Aug 17, 2011

The 10 Step T-Shirt Modification: How To

What's your favorite shirt you've never worn? At events, you may be offered limited edition shirts from some of your favorite studios. Unfortunately, if you are a lady or a smaller dude - you will probably never get to wear many of them because they are frequently only available in large men's sizes. If you do wear men's XL, chances are you have too many free T-shirts already, and wish you had more schwag for your gamer friends back home. My friends at Remedy were kind enough to give me the smallest Alan Wake Dev Tee they had available at E3 in 2009.  I loved it, but it was way too big. My Xbox LIVE Avatar eventually got one that fit, yet I still had my prized shirt in the bottom of my suitcase.  I present to you the solution: The t-shirt "size mod" in 10 simple steps.

Supplies you will need: 
•Sharp Scissors 
•Straight Pins 
•Sewing Machine (or a lot of patience) 

You may also find these supplies helpful:
•Tape measure or Ruler

1. Try the shirt on. Get an idea of how much you will need to take in on the sides. Look for where the sleeves are attached; how far down does it sit on your shoulders?
2. Cut the sleeves. If the shoulder seam is a couple of inches down your arm, you can cut the sleeve right off and still have short sleeves. You can cut off a bit more than that for a simple sleeveless style
3. Mark the shirt for stitching. An easy way to make a pattern for your new shirt is to trace the outline of your favorite t-shirt onto the larger shirt, turned inside out. You can use chalk, or a pencil dragged across the cloth should make enough of a dent to use as a guide.
4. Pin the shirt. Once you decide how much fabric to ditch from the sides - put the straight pins in.
5. Sew it. With the shirt still inside-out and pinned, run it through the sewing machine just inside the pins you placed. You may want to use a zig-zag stitch, otherwise the thread may break when you pull the shirt on over your head. Err to the side of bigger, and take the pins out as you go if you think sewing inside them will make it too small.

6. Make width adjustments. Put the shirt on; if it's still too big, sew further inside your first seam.
7. Fix the sleeves. Pinch the fabric under your arms to see if you need to close the armholes up a bit as well, 2" sewn up from the side-seam you made should do it.
8. Fix the collar. Particularly if the shirt has a ribbed collar, go ahead and cut it off. Cut wider for a scoop neck opening.
9. Hem it. Cut the bottom of the shirt off to your desired length, you can always cut more off, so take it easy or you may make it too short. You can hem it, or leave the rough edge to curl over on itself.
10. Flaunt it. Turn the shirt right-side-out, admire your sexy self, and don't forget to post pictures of your handy-work!