How to make a top from a large men’s t-shirt

I’ve been seeing a lot of cute refashion tutorials and ideas online and refashioning a t-shirt has been on my to-do list. Most of the tutorials involve some sort of ruffle or bow – which I quite like. Emma Pillsbury from Glee? LOVE her style. I figure if I can alter a cheap t-shirt it would save me money, fit me well, and I would like the style; which can sometimes be hard to find.

If you can’t find two cheap shirts to refashion, you can buy one large one and use the extra fabric to decorate. Men’s shirts at hellmart Wal-mart are $4; XXL and XXXL’s are just $5.

I bought a men’s shirt that was 4-5 sizes larger than my regular size, and planned to size it and use the extra fabric to fashion bows, ruffles, or a bib. Before I could decorate the shirt though, I had to make sure it fit me well enough that I could wear it in public. Here’s how I did it, and instructions for you to do the same.

How to make a shirt from an over-sized men’s t-shirt:

Materials and equipment:

Oversized t-shirt – washed and dried
Fabric scissors
Sewing machine and bobbins
Thread that matches shirt
Sewing needle
Cute buttons


Step 1: Find a shirt that has a similar stretch to the one you bought and fits you well and align the shirts from the shoulder seams.

Step 2 – trace shirt with a fabric pencil, tracing the arm holes but not the sleeves

Step 3 – Cut outside of the lines – for seam allowance (only the sides and arm holes, and bottom of shirt – don’t cut the top and collar!)

Step 4 – sew up sides of shirt. Try it on and adjust fit until desirable

Step 5 – cut out sleeves

Step 6 – measure the size of your arm holes. The inner part of the sleeve, should be the same size.

Step 7 – Sew your sleeves. Turn the sleeves right-side out and tuck into inside out shirt. Line up the bottom and top of sleeve with bottom and top of arm hole and pin.

Step 8 – Sew sleeves. If sleeve is bigger than arm hole, you can gather it at the top, to make it a “puff” sleeve. If sleeve is smaller than arm hole, you can take in the side of the shirt, the bottom of the arm hole, as long as it fits.

Step 9 – Hem sleeves and bottom of your shirt.

Now your over-sized shirt should fit you perfectly!

Click HERE for how to refashion your shirt with ruffles!


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