T-shirts are made to fit as many people as possible, which means they don’t typically fit anyone very well. There are ways to alter T-shirts simply by cutting, without the need to sew. It’s important to decide how the shirt should look before the first cut is made, because once material is removed it can’t be added back.
Things You'll Need
Use the chalk, pen or marker to draw a cut which removes the neck hole and allows the shirt to hang off one shoulder.
Make a cut with the scissors across the neck and ending at the shoulder. This should remove the very top of the shirt and leave the neck wide. Err on the side of cutting less of the shirt.
Try the shirt on to see how it hangs. Make adjustments as necessary.
Lay the T-shirt on its side with the seam in the middle and the sleeve positioned at the top. In this style, a series of ties is cut into one or both sides, which narrows the width of the shirt.
Draw a series of horizontal cuts, moving up the seam from the bottom to under the sleeve. Leave an inch to 1 1/2 inches between each cut. The cuts should be 1 to 2 inches long or longer depending on how tight the shirt should be and how much material is left to tie.
Cut straight up through the middle of each of the slits placed into the side of the shirt. Instead of a series of strips cut in the side of the shirt, there should now be a series of two strips.
Tie the strips back together. Bows can be tied if there is enough fabric.
Repeat the process on the other side of the shirt.
Try the shirt on to see how it fits. Untie the strips and lengthen the cuts as needed to form the side of the shirt to the body.
Use the chalk, pen or marker to map out cuts removing the neck and the sleeves from the shirt. This cut creates a tank top that straps on the back without any sewing.
Turn the shirt over and plan out the straps on the back. Place two straps on either side of the back of the neck to tie at the top and one or two (or three) sets of straps to tie the back together.
Use the scissors to cut away at the neck and the sleeves at the front and create the straps in the back.
Try the shirt on to see how it fits and make adjustments as needed for form and style.
References and ResourcesHide Your Arms: How to customise & recycle your old T-shirts
Cut Out and Keep: T-shirt Recon!
Cut Out and Keep: No Sew Tank Top