Craftywitch: #plussize T-shirt surgery

T-shirt surgery, for the uninitiated, involves taking a T-shirt and hacking it down into a different, less basic design. It’s an old punk rocker thing – and since I have a bit of latent punk in me, it’s a natural extension of my shopping life. That’s me – Chanel Coco Mademoiselle on my skin, safety pins on my shirt.

I have to apologize for the crap photos – my tripod camera goes far afield these days for documentation my partner is doing. So I have to deal with a wobbly, crappy Smartphone and I have to leave details out because it’s hard to operate said phone AND move around to show the details.

So yesterday, while shopping at Ross for clothing to wear during 5 Rhythms class, I found these two shirts among the other piles of 2 and 3x that I tried and rejected:

tshirtsurgery_printshirtbefore  tshirtsurgeryhi_before

Neither one was a great fit, but I really liked the print on the one on the left, and the one on the right is just too cheeky to just leave.

So I got out my scissors, chalk, measuring tape, seam gauge, rotary cutter, iron, and ironing board. After some thought, here are the changes – I’m still a fat woman, that’s not going to change at anyone’s aesthetically entitled convenience. But now I’m a fat woman with shirts that fit comfortably – no panels/added material required. In fact I made a better fit by removing material.



The pink shirt was the easier of the two – I simply slit the sides up about three inches and cut out the neckline two inches so it does the flashdance/off the shoulder thing. A lot of sleeve remains, and it’s a little  awkward – I plan to try my hand at ruching them, or adding some type of drawstring. Definitely a dance-safe shirt.

I need my partner to take the photos of me for the print shirt – in person it looks MUCH better than it does on camera. During the process I had to try this shirt on several times to see where I was at since it took some improvisation. I also cut the sides up about three inches. I then measured to the middle of the neck and cut the cloth down two inches, giving it a small flutter neckline. The arms still fit too snug, and I didn’t like how the fabric lay on me – and here’s where it got tricky – so I measures a five inch isosceles triangle under each arm, and then used safety pins to raise the shirt slightly but not so much it became a crop top. I then split the top of the sleeves for a flutter sleeve.  I’ll see if I can get a friend to take a shot of me in this today…. I might just get out my dark blue lipstick to wear with it!