How to Make a Big T-Shirt Smaller Without Sewing

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Every person is made in a different shape and size. Some people are tall and thin, short and wide or somewhere in between. When clothing is worn, it is probable that it will not fit everyone the same way. Altering the article to fit correctly would be an ideal solution, but is a tough task to accomplish if you have no sewing skills. With a little creativity and an open mind, there are several ways to make a big T-shirt smaller without sewing.

Things You'll Need

  • Color-safe bleach
  • Iron with “Steam” setting
  • Scissors
  • Long Ribbon or String

Shrink the T-Shirt

Step 1

Determine the type of fabric your T-shirt is made of. Some fabrics shrink better than others. Cotton and linen are two T-shirt fabrics that shrink well, while polyester, nylon, lycra and spandex to not shrink well. Shrinking may not work if the T-shirt has been washed before.

Step 2

Wash the T-shirt in hot water. Use a color-safe bleach to protect the clothing from bleeding in the future. The hot water will make the fabric shrink.

Step 3

Dry the T-shirt in the dryer on the hottest setting. Stop the dryer occasionally to check the size of the T-shirt to ensure your shirt does not shrink too much.

Step 4

Iron the T-shirt with a hot steam iron if additional shrinking is needed.

Tie the T-Shirt

Step 1

Tie back the T-shirt using a ribbon. This will help reduce the large size around the waist of the shirt, making it appear as a fitted T-shirt.

Step 2

Locate the place on the shirt where the size needs to be reduced the most. It could be tied back right at the waist, or higher, under the chest.

Step 3

Poke two small holes in the shirt, one on each side. The holes should line up at the same height and be directly across from one another on each of your sides.

Step 4

Slide one end of a ribbon into one of the holes. The ribbon should be hanging down inside your shirt and one end will remain out.

Step 5

String the ribbon inside your shirt around your back and to the inside of the second hole. Push the end of the ribbon through the hole.

Step 6

Pull the ends so that there is an even amount of ribbon sticking out from each side of the T-shirt. Tie the ends together behind your back, pulling the shirt tight in the front.

Cut the T-Shirt

Step 1

Use a pair of scissors to cut off the sleeves of the T-Shirt. Cut a “V” shape in the neck of the T-shirt. Cut the “V” neck through both layers of the T-shirt.

Step 2

Turn the shirt front-side down and lay it on a flat surface. Start cutting in the point of the “V” down towards the bottom of the garment until the back is cut completely in half.

Step 3

Make two horizontal cuts in the back of the T-shirt to create ties. The first cut should be just below the shoulders. Make the second cut at the lower back. If the T-shirt is short, simply divide the second, uncut half of material in half and make the cut at this point instead.

Step 4

Put the T-shirt on. You may need help tying the shirt the first time, or you can tie it first and adjust the knots as needed. Gather the top left and top right chunks of fabric and pull them tight. Tie them together in a knot. Repeat the ties with the middle and bottom chunks as well.

Step 5

Adjust the knots as needed.

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