Altering Men's T-shirts for a Woman

My son had a large tee shirt he no longer wanted. I wanted to wear the shirt but it was way too big for me so I shortened the hem then rolled up the sleeves and did a fold over of about 1 1/2 inches on the shoulder seam. Once tacked in place I added two contrasting buttons. Now it fits and looks good with jeans.


By NoRulesArt from Sunny FL

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June 6, 2009

I travel and buy a lot of t-shirts. Most are men's. Is there any way to shorten them a bit and make them look a little more feminine? I can fix the neck and sleeves.

By Judy from San Jose, CA


June 6, 20090 found this helpful

Just cut them off & re hem, good luck.

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June 6, 20090 found this helpful

If you cut off the existing hem the bottom will stretch sideways. I learned that with something I was making for my granddaughter.
You could, however, put some lace trim around the bottom and leave it long. I also took the paisley print from the edge of a bandana and made trim for the sleeves. Machine stitch to the wrong side, then turn it to the outside and top stitch it in place. You can hand stitch the opening at the underarm seam.

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June 6, 20090 found this helpful

Find a nice fitting shirt of yours, turn it inside out, pin it to the mens shirt, trace ( add seam allowance ) and cut... sew. :)!

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June 6, 20090 found this helpful

Even the women's t-shirts that I buy are too long for me, so I cut them off and hem them by machine. I don't bother doing the double row of stitching like they come with, but I figure if anybody that is close enough to you and low enough to notice that, they deserve to find something wrong. Myself I prefer to buy mens t-shirts because they come with crew necks which happen to fit me better than the necklines on women's t-shirts the last few years.

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June 7, 20090 found this helpful

I have cut the neck and sleeves in strips about 1\2 inch wide maybe a little more, and pushed beads on the end, sometimes using a small crochet hook and tie a knot to secure. Looked real cute.

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June 11, 20090 found this helpful

Instead of sewing the new hem length, I've used the iron on web made for hems. It gives a flat finished look, but doesn't stretch much.

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June 12, 20090 found this helpful

I cut them off, don't hem and the bottom will roll up which for me looks just fine. You can buy shirts that have this rolled hem. Since the hem rolls, you can not tell that they are not hemed. You may have to wash them once after you cut them off for the hem to roll. I have only found one or two that will not roll. Most of them roll great. I always have trouble with my t-shirts being too long and this is quick, easy and looks great.

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June 12, 20090 found this helpful

You can get lots of ideas for projects like this on and (I think they are both ".com" but otherwise ".org"). I would try "altered shirts" in their search windows. good luck

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July 13, 20090 found this helpful

Here are 6 things i do to make men's t-shirts beautiful:

1) Shorten them: lay your T-shirt flat then fold it in half (with the sleeves on top of each other matching up exactly). Next, cut the bottom 4 inches or more off of the hem & 2 or 3 inches off of the bottom of the sleeves (leaving half an inch for hem allowance)... Now just zig-zag your hem. Knits don't fray, so you don't need to fold the hem up more than once. Just fold it over about half an inch then iron, then zig-zag. (zig on the hem & zag on the shirt). This way it won't roll up.

2) Add lace: Add stretchy lace to the neck. Simply cut off the original neck banding just under the under-stitching. then put the right side of lace to the right side of the neck together & sew in stretchy-lace or lightweight hemming lace then fold it back & iron then topstitch so it stays up. You can also sew matching lace to the sleeves for a wonderful look!

3) Tighten: Hem up the sides of the shirt an inch or 2 to make the shirt tighter & more form fitting. Make the waist a bit tighter than the hips & bust

4) Darts: Sew 2 matching horizontal darts up the front in the waist area (starting at the bust & ending about 2 inches below the waist). Make a pleat where they start & stop. Mirror the pleat on the other dart. You can also do this in the back if the shirt is extra wide.

5) Gathering neckline: You can cut off the neck banding then fold it over & put a draw string or thin elastic into the neckline for a "peasant shirt" look. This could also be done to the sleeves for a VERY cute look!

6) Smocking: Put bobbin elastic into your machine & smock the bust or waist area.

7) Drawstring waist: Sew bias tape around the inside of the waist area, then thread elastic or a drawstring to cinch the waist in.

8) Applique': Cut out simple shapes in calico then put interfacing behind the T-shirt & zig-zag around the calico shapes to make wonderful appliqués You can also do Reverse Appliqué by sewing the designs behind (& inside) the T-shirt fabric then cutting out the T-shirt fabric (like a peel-a-boo), leaving only 1/4 inch of fabric around the edges. This way you'll see the design fabric under the T-shirt knit.

8) Dying: Change a white T-shirt to bright Pink or dusty Blue with dye for fun!

9) Cut fringe: First cut the hem off then fold T-shirt in half & Cut the bottom of the shirt to a "V" shape with the longer part towards the middle. now lay the shirt flat & mark the area to cut to with a ruler & a piece of yellow chalk. Now cut strips of fringe about half an inch apart.

10) Decorate: Add buttons around the neckline. OR, with glue add rhinestones or puff paint, embroidery, sequins or my 2 top favorites: Crochet lace trim around the neck & sleeves or adding braided or colorful TRIM to the sleeves, hem & neckline!

11) Silk ribbon flowers: For the most elegant of ideas, make silk ribbon flowers & bows & add these to your T-shirt. You can sew them on to crinoline then attach the crinoline to the T-shirt with snaps for easy laundering.

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October 14, 2013

I am not a straight line, I'm a curvy person. The men's medium tees always fit my top area, but when I get down to the hip and stomach area they are too tight. How can I make the shirt more feminine looking and have it fit my stomach area better?

By Linda


March 2, 20150 found this helpful

Shorten the length; either cut up the side seams and hem them or create a gathered flounce around the bottom.

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