles. Have fun with it and be sure to go to our FACEBOOK page and post your photos of your new tees you created!!
I’ll be back next time with how to make a t-shirt into a custom tank!! If you have questions don’t hesitate to leave them below in the comment section and I’ll help you out with whatever you may need =)
And REMEMBER – Winky Boo offers custom cuts on select tees at no extra charge. Want us to do your custom cut for you, we can!! All our tees are still on sale as well as all our swimwear!! Use “BEACH” at checkout for $5.00 off your entire purchase!
Back to vacation I go…Cheers!! – Amy