How to Refashion a T-Shirt That is Too Small

heather handmade sewing

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Learn how to refashion a t-shirt that is too small by removing your favorite graphic and putting it onto a larger t-shirt or shirt.

I had two graphic t-shirts in my closet that I loved, but I never pulled them out to wear. I analyzed it, and I realized that they were tight enough that they were uncomfortable to wear in the heat of the summer.

I decided to do something about it so that I would wear these t-shirts that I love. I refashioned these t-shirts that were too small into bigger t-shirts, and now I can’t wait to wear them!

refashion too small t-shirt

I didn’t come up with this idea all on my own. I saw Stephanie from Swoodson Says creating the coolest colorful t-shirts for her kids by upcycling clothes that are too small.

I really want to try her ideas for one of my kids, but it made me realize that I could do it for my own t-shirts. I wanted to keep my t-shirts simple and neutral so mine are a little boring, but that’s how my wardrobe is.

Should I use interfacing or double sided adhesive?

This was the question I wanted to test and that is why I did two t-shirts instead of just one. I did a lightweight fusible tricot interfacing* on one, and I did a double sided adhesive, HeatnBond Lite Soft Stretch, on the other.

The interfacing created a lighter finish and more drape, and the adhesive was much easier to sew but it created a stiffer finish.

refashion too small t-shirt

What is refashioning?

Refashioning is to fashion clothing again or differently. I usually use this to describe when I’m sewing clothing to fit different or to look different, but the majority of the item stays the same.

What is upcycling?

Upcycling is to reuse material to create something better than the original. I usually use this to describe when I’m sewing adult clothing into clothing for children or I’m sewing clothing into an accessory or house item.

refashion too small t-shirt

More Refashion and Upcycle Projects:

refashion too small t-shirt

How to Refashion a T-Shirt That is Too Small

Supplies

refashion too small t-shirt supplies

T-Shirt with Interfacing Instructions

Cut out a piece of the fusible tricot interfacing that is bigger than the graphic you want to cut out.

cut tricot interfacing or double sided adhesive to right size

Turn the t-shirt right side in. Use a marking tool to mark the edges of the graphic on the inside of the t-shirt so that you know the general shape and size.

Fuse with an iron the interfacing over the area of the graphic.

iron tricot interfacing to back

Turn the t-shirt right side out. Use a marking tool to draw out the shape you want to cut out. You could cut out around the shape of the graphic, you could cut a circle or oval, or you could cut a rectangle or square.

Make sure the shape is centered over the graphic and that you leave 1/4 inch around the edges so that you can sew.

draw on shape

Cut out the graphic in the shape that you want.

cut out graphic

Pin the graphic onto the larger t-shirt making sure that it’s centered and in the right place.

pin graphic onto new t-shirt

Sew around the edge 1/8 inch from the edge and backstitch when you finish to lock the stitch. Press everything in place.

sew around edge

Save your small t-shirt for another refashion or upcycle project!

t-shirt fabric to refashion

T-Shirt with Double Sided Adhesive Instructions

Cut out a piece of the HeatnBond Lite Soft Stretch that is bigger than the graphic you want to cut out.

cut tricot interfacing or double sided adhesive to right size

Turn the t-shirt right side in. Use a marking tool to mark the edges of the graphic on the inside of the t-shirt so that you know the general shape and size.

Fuse with an iron the Soft Stretch over the area of the graphic.

apply double sided adhesive to back

Turn the t-shirt right side out. Use a marking tool to draw out the shape you want to cut out. You could cut out around the shape of the graphic, you could cut a circle or oval, or you could cut a rectangle or square.

Make sure the shape is centered over the graphic and that you leave 1/4 inch around the edges so that you can sew.

draw on shape

Cut out the graphic in the shape that you want.

cut out graphci

Peel off the paper backing.

remove paper backing

Place the graphic onto the larger t-shirt making sure that it’s centered and in the right place. Iron it so that it’s fused in place.

iron graphic onto new t-shirt

Sew around the edge 1/8 inch from the edge and backstitch when you finish to lock the stitch. Press everything in place.

sew around edge

Save your small t-shirt for another refashion or upcycle project!

t-shirt fabric to refashion

If you make something using this sewing project, I’d love to see! Please share it on social media with the hashtag #heatherhandmade and tag me!

How to Refashion a T-Shirt That is Too Small
heather sewing

I believe small sewing moments can create great joy. Find your own “right” way to sew. -Heather

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I love it. I make my shirt in to pillows case and put it on my sofa 😂

I have wanted to know how to transfer from one shirt to another and now you have shown me how! Thank you so much. I will let you know when I accomplish this task. Again, thank you