fixer upper: t-shirt edition

22 May 2012

I was in the mood to post something of substance today. Something of substance with very few photos that would undoubtedly touch the hearts of many. I think I probably hit the nail on the head with this super underwhelming alteration.

It might gross you out that I found this very worn t-shirt at Goodwill in the men's department. Or the men's section. It passed the sniff test as there was no lingering body odor and only faintly smelled of spicy cologne. Good enough for me.
It was size XL in case you missed my label. I thought it would be a lot bigger but I was happy to see that the neck wasn't huge or slidey and that it was probably one Thanksgiving meal away from fitting almost perfectly.

So here is what Julia and I did during the first half of Sebastian's nap before Julia snuck upstairs to wake him up by throwing a heavy object on his head (for! the! second! day! in! a! bleeping! row!)
1. folded the shirt in half lengthwise and cut off the hemmed part of the sleeves
2. cut out the chunk that I didn't want in order to make the sleeves shorter (not my own idea)
3. made Julia wear the unwanted chunk as a flattering headband
4. but seriously, throw the excess away so you don't accidentally reattach it to the shirt like an idiot

5. I hate pinning things and generally don't but I think this was an important step. I pinned the hemmed part of the sleeve back onto the shirt - right sides together. It was pretty painless and Julia only put one pin in her mouth during the process.
5a. not pictured - but I sewed the ends back onto the shirt -- taking the pins out in the process
6. I eyeballed how much smaller I wanted to make the shirt. Here is my shoddy tutorial. Here is a legit shirt slimming tutorial.
7. I cut off the excess material (in case you're blind)
8. Checked on Julia. I found her sulking about something. She was fine.

9. new imperfect cuff
10. totally naturally standing in the backyard like an idiot

And yes, that feeling you're experiencing right now is your heart being touched. Trust me.

I can't imagine that anything wasn't crystal clear but if you're confused, please let me know. Also -- please do this -- asap.


  1. I should be embarrassed that I am commenting a mere 10 minutes after you posted, but alas...cough I'm not. I just wanted to tell you how enthralled Jake was with this post. He can't read well enough to read your directions, but your pics were so crystal clear that he is sitting over here saying, "wait, I don't get it, she could just cut the sleeves and then make them look like new again?" Brilliant, Grace! Totally profesh!

  2. that 'before' isn't how t-shirts are supposed to fit women????

    I'm in so much trouble.

  3. I'm gonna echo Dwija here and say that all my t-shirts fit like a Sasquatch was the previous owner, so I'm totally confused.

  4. Seriously. What is going to finally convince you to move out here, and do all my Goodwill shopping, alterations, and photography for me?
    Free babysitting whenever you want it?
    A FNL re-viewing buddy?

    Done. Done. and Done. Just come help. I'm currently wearing jeans so old and unflattering that when I put them on, I actually could hear you cringing in my head (no, that's not creepy. Just move along and don't linger on the implications). I've paired it with a lovely geek-chic black t-shirt (men's of course) from the Boston Museum of Science emblazoned with the periodic table of elements.

    And that's just how I'm going to dress until someone smarter does it for me.

    1. "lovely geek-chic black t-shirt (men's of course) from the Boston Museum of Science emblazoned with the periodic table of elements"

      Ummm, amazing!!

      Why would you EVER want to change out of that??

  5. Yah. I dig. Confusing, but I get it. :-p

    I like the look on you too!


    Julia, oh Julia. Love her.

  6. So simple I can do this! Thanks!

  7. I would never have thought to pick up a simple t-shirt at goodwill...but I love this. Keeping my eyeballs open next time I go thrift shopping!

  8. whhyyyy are you so.dang.CUTE?? love the shirt!

  9. okay, you're just so funny. thought you should be reminded :) I especially like #10. and the shirt is cute on you!

  10. Seriously impressed! The after looks great, and I love your necklace too. I'm a little too scared of my sewing machine though so will probably stick to shelling out $10 for Target t-shirts...

  11. That's awesome! I'm totally into finding comfy worn giant t-shirts and turning them into razorback tanks because I'm sorta obsessed with razorback tanks right now. Lol! If I had a sewing machine I'd do more! Haha!

  12. you make this stuff look so easy!

  13. OK, cute sleeves, but that shirt is definitely an XL in a child's size!!

  14. Whenever you pull out the ol' sewing machine, it makes me feel like all is right with the world!

  15. Oh, my gosh, I think this is the first sewing tutorial that had me laughing from beginning to end.

    Now, if I could borrow your supermodel-like proportions, I'd sew stuff for myself more often. Gotta go do an exercise dvd.

  16. love it! where are your jeans from?? not that I can wear them with this preggo belly..but they are so cute!

  17. I am completely inept when it comes to sewing. And finding good things at Goodwill. So I will just live vicariously through you.......

  18. great job. i need to GO to goodwill. it would save me a LOT of money.

  19. That is awesome! I would have never ever thought to do this.



Camp Patton © All rights reserved · Theme by Blog Milk · Blogger