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Forum > Beginner's Forum > Shortening a T Shirt? ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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Shortening a T Shirt?
sheone
sheone
Intermediate
UNITED KINGDOM
Member since 2/3/06
Posts: 21
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Date: 5/10/11 2:09 PM

I am not a new sewer but didn't know which section to post my query. I have a Toyota Quiltmaster machine which is a single needle machine that has lots of variations of zigzags. I am a plus size which means if I buy a cotton knit tee shirt it's usually too long in the body as I am 5'4". I have tried to shorten them in the past by cutting a couple of inches off and then hemming and zigzagging it. I find that when I'm zigzagging it the bottom stretches and makes the bottom too wide. Would you suggest that I put some tissue or something on the hem then sew and teat it off afterwards? I can't think of any other way so I will welcome your expertise. I see lots of lovely teeshirts but this is always a problem. Thank you ladies!

mssewcrazy
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mssewcrazy  Friend of PR
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Mississippi USA
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Date: 5/10/11 4:20 PM

When I shorten a purchased rtw tee I retain a hem of an inch to 1 and 1/4 even if I have to rip out the existing hem. I don't fold over and stitch like a shirt hem but turn up a regular hem. If there is enough length to baste up I leave the original hem and just pinor baste up and trim off after hemming to keep down the distortion factor. I used to use a twin needle but now have a coverstitch machine that I mostly use. If I were making the knit tee I would stabilize the hem area with fusible type tricot before the hemming but usually don't do any thing special with cheap rtw knit tops. If I ever have a problem I use strips of machine embroidery stabilizer that tears away easily.

marec
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marec  Friend of PR
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Date: 5/10/11 5:09 PM

I would also add to mssewcrazy's helpful post: use the regular zig zag stitch and set it very narrow in width and longer than a straight stitch. When completed, the hem looks like a straight stitch.

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GBK

GBK  Friend of PR
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GERMANY
Member since 12/24/07
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Date: 5/11/11 9:34 AM

I shorten almost all of my RTW tees, and with my sewing machine, the best two ways for the hem is either the twin needle or the triple-zig-zag. The latter looks really nice with more sportive tees. A hem of about 1 inch works best for me. LBNL, before doing the hem, I check the currve of the side seams to be sure the curve is not skin-tight but snug. If too lose, I correct the side seams first.

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Happy Sewing!

BeckyW
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BeckyW
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Alabama USA
Member since 5/23/04
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In reply to sheone


Date: 5/11/11 9:51 AM

I was just at a sewing class taught by Sandra Betzina. When she hems knits, she uses a "Steam a Seam" to hold the hem in place as we sew. It also keeps the hem from stretching out like you are talking about.

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Becky

sheone
sheone
Intermediate
UNITED KINGDOM
Member since 2/3/06
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Date: 5/11/11 10:59 AM

Thank you everyone for your helpful replies.

sewsally
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sewsally  Friend of PR
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Washington USA
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Date: 5/11/11 11:50 AM

Marcy Tilton suggests using 505 temporary spray adhesive to hold the hem in place while you sew or serge.

mssewcrazy
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Date: 5/11/11 12:25 PM

I learn something on PR everyday. I knew to use a very narrow zz on knits when using a regular machine but didn't really think of lengthening the stitch out marec.-good tip. I also like the basting spray idea as sometimes the pins are not great on some knits. I have never owned steam a seam but plan to get some as so many on here use it. I never fooled with knits that much until a couple of years ago but am very interested in them now. When I did make the children shorts sometimes from knits way back when I would use the blindhem stitch to hem them-the twin needle seemed to unravel when they were worn a lot.

tourist
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tourist  Friend of PR
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British Columbia CANADA
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Date: 5/11/11 5:27 PM

Another way to do it is with wash away wonder tape. The best hem I could get pre-cover stitch was twin needle, long stitch, wooly nylon in the bobbin and walking foot.

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MNBarb
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MNBarb  Friend of PR
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Date: 5/11/11 9:57 PM

I don't think steam-a-seam is stretchy. Thanks for posting this question. I've been sewing more knits and have tried many hemming methods with only a little success.

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Barb
"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." Thomas Edison
"I not only use all the brains I have, but all I can borrow." Woodrow Wilson

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