questionsis there a good way to hem the length of a shirt?


The proper word is tailor. You can certainly alter your shirts to reduce the length, but they are not going to have quite the same appearance once you do this.

Are you tucking them into your pants? This will help to know.

I can provide reasonable help in this, but am currently in the EVIL position of not being able to drink anything more than a single cup of coffee (semi-annual blood tests, required for us old farts). I'll be back later, with more questions, and some suggestions.

Do you have a sewing machine? No worries, your problem can be solved without one, but having one will make this MUCH easier.


@shrdlu: I'd like to do it myself preferably...I feel like taking a large stack of shirts to a tailor can rack up a pretty big bill. I don't tuck my t-shirts in, but if they're particularly long I'll just fold them up once or twice so it's the right length. Not terribly noticeable, but somewhat inconvenient in the long run as it does tend to unfurl.

I don't have a sewing machine, but I can take my parents the next time I'm down in their house. Not that I remember how to use one, but that's what youtube is for.


If you have NO experience with sewing you might ruin some of your shirts, or they will just look odd. Hemming is not hard, but learning to use a sewing machine can be.

But if you really want to try...


okay, so i'm somewhat of a seamstress (female tailor)-i did make my own wedding dress, prom dresses, several other wedding dresses, bride'smaid dresses, etc. i've made shirts into ties. and other weird stuff.
i've got a list of other questions:
1. are these dress shirts or polos or tshirts or what?
2. how much are you wanting shortened? an inch or five?
3. how many are we talking as "a stack"? most drycleaners offer a seamstress/tailor option for their customers that is relatively inexpensive and a good job.


@moosezilla: These are t-shirts. Most polos seem to be a good length, or get tucked in. All my dress shirts I tuck in or wear casually/ open so length doesnt matter as much.

How much length needs to be taken off really depends on the maker of the shirt. The one I'm wearing right now, for instance, would need anywhere from 4 to 6 inches off (it's a LONG shirt for a medium) but woot shirts tend to only be an inch or two over.

It would be most of my t-shirts if I were to look at it super seriously. I haven't counted lately, but it's probably around 70 to 100 shirts?


@thedogma: ok. well that helps. definitely to many to go to a drycleaner's seamstress. and the good thing about doing tshirts is they don't ravel/frey so you don't need to do a rolled hem (they get bulky and tend to pull one direction or the other). at an inch or two i'd say learn to live with it, but for four to six it needs dealt with. if you don't know/remember how to use a sewing machine, you are probably better off to do a hand stitch.


step one: iron a crease into the shirt(fold it to inside) at the level you want the hem at (try it on to double check). step two: trim the shirt to 1 1/4 inch below (longer) than crease. step three: iron second crease/fold into hem about 3/8 inch from bottom (this is to hide the raw edge- it should be folded into where it can't be seen). step four: if you're gonna use a sewing machine use a stretch stitch (tshirts have some stretch to them) and sew about 1/8 inch from the top of the double layered fold. if you are going to hand sew tack down aprox every 1 to 1 1/2 inch. you can do a blind running hem (not visible, but only one thread doing it) or just tie it off every stitch. don't pull your thread tight, it will bunch the fabric. try to pick the same thread color as the rest of the shirt has, or use an exact match to the fabric to make it less noticeable.
good luck


I hate sewing, so I use something called Stitch Witchery for hemming. It is a bonding strip you put under a hem and iron on. It fuses the hem. I wouldn't use it for dress shirts, not sure how it would look but it should be fine for T shirts.


you could try this stuff too

mostly good reviews. or a combination of Stitch Witchery or Fabric Fusion first, then hand stitching over it to "keep" the hem

either of these can be found at JoAnn fabrics, Michael's, AC Moore, etc


@mtrlgrl: i would go the other way on the stitch witchery (which is just a brand name for hemming tape). i would use it on fabric that doesn't have a stretch (like dress shirts, jeans, most cottons), but not on anything that does stretch. for me it tends to cause the fabric to be kinda stiff and if you stretch where it was attached at the stretch will leave a permenant appearance(always looks stretched) on the fabric (at least until it disolves away). i would come closer to using the spray on glue/adhesive, but then only as a make do thing.


@w00tgurl: also at walmart. (i worked that dept for a few years)


@thedogma: I think that @moosezilla has the best answer for you.

I agree with what she said, and would probably have said about the same thing (except we know I'd have used three comments to do it, because I can never seem to do it in one). I'm happy to see she used two comments. That makes me feel better.

Don't use any of the iron on stuff, since the stuff that bonds may bleed through to the front part of the fabric on your shirts. It also won't look as nice as the method with the stretch stitch on the sewing machine, and you won't be all that happy with the end result. I'd also suggest a little practice work on something you don't care much about, first. Perhaps you have a shirt that's worn out, already, and you can use that to see how things look.

Good luck on your project.


@shrdlu: had to use two. it was to long for one post. i tried.


@moosezilla @shrdlu: thank you! Some very good suggestions. I didn't even know something like that fabric sticking stuff existed. Definitely dont want one that would bleed, though, that would ruin the shirt.

Still, I'll investigate the methods that were suggested on some undershirts. Those I won't care as much about if they get bled/ messed up.