I love race shirts. They are one of the few tangible things I get to take away from a race. I love racing too, of course, the camaraderie, the feeling of accomplishment from having finished, the bagels at the finish line. But mostly the shirt. Unfortunately, race shirts are almost never my size. Even if they have the size that I ordered, which is rare, it really isn’t the size I prefer. This is because most of the time, race shirts are the “unisex” model and completely unflattering on women. Which means it becomes a thrift store donation or another pajama/painting shirt. Not something I really want to be seen wearing in public. But I worked hard for that shirt! I trained and I ran and I want to be able to wear it with pride, not embarrassment. So this is what I do: I tailor it. It’s easy and it’s fast. I’ll show you how you can resize your t-shirts, too.
(If you don’t have a sewing machine, but you know someone who does, you can do all the tracing and cutting beforehand, and then just borrow their machine for about 10 minutes. It’s that quick.)
3. Using a fabric marking pen (or a sharpie, if you want), trace the side seams of the good shirt onto the race shirt. If the good shirt has a narrower seam allowance than you would like, draw the line a little bit farther out from the edge of the shirt. If your good shirt is a lot shorter than the race shirt, be sure to extend the line to the bottom hem so it flares to accommodate your curves.
4. Fold back the sleeve of the good shirt so that you can traces the sleeve seam. This is kind of tricky. As you trace the seam, be sure you are following the curve of the good shirt as closely as you can.
8. Put the race shirt body aside and grab the sleeves and the good shirt. Now you are going to trace one of the sleeves of the good shirt onto one of the sleeves of the race shirt. Get the sleeves of both shirts to be as flat as possible and then line up the top folds of the sleeves and the hems of the sleeves.
9. Trace along the bottom seam of the good shirt onto the race shirt. Then fold the sleeve back so you can trace along that tricky, curvey sleeve again. Cut along the lines you just traced. The good part is that you only have to do that once because then you can cut out the sleeve you just traced and use it as the pattern for the other sleeve on the other side.
13. Take the body of the race shirt. It should still be inside out. Leave it that way. You want sleeves outside out and body inside out. Here comes the tricky part. Slide the sleeve into the sleeve hole so that the raw edges match up. It’s hard to show because the sleeve is inside the shirt, but the picture shows what the sleeve should look like when it is inside the shirt.
15. Pin the rest of the sleeve into place. I like to put a pin in the bottom seam, then the top because sometimes the sleeve needs to be stretched a little and this ensures that it gets an even stretch all the way around.
17. Repeat steps 13-16 on the other sleeve.
18. Take out the pins and clip any dangling threads. You can also trim up those pesky armpit seams if you want.