On the Mend: Shorty

One of the best things we can do to lower the impact of Fast Fashion is to keep our clothes wearable as long as possible. Whether that be fixing or altering, it means we’re buying less clothes and keeping the ones we already own out of the landfill for a little bit longer. And since I have a pile of clothes that need fixing in one way or another, I figured I’d share those fixes, in case anyone needed the idea for themselves.

Emma in a long Mickey Mouse tee

This is a great, old shirt from my time working for the Mouse. By the time I got to it, only XXLs were left, but the cast member who sold it to me assured me it would shrink in the wash to a wearable size. She was right, technically, but it shrank around and not in length. I knew I would wear it more if it were a little bit shorter, so here’s what I did:

A ruler lined up with the bottom hem of the shirt

First, how shorter did I want it? I eyeballed it with a regular straight ruler and decided on losing five inches.

Could I have just chopped five inches off with a rotary cutter and have done with this? Absolutely. Raw edges on knit fabrics won’t fray, but they will roll. I have no way of figuring how much it would roll to get it the length that I want, and frankly, I don’t like the look or feel of rolled knits. So, I decided to try and imitate a commercial t-shirt hem as close as I could without a serger.

I turned the shirt inside out, and rolled the bottom hem up the shirt at five inches around (or as close as I could, the shirt was cut to be a bit longer on the sides) and pinned it in place.

sewing machine needle and pressure foot on the shirt

Then I straight stitched around the new bottom of my shirt, a little more than half an inch in from the edge (it’s the second guide on my Bernina).

If you’re trying this at home, this would be an excellent time to try on your shirt and double check the new length. You haven’t cut anything yet, and you’d only have one line of stitching to take out if you’re unhappy with it.

sewing machine needle and pressure foot on shirt, the second stitch line is visible

I was happy with mine, so I stitched around the bottom again, this time in about a quarter of an inch.

Scissors cutting away part of the shirt

Then it was time to cut away the excess fabric, the point of no return.

Emma in the shortened shirt

And good thing, too! Now, I have a shirt I actually want to wear.

The new bottom hem

And the bottom hem looks pretty commercial!

Have you had any great clothing fixes lately? Tell me about them in the comments!

One thought on “On the Mend: Shorty

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