How to tailor your own shirt

Recently, we received a video submission from John Paul. He wanted to know how to make a baggy shirt fit, because we all know how expensive it is to get a shirt made specifically tailored for you.

We're going to show you a little method that we think is the best called the "Pinch and Pin"

To watch the entire video, click below. Also, remember to subscribe to our iTunes store for more DIY fashion tips or check out our website, Threadbanger


1. First you will need to take your baggy shirt, turn it inside out and put it on.


How to tailor your own shirt


2. Make sure you have a friend help you with this step. Get our a bunch of pins and then pinch the excess fabric and pin it so it fits how you want it to.

Be sure to pin all the way to the bottom of the shirt and don't forget under the arms. Repeat on the other side.



3. Once you've got your shirt pinned, you are going to start sewing a seam starting above the armpit all the way down the side.  

4. After you're done sewing both sides, try on the shirt to make sure that it's the right fit. If you're happy, you can cut off all the excess fabric and you've got yourself a shirt that fits!

5.If you're serious about make a shirt from scratch, we recommend purchasing "Shirtmaking" by David Page Coffin.

Happy sewing!


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Charlie on Nov 27, 2013:

Great article. Thank you! I wish to second that "If you're serious about make a shirt from scratch, we recommend purchasing 'Shirtmaking' by David Page Coffin" - a great book. Charlie, www.henryherbert.com

Tank Too Big on May 10, 2013:

I buy clothes online all the time, and sizes tend to range. I usually play it safe and get a medium. Today, though, I got two tank tops in the mail (mediums) and they ended up huge on me! I was so upset, near tears because one was limited edition and won't be sold ever again. Though this looks helpful and rather easy! I hope it works!

John Goh on Aug 08, 2012:

But the problem is that I don't know how to sew properly... maybe I should say that I don't know how to sew :) New tailored shirt from Shirt Easy (http://www.shirteasy.com) costs only $39. Maybe it's not a bad idea to buy a new shirt anyway.

tailor shirts on May 13, 2011:

You can find an alternative method on our montezemolostore.com

Best regards

Mens suit on Jan 27, 2011:

I like the process to tailor the shirt.

Anonymous on Aug 16, 2009:

I've been sewing for about 15 years and though I am not the best seamstress, I can tell you that this video tut is not one to follow, especially if you do not already know how to sew. This method of altering a shirt only adresses taking some excess fabric out of the side seam and sleeve width. If your shirt is ill fitting through the top of the shoulders, the neck, etc., this tut will not help you. Not only that, but even if you only want to take in a shirt on the sides, this method can cause some bulging of the fabric under the arm pit.....

So - to answers John Paul's question -

If you want a shirt to fit just like your tailor made shirt, you could take apart the one you already have and use it as a pattern, but you will need to know all the basic stuff about sewing, and more specifically about making a shirt. A man's tailored shirt is not a begginer's project, namely because the collar and cap sleeves can be tricky when you haven't done it before. That being said, I highly encourage people to try it, as you only have to learn it once and from then on you have the power to make great looking shirts!


Altering an off the rack shirt to really fit is usually more of a struggle than just making it from scratch. This video tut shows you how to make a shirt smaller, not how to make a shirt that fits.


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