Quick and Easy Tutorial on How to Shorten a T-shirt

Made By April
by Made By April
7 Materials
30 Minutes

No sewing machine, no problem! If you have a thread and a needle, then you can still shorten your too long t-shirt. Follow along with this quick and easy tutorial to learn how to crop a t-shirt to the correct length.

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Tools and materials:

  • Too long t-shirt
  • Needle and thread
  • Straight pins
  • Iron
  • Ruler
  • Tailor’s chalk
  • Fabric scissors
Folding too long t-shirt

1. Fold your too long t-shirt

Lift the bottom hem of the shirt, folding the excess fabric inward to the desired length.

2. Secure the new length

First, pin the folded piece once in the front to secure it in place.

Pinning t-shirt

Then, take the shirt off and press the fold with an iron to create a crisp crease, further securing the new length. Remove the pin.

Ironing t-shirt

3. Draw a line

Draw a straight line, as shown, along the bottom, about 1-2 cm from the bottom, as a guide for hand sewing.

Drawing line

4. Prepare your needle and begin sewing

Prepare a needle and thread of the same color as your t-shirt. I’m using a different color just so that you can see it in this tutorial.

Poke the needle through at the side seam, from the inside of the t-shirt.

Sewing t-shirt

Begin sewing using a backstitch.

This is a strong, reliable stitch, used before sewing machines practically for all clothing. Unfamiliar with this stitch? Check it out at your own pace in the video 0:55 - 1:30.

Sewing t-shirt

Here’s a look at the backstitch from the inside of the t-shirt.

Sewing t-shirt

Keep on sewing all the way around, until you meet your first stitch. Here, you can see I’m using the correct color thread.

Sewing t-shirt

5. Knot

Once you’ve reached the start of your stitches, make a knot on the inside of the t-shirt to secure your work.

Here, you can see that I partially stuck the needle through, from the inside, then I wrapped the thread a few times around the needle before pulling it through.

Sewing t-shirt

After you’ve pulled the needle through, poke it back in the same spot again.

Pull it through once more, then cut the excess string, removing the needle. 

Sewing t-shirt

6. Remove excess fabric

On the inside of the t-shirt, carefully cut out the excess fabric. 

Cutting excess

How to shorten a t-shirt

And that’s it! Your perfectly cropped t-shirt is done!

How to shorten a t-shirt

Now that you’ve learned how to shorten a t-shirt the easy way, you can fix all of the too long t-shirts in your closet.

How to shorten a t-shirt

If you liked this step-by-step tutorial, check out my post on How to Upcycle Low Waisted Jeans into High Waisted Jeans.

Suggested materials:
  • Too long t-shirt
  • Needle and thread
  • Straight pins
See all materials

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Join the conversation
3 of 5 comments
  • Azi27315293 Azi27315293 on Dec 14, 2022

    Yes, I will definitely be doing this to a few T-Shirts.

    Thanks for sharing with great tutorials!

  • Cdc29949339 Cdc29949339 on Apr 15, 2023

    Looks easier than I thought it would be. I haven’t picked up a needle and thread for about 50 years. I think I will try but need new thread not what I have in my old sewing box.🙃