shit to make: things that actually fit

So the bane of my entire existence is clothing. I am, and always have been, a skinny bitch. Despite my best efforts to intake 2500ish calories a day, I haven’t been able to rise above 115ibs once in my entire life. I can drag unconscious grown men out of pools and carry multiple bags of industrial chenmicals but still, my upper arms are roughly the circumference of a McDonald’s straw. It’s fine. I’ve learned how to work with it.

So when I started taking class to get my EMT license, my best option for our uniform shirt was a MENS SMALL. HELL NO NOT GOING TO WORK. It was like wearing a blanket with a collar. Essentially a snuggie with the program emblem embroidered onto it. It was, as far as i’m concerned, a whale tarp. VPR 1

I wasn’t about to go to clinicals in that, where i’d look like the worm from Busy Town in a quadruple XL and be surrounded by professional, hopefully hot EMTs and paramedics