Recently, I searched online for medical clothing needed after a rotator cuff surgery and noticed the cost of such alterations was in my opinion over priced. After gleaning a few items, I decided to give it my best DIY version that was less costly and worked just as well.
I bought three men's pocket tee shirts two sizes larger than I normally wear and with scissors in hand, cut through the neckline at top of the sleeve to the end of the sleeve on the side of the shoulder requiring surgery. This will open up the whole top right side of the shirt. In my photo, it is made for the right shoulder, but can also be done to the left.
Next, I measured a narrow width Velcro strip long enough to meet at the neckline and a half inch or so past the shoulder seam line. Align the coarse side of Velcro near the raw edge from the back top of neckline to approximately one half inch past the original shoulder seam to prevent it from unraveling. Pin in place.
Now, on the front sleeve panel of the tee shirt, slightly turn in raw edge pinning in place and align the softer Velcro strip to the inside of the shirt fold (enough for needle to go through that side to stop unraveling). Pin in place checking that both Velcro strips match up closely at both ends before sewing in place. The open sleeve remains open.
Sew the length of the Velcro strip all the way around the edge slowly, so it doesn't shift out of place while you pull each pin out that you come to and lock last stitches to prevent unraveling. It should have nice even straight line stitching when finished. It may take you approximately 20 minutes to complete this project.
*(Do not buy the sticky back Velcro because it bogs down the needle in your sewing machine and breaks the thread.)
*(It is important to make sure you always attach the coarse side of the Velcro to the back panel of tee shirt, while the soft side strip is on the front panel.) This allows you to pull the sleeve frontward instead of the opposite.
For most people after such surgery, you are home recuperating and don't feel like being in clothing that is uncomfortable. Tee shirts solve that rather easily and inexpensively. They require little care and guess what? When you wear an altered tee shirt to hospital the day of surgery and home, the nurses who help you dress to leave will be happy that you made it so easy to dress you and there's plenty of open sleeve room for the bulky shoulder brace you'll be wearing for up to eight weeks.
Gently pull the sleeve forward to remove the shirt and you can let it slide down your body and step out of it easily. It also is easy to put on with a little help and you don't have to move about the surgical site as the sleeve just slips up under the arm and over the shoulder fastening with gentle pressure.
Wear this altered tee shirt to your physical therapy because it helps them change your first/second dressings and aids in therapy treatments too when getting hooked up to their machines. The therapists love this tee shirt a lot because it makes their job easier too.
If you buy really loose Fruit of the Loom brand colored tee shirts in a package, they are usually longer and fit over the hips making it comfortable night wear and it can be worn around the house all day too. There's nothing more appreciative than to have comfortable clothing after surgery and it makes dressing/undressing easier and serves you well for medical staff visits for short term use at a very affordable price.
Should you require surgery on the opposite shoulder sometime in the future, you only need to add Velcro to the other side of the shirt and they can serve twice meeting your needs. If you do not have a washing machine at home for easy laundering, it is best to buy more than three tee shirts and make the alterations in advance, so they're ready to accommodate you. These tee shirts can be recycled by giving them to another who will have such a surgery by dropping them off at an orthopaedic's office and get distributed to patients.
Total Time: Twenty minutes
Yield: At least 3 maybe more
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Can I buy some from you????
Yes, you can buy them from me. There will be actual shipping costs attached to the price. How many would you like? What size is needed? What colors do you want? When do you need these shirts in hand? Do you have any particular brand name you want?
I would like 3 men's large any color and I need the right side done. I do not need them til Sept. So you have lots of time...thank you SO much. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. let me know what i owe you so I can send you money ahead and I will give you my address.
Also I am only 5ft 2in so everything is long on me!
Hi...I still need those shirts...My surgery will be this coming Oct...is it possible to order some from you???? I sent you my email and I'm willing to pay in advance if you let me know the amt...including postage to mail them to me....thanks so much for your time, Barb Grimshaw
I would be interested in purchasing from you also..how much for 3 ??im in indiana
My sister just had surgery last week. Thank you for the directions.
