How To Make A Shirt Smaller – Best Solutions For You

Suppose you are about to throw a shirt away or spend unnecessary money on a tailor because your favored shirt has loosened or you happened to buy an awesome shirt in the wrong size. In that case, you definitely should jump into this article right away before doing so. Here are all the best methods and steps to figure out How to make a shirt smaller.

How to make a shirt smaller

Let’s follow the instruction below to get the best results on tightening a shirt.

Method 1: Shrink the shirt

Step 1: Soak in hot water

  • Find out what type of fabric your shirt is. This is one of the initial steps to take because some fabrics shrink well and some don’t.
  • Prepare a pot of hot water or lukewarm water to soak your shirt in for about an hour or half an hour. The hot water will be contracted by the fabric and make your shirt shrink.

Note: The looser your shirt is, the higher in temperature the water is.

Soak in hot water / source: wikiHow

Step 2: Wash in hot water

  • Take your shirt out when you are sure that your shirt has soaked in a reasonable time. Then set your washing machine settings to the hottest water mode, and use the normal wash cycle to wash your shirt.

Note 1: If your shirt is in polyester fabric, you have to keep it away from hot water as it may get damaged easily.

Note 2: To protect the shirt from bleaching, you can use color-safe bleach.

Wash in hot water / source: wikiHow

Step 3: Dry on high heat

  • Suppose you have not satisfied enough with the shrinkage of your shirt, continue to proceed with step 3 – Dry on high heat.
  • Set the dryer machine settings to the hottest mode, then put your shirt in. Your shirt will shrink slightly thanks to the heat.

Note: What if you just want your shirt to become smaller a little bit? You can wash it in cool water before placing it in the dryer.

Dry on high heat / source: wikiHow

Method 2: Take in a shirt by cutting to figure out How to make a shirt smaller

Step 1: Make an old shirt into a pattern shirt

  • Pick an old shirt that is no longer in use yet fits well with the one you are about to make a change on. This will be used as the pattern shirt.
Pick an old shirt / source: wikiHow
  • Cut the sleeves out of the pattern shirt along the seams linking them with the shirt.
Cut the sleeves / source: wikiHow
  • Flat open the sleeves by cutting along the seams under them.
  • Cut along the seams of both sides of the shirt, but leave the shoulder seam and collar part intact.
Cut along the seams / source: wikiHow

Step 2: Proceed with the shirt that you are about to resize

  • Repeat all the cutting steps as with the pattern shirt: Remove the sleeves => Open the sleeves flat => Cut the side seams of the shirt.
Repeat all the cutting steps / source: wikiHow

Step 3: Lay out flat and cut the shirt smaller

  • Flatten the shirts out on the table.
  • Place the shirt you want to make smaller under the pattern shirt.
  • Fix the neck holes of two shirts in the same position.
  • Fix the pattern shirt to the going-to-resize shirt.
  • Cut outside the edge of the pattern shirt at around ½ inch (~1.27 cm) to make the new seam.
  • Cut outside the edge of the pattern shirt’s sleeves at around ½ inch to size.
  • Cut along the bottom of the larger shirt to your desired length.
Lay out flat and cut / source: wikiHow

Step 4: Pin and sew the sleeves to the shirt

  • Use straight pins to fix the sleeves to the shirt.
  • Use a serge or zigzag stitch to attach the sleeves to the shirt. Then connect the fabrics by the sewing machine.

Note: The thread’s color should be matched with the color of the shirt.

Pin the sleeves / source: wikiHow
Sew the sleeves / source: wikiHow

Step 5: Sew up the sides and bottom hem of the shirt

  • Turn the shirt inside out to make sure that the seams lie inside.
  • Use the sewing machine to sew the sleeves, then down along both sides of the shirt.
Sew the sides / source: wikiHow
  • Fold the bottom of the shirt around 1 inch or more, then use the sewing machine to make a hem at the bottom of the shirt.
Create a hem / source: wikiHow

Step 6: Use an iron to flatten the seams

  • Use an iron the press the seams. This will help the new seams be fixed in shape.
Press the seams / source: wikiHow

Method 3: Change the fit

With some simple techniques, you can easily get to know How to make a shirt smaller.

Use safety pins

  • Bunch the fabric at the back of the shirt together and pin them with safety pins inside the shirt to hide them.
  • Add a coat or blazer to cover up the pinned part of your shirt.
Use safety pins / source: wikiHow

Tie the back of the shirt into a knot

  • Bunch the fabric at the back of the shirt together
  • Twist them and tie a knot at the bottom of the bunched fabric.
Tie into a knot / source: wikiHow

Shorten the shirt

  • Cut off the bottom of the shirt to the short length as you wish.
  • Create a new hem after cutting or just leave it unhemmed.
  • Mix with a tank top or t-shirt to have a bold and modern outer look.
Cut off the bottom / source: wikiHow

Why do we have to make a shirt smaller?

  • A fit and high fashionable shirt will help boost your exterior appearance and confidence when communicating with others.
  • If you are into hitting the gym or need to do a lot of physical exercises, a fit shirt will relax your worn-out muscles and boost the process of recovering your muscles.

All the methods above are the perfect answer to the question of How to make a shirt smaller. I do believe that you will successfully resize your loved shirts by applying the techniques in this article. And you absolutely can repeat all the processes the second time to get the best result. Let me know if it works. To read more useful articles, go to