Feathers Flights // Sewing Blog: "Smallerize" X-Large Shirt Tutorial


"Smallerize" X-Large Shirt Tutorial

I got two really big shirts from a sale. The fabric was too cute to pass up. In this post I'll show you how to make a big shirt fit you. The neckline should be where you want it. I didn't change my neckline at all on my shirt.
You need a really large shirt and a shirt that fits you exactly how you like it. This is an attempted before picture. It was big.
Here's my shirt that fits me well. It's important to make sure it hits your shoulder where you want it because that's the part we'll be using.
Put the large shirt on over your "fitted well" shirt. Make sure it's width is equally on both sides of you. Mark on the large shirt where the seam between the sleeve and the shoulder is. (My finger is the seam, my thumb is showing you that my other shirt is underneath.)
After marking cut the sleeves off.
I left the serging on the sleeves to your for seam allowance.
Lay the "fitted well" shirt over the large shirt and mark where you want the finished seams to be.
Mark where the new sleeve seam will be.
It should flow into the shoulder seam that's already marked.
Turn the shirt inside out and mark where the pins are. Can you see the pin between my fingers. Remember that this mark is the finished seam line.
Mark a line and pin. It's hard to see, but I did mark with white Tailor's Chalk. (I only use white!)

Since this is a knit shirt, you have to sew with a stretch stitch. I sewed with a stitch my machine has. You can also sew with a zigzag or any other stretch stitch you like to use.
This is what my stretch stitch looks like. #8It goes forward three stitches on the right, then jumps back to the left and goes forward three more stitches. It looks like a straight stitch from the outside but stretches on the inside.
After sewing try it on to see if you like the fit. It it's good, then trim out the inside (the edge doesn't need to be finished because it's a knit). Then sew the sleeves on at the new seam line you marked. You might need to take the sleeve in a little to fit the new line. Trim out this seam and then you're done!
A new shirt!

Here's the other one I did.


  1. Wow, Heather. Nice job. You could take in people's shirts for a living.

  2. I like it. Simple, and easy. And if you find a shirt you like, but too big, you can fix it. Or if you find a shirt you like and it is too short, get a bigger one, and re do it so the length is right.
    Thanks for the info!

  3. Thanks Heather! I have some big shirts laying around that I didnt know how to fix :)

  4. Nice job! I may need this tutorial when I lose my 52 in 52! lol

  5. Hey - I am certainly glad to find this. cool job!


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