How come the clothes you want to shrink never do, while your favorite sweat pants that fit just right shrink to smithereens every time they hit the dryer? (I swear it’s the dryer that shrinks them, and it has nothing to do with the 8 pounds of sour gummy worms I consumed this summer.)
I recently ordered a too big t-shirt off the Internet because I really wanted it and they didn’t have it in my size. I naively thought it’s 100% cotton-ness would be no match for my dryer. Clearly I was wrong. It was still way too big after the standard hot water wash and high heat dryer treatment. So, I took to the Internet to figure out how to resize a t-shirt.
The solution I found: Boil It
It was worth a try. I have to admit it felt a little odd stuffing my shirt into a pot of boiling water, but it seems logical that the super hot water would do the trick, right? Wrong. After 15 minutes on the stove and another trip to the dryer, the shirt was the same size as when I started.
It was time for drastic measures.
It was time to bust out my sewing machine. [insert ominous music here]
I’m not going to lie, I was kind of scared to put my brand new, and now very clean, shirt under the needle. It was especially risky since my sewing repertoire only includes a few things since the pencil pillow I made in 7th grade home ec class, but I figured it was worth a shot.
How to Resize a T-Shirt 101:
I turned the shirt inside out and used a ruler and pen to mark and draw a line that followed the original seam of the shirt. I continued the line all the way up through the sleeve. I then pinned the shirt together and took to the sewing machine.
Since I don’t have a serger or anything fancy like that, I just used a standard zig zag stitch. I sewed right on top of the line I had drawn and made two passes for extra durability.
After I was done sewing, I cut away the excess fabric (trust me, I was really nervous about this part since stitches can be removed, but cutting is kinda permanent). I cut just slightly outside the stitching.
Ta da! When I turned the shirt right side out, everything looked good. Phew!
The real test was putting it on. Luckily, it all worked out. I love it! Best of all, I’m much more likely to wear it now that it’s the right size. In fact, I may or may not be wearing it right now.
And now for the irony:
I washed this shirt in cold water after I resized it. It shrunk. Of course.