As much as I love hand-knits, I also love nerdy novelty t-shirts. The problem is that the best geeky shirts are only available in men’s sizes which are not at all flattering on my figure. Not even a little bit. So, I’ve done some research and have also ruined a few old tees trying to figure out the best way to convert a humongous man shirt into a flattering shapely woman’s tee. I’m getting it down into a process with a predictable outcome and I’ll soon be cutting into my prized shirts.
Here’s the process:
1) Select a giant man shirt that has room to spare in the hips and bust.
2) Take apart an old tee that fits you well but you won’t be so sad to see in pieces. Cut carefully along the seams of the sleeve cap and sides to preserve the shaping. Trace the shapes onto wrapping paper and give some room for seam allowances.
3) Use the pattern pieces and trace the shape onto your giant man tee. Don’t worry if the pattern covers the original arm seam. This llittle bit of seam will be hidden in the armpit of the finished product.
5) Turn inside out and stitch your side seams.
You can see that this conversion leaves a little bit of the original arm seam in the armpit.
And, I recently bought (yesterday) a serger to finish the side seams but you don’t have to use a serger. My regular machine worked just fine for this. I used a narrow zigzag stitch to leave a little stretch in the seams. Your machine might also have a mock coverstitch that you could use that would give some stretch.
6) Pin your sleeves to the sleeve hole with right sides together.
7) Stitch the sleeve in place.
8) Turn it right side out and try it on!
Much better fit!! Remember what it looked like before?
I’m still working out the best way to hem my newly fitted tees without a coverstitch machine. I’ve tried the twin needle and a loose bobbin thread but find it still pulls. I’m leaning towards a plain zigzag. It really ends up looking better than the puckered twin needle result.
Just be sure you pay attention to the placement of the artwork on the front of the shirt. I didn’t notice an off-set motif and ended up with words being eaten by the arm seam in one of my earlier conversion attempts. There’s not a consensus in my household on whether or not this shirt is now unwearable in public. It’s only missing a teeny corner of the “S”.
And, just to make sure there’s some actual knitting included in my knitting blog post, I’ve about reached the end of my 100g hank of yarn on my Hitchhiker shawl. The pattern calls for 150g but I’m not sure if I want to use another hank or if this is long enough. The Midnight Knitter had a great idea of using part of the second hank to extend the Hitchhiker but leaving enough for a pair of socks so the yarn doesn’t go to waste. I’m thinking that I may use her idea for this project.
I love that my shawl matches my Holland Handmade project bag! It wasn’t planned but the color-coordination makes me smile. 🙂
7 thoughts on “Sewing Knits Counts as Knitting, Right?! Converting Boxy Man Tee Into Feminine Cut Tee.”
Oh, yeah! Much better.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Ooh, I never though of trying this! Great instructions!
Awesome tut! I find most T’s are just too small in the arm unless you go up to woman’s sizes, and then they are too loose! I might try a Man’s size to see if the arms fit better.
This is a great idea! I wish I knew how to sew, or well, sew well. (Somehow, I never had the patience for it? Which sounds odd, considering the fact that knitting probably technically takes way more patience.) I have some shirts that could use this treatment for sure.
I stop myself very often from buying tshirts at concerts because they are huge on me, but I probably should try this too. Great idea!
I do that all of the time! I look horrible in boxy tops, kinda like a scarecrow… Good t-shirt choices!
LikeLiked by 1 person
You sew too? Yay!! 🙂 I wish I had thought about t-shirt conversion sooner. Although, sewing knits has always given me such trouble until I purchased the serger. I love that thing! My girls gave me all their novelty t-shirts yesterday and I altered over 20 of them! Fabric and thread were EVERYWHERE. But, so worth it! They are thrilled with the custom-fit tees.