I THINK I understand & wish there were step-by-step photos
Since surgery is over and need something quick. Cut through the tee shirt from top of neckline and shoulder seam through the sleeve to the end. It will be completely open. Slip the tee shirt on and then with large safety pins, overlap the fabric and pin across the shoulder seam and pin an area catching the seam line of sleeve/shoulder to hold in place.
Thank you so much for this! My sister just had shoulder surgery last week.
This post is timed perfectly. I am facing rotator cuff surgery too, in about 3 weeks and have been trying to figure out exactly how to do what you did to the t-shirts. I am going to the local thrift store to see if I can find some over sized t shirts on the cheap to do this to.
Certainly good choice for women's apparel...please do buy dark clothing; less revealing. Also, something quite useful as undergarment is a stretchy pregnancy tummy band found at Walmart. A black one is great for use as an undergarment especially because it is comfortable and doesn't slip out of position providing support. Just pull it up and over "the girls" and is very discreet for doing therapy treatments. It will require additional helper to adjust in place though.
Many thanks. I have pulled out the sewing machine and am starting today as my yard is waayyy too wet to do a clean up. The band idea from Walmart is terrific! I will be looking for one this week! I have 3 Walmarts within a short drive so one is bound to have one. Thanks! I will keep you posted as I progress in this project. Kudos!
Love that you put this information out to share with others!!! Do you still take orders for these shirts? What is the general cost? I am interested in purchasing a few but need them by the 15th.
I'd like to purchase 3 xx large men's fruit of the loom in camo or medium to dark colors. How much would you charge for these? Thank you.
Looking for 3 3XL, prefer white t-shirt, but color okay. Right shoulder surgery on Jan. 17, 2019.
What would the cost be
My name is Meshelle and I'm having shoulder surgery (left side) on December 26, 2018. I wear a size small. How much will you charge for 3 shirts? My email is email@example.com.
Can i buy from you. 3. Black blue ?
Can I buy a couple of shirts as well my husband is having surgery tomorrow on his rt shoulder. He usually wears an XL
I have to have shoulder surgery January 19,2019 could I please get 4 shirts made for surgery on the right side, I wear xl so I guess I better get sixz 2x, I live in Louisiana, please let me know ASAP if you can and cost, shirts can all be dark colors, blue, green, grey, red, etc my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
I am looking for 2-3 shirts for right shoulder surgery 20 March. Would require size 2x or 3x. Color doesn't matter to me. Please contact me as soon as possible. Thank you!
How long would it take for you to make 3 shirts? Also, what would the cost be? I am waiting on workers compensation to approve my surgery.
I am having surgery April 3rd and I am needing 2 of these shirts. Can you make me 2. If so I want a 3XL. If you can do what is the price and what is the best way to get you payment.
Will you be able to do the shirt?
How much do you charge per shirt? My son goes in to surgery in two weeks.
I'm looking to get 2 or 3 for my son. He has surgery in 2 weeks. How much are they ? XL right shoulder.
I am having rotator cuff right arm surgery in June. I wear xl tee shirts. I have had double mastectomy so I also wear xl t tops under my shirts. I cannot deal with anything tight so I wear scoop neck and vneck shirts. Naturally I will be in the sling but I would like something possibly dressy enough for church and out to dinner etc. The fruit of the loom doesnt sound very attractive but I will do what I must. Can you help me. ? I need 4 tops. I wear a lot of black and white, and pink and green fyi. My address is email@example.com
And I would be happy if you could tell me how much you charge with shipping. I could send check in advance if necessary.
My husband is needing rotator cuff surgery
I dont sew but I think your idea here is awesome. The shirts I saw on line are very expensive
Do you sell your shirts
Do you still make the shirts? How much do you charge?
I really appreciate her instructions for post surgery shirts. I was planning on making adjustments to thrift store finds, but the inexpensive mens tee shirts sound great!
I love this I having shoulder surgery on the 8 this is a great idea.thank you I going to get them tomorrow and mAke them
My husband had surgery yesterday and I'm going to use your instructions. Thanks for posting them!
Am I correct, you dont add any Velcro to the sleeve? Do you cut the sleeve open?
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