Two More T-Shirts

19 Nov
T-Shirt Front View

T-Shirt Front View (click to zoom)

Guess what? I finally made a t-shirt that fits. This is the last t-shirt from my project to resize Large shirts to Small shirts. Except for some small folds near the shoulder/chest (which I will explain below) it looks good to me.

Blue T-Shirt

Blue T-Shirt

I also made this blue t-shirt, but the fit here is too loose for my taste. For this blue shirt, the pattern is (if I recall correctly) one inch narrower than my brown t-shirt. However, for the black t-shirt, I really went crazy and took off 2 inches from each side for a total of 4 inches narrower in the front and 4 inches narrower in the back. That was definitely a good idea because the black one looks much better in my opinion.

Now I think I have come up with a good sloper pattern for a knit shirt. Too bad it is too cold to wear it today.

Weird neck folds

Weird neck folds

Here is my theory of why all these shirts have folds in the shoulder/chest area. I took the photo above while I was cutting this “Medium” shirt down to size. The front side is on the right. Although the fabric is totally flat, you can see a big wrinkle under the front neckline. Why? This doesn’t make any sense to me, because I would think the fabric should be FLAT. However, there is no way to make it flat (except perhaps by tearing out the neck ribbing).

I have a feeling that if I am cutting knit fabric from the fabric store, rather than repurposing t-shirts, then I will not have this problem. I will also not have the problem of folds appearing in the shoulder/chest area, which you can see in all my photos.

I almost wonder if this is some “3 dimensional fabric” or something. I can understand why this fold exists — chubbier people have bigger chests than me. But, I don’t want that fold on my clothes.

T-Shirt Side View

T-Shirt Side View

All the shirts’ sleeves are cut from the same pattern and I think this sleeve looks pretty good.

T-Shirt Back View

T-Shirt Back View

Back looks okay to me (shoulder folds appearing again, though).

T-Shirt Hem

T-Shirt Hem

Here is the way I was told to do a t-shirt hem. I ran the serger along the hem, then folded the serged hem allowance into the inside of the shirt. Then I sewed it in place with a row of straight stitches (length 4mm). On my machine I had the presser foot pressure set to “4″ (out of 10) and I didn’t need to pull on it or have any problems with gathering or anything like that.

All the other seams in the shirt have also been serged for durability.

The only thing I did not change in these t-shirts is the neckline… I just left the neck as it was with the ribbing in place. Some other time when I am doing a shirt from scratch I will have to learn how to do a neckline…


Posted in Clothing


Leave a Reply


  1. Phyllis

    November 20, 2013 at 04:47

    I think you can just take in the light blue shirt a bit down the sides, starting a tiny bit into the sleeve and curving it to make a wider seam as you hit the sides. You have a narrow waist, and that’s why you needed to take so much off. I’d try to fix this one, if I were you… just have to rip out a little of the hem on each side seam…or just sew right through the hem and backstitch to secure the stitching.

    • Matt

      November 20, 2013 at 06:33

      I used the “lightning bolt” stitch which is practically impossible to unpick. I might be able to cut it open with scissors and redo it though…


      • Matt

        November 20, 2013 at 08:10

        Uh, well, I screwed up that modification because I accidentally cut off too much because I was distracted by an audiobook I was listening to…

        Now though I know that I cannot really go any narrower on the waist than the black shirt. I saved that pattern so I can use it on future shirts.

  2. Wil

    November 20, 2013 at 09:01

    I am happy to see reworking the shirts came out fine. I have some large shirts a friend gave me and have been thinking about resizing them to fit me. You gave me some inspiration and direction.

    • Matt

      November 21, 2013 at 06:04

      Hi Wil,

      Once I did the first shirt I was able to do the other two pretty quickly. I think it is something you should be able to do with no trouble at all. Also it is sort of interesting to understand how store-bought clothes are constructed.


  3. designcloseup

    November 20, 2013 at 11:19

    Matt, you should be proud, this is a good fit! It looks to me like you are more and more on a journey to create your own patterns. I love this aspect too, it’s even more rewarding that the construction process!

    • Matt

      November 21, 2013 at 06:07

      Yep, I figure that if I am going to be a tailor (even as just a hobby) I will need to know how the pattern really “works” and is created. I won’t learn as much if I just follow sewing patterns someone else created.


  4. Susan Partlan

    November 21, 2013 at 19:01

    The first t shirt is perfection! I see what you mean about the second one, and tend to agree that you won’t have as much of an issue starting with fresh fabric because knit tees tend to get really stretched out in weird ways.

    The two bunches at the blue shirt shoulders are both dart shaped which to my eye is the best clue of what might be going on. If you pinned those two darts the shirt would lay flat. What does this mean? I’m not sure, but I think it means that as knits get over-stretched they lose their springy action/integrity and they also become much lighter weight. Lighter-weight knits are cut a little bit smaller then medium to heavy weight knits.

    • Matt

      November 22, 2013 at 05:50

      Hi Susan,

      I was told in an email that the bunches in the front are caused by the slanted shoulder seams, which have already been sewn together at the manufacturer. In other words, if I stood up the shoulder seam near the neckhole in the photo, then the bunches would disappear.

      That seems to makes sense, because the shoulder seam is not level when I am wearing it.

      • Susan Partlan

        November 23, 2013 at 14:53

        Yes, that does make sense. Thanks for clarifying.

      • jan

        November 26, 2013 at 17:04

        THat is exactly what is happening. When you make your own you will probably want the shoulder seam a little slanted like your shoulders. RTW has to fit everybody so they are straight across and the neck is all cruddy so that it will fit the greatest number of people

        • Matt

          November 27, 2013 at 23:26

          Ok, cool, thanks for the info

  5. Anne

    November 22, 2013 at 21:17

    It looks to me like you have sloped shoulders, and that’s why you’re getting those wrinkles. My guy has them too, and to get rid of them I usually do a 1/2″ sloped shoulder alteration.

    • Anne

      November 22, 2013 at 21:19

      Just wanted to add – if you aren’t sure how much to adjust for, have someone trace your shoulder line while you stand against a wall with a piece of paper behind you. Then compare that to the pattern and you’ll know how much your adjustment needs to be.

      • Matt

        November 25, 2013 at 08:49

        Yeah I think the trapezius muscle on my neck is higher than most peoples and that throws things off – making the shoulder sloped.

        Good idea tracing the shoulder line.

        The main thing I have learned from this tshirt resizing stuff is why the sleeve pattern has the shape it does.