Sunday, April 1, 2001

Techniques: Remaking a Man's Tee for Your Female Shape



How many bad-fitting men's tees like this do you have in YOUR dresser drawers?? (No comments please about the groovey PJ pants!)

It's time to remake them into something a little more flattering on a woman's body

If you have a choice, buy the men's tee 2-3 sizes larger than you would wear. This gives you some wiggle room for placing the front pictures, etc.

First, cut apart the tee.

1. Cut off the sleeves at the seam attaching them to the tee. Cut apart the underarm seam so the sleeve lays flat. Keep the sleeve hem intact for later.

2. Cut the sides of the tee where sideseams would be.

3. Cut off the neckband. Save for another project or toss it.

4. Cut apart the shoulder seams.

When you're done cutting, you should have 5 pieces which look similar to this:



Next, fold the front of the tee in half vertically and lay your front pattern piece on the fold, and cut.





You may need to redraw or reshape the pattern neckline if the tee's original front picture/design is in the way. Since all logo tees are different, this step may take a bit of fiddling to get both the best picture placement and pattern placement where the fabric is.

My original pattern neckline is shown in pink in the photo to the right. In order to be able to include all of the tee's front design, I had to cut this neckline as shown by the blue line. Don't forget to include seam allowances if you're planning to turn the neckline under. I bound my neckline so my tee remake was cut without neckline seam allowances.



What helps to make the remakes more flattering — besides the overall better fit — are (1) the lower neckline, (2) the shaped sideseams, and (3) the shaped hemline. All of these features can easily be incorporated into the tee pattern you use for the remake.

Next, fold the back of the tee in half vertically and place the back pattern piece on the fold and cut.





I like shortcuts whenever they make the most sense. So, I lay my sleeve pattern on the tee sleeve pieces so that I can keep the hems. If your sleeve pieces allow enough room for you to do this, don't pass up the opportunity to save the step of hemming later!

(Those yellow and pink tabs you see are stickers I use to mark the front and back of the sleeve piece.)





Sew your "new" tee pieces together as instructed by your pattern, or using your favorite method.

Here's a close-up of my bound neckline, applied using my coverstitch machine.



Below are more football tees I've remade.

Before:



After:



Comparison:



Another After:



Another After:



Before/Comparison:



After/Comparison:



Back, After:

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

First thank you for sharing.
Next this is not meant to be critical just trying to learn.
The tshirts after look malformed the shoulders are so narrow. I'm not sure the after looks better except that it is shorter.
However, the last one of the photos looks like it fits how I would have in mind. (and looks nice on you)
Would it balance out better if the sleeves were not quite so short and not cut in quite so far.
On the "rack" this tshirt would not be all that attractive.
Again thanks so much for sharing and trying to learn not be critical.

Debbie Cook said...

I'm not looking for "on the rack" appeal. I want to WEAR my tees, not look at them on hangers, so I want a tee shirt that fits ME, with my narrow shoulders and all. I prefer high-cut armholes on tees and sleeves that length, so this is what is comfortable for ME. Because I sew, I can choose those things that I want and discard what I don't. Since your preferences are different than mine, your choices would be different. But we'd both end up with something we like. :-)

carol said...

What size and type of binder attachment did you use for the perfect neckline??

Debbie Cook said...

For the tees in this post I used a 3/8" binder. Some were single-fold, others double-fold.

Judy said...

What pattern did you use for your "new" tee? I find that even when I have a men's shirt that's 2 sizes larger than I wear, I still don't have enough fabric on the body piece right up under my arms (wish I could draw you a picture; hope you understand what I mean). I've tried piecing right there, but even though it makes a comfortable, attractive fit on me, the piecing is not real pretty if I lift my arms up. Any suggestions?

Debbie Cook said...

Judy, the pattern shown in this posting is a custom pattern created with Pattern Master Boutique curves. I also use my TNT from Ottobre Woman (02/2007).

Dee said...

is there a facing on the bottom of this t shirt? If not how did you create the hemline?

Dee said...

I forgot to say that I LOVE your blog. You have become an inspiration for me to start getting in shape and to stop wearing the limited wadrobe that RTW has to offer. I am going to start sewing again so that I can wear the clothes that I want to wear in the colors and patterns that I love. Thanks for taking the time to write this blog. I can't imagine all of the hard work that you have had to do in order to make this info available to us.

Dee said...

I forgot to say that I LOVE your blog. You have become an inspiration for me to start getting in shape and to stop wearing the limited wadrobe that RTW has to offer. I am going to start sewing again so that I can wear the clothes that I want to wear in the colors and patterns that I love. Thanks for taking the time to write this blog. I can't imagine all of the hard work that you have had to do in order to make this info available to us.

Brig said...

That's a great idea ! Many thanks !
I love your blog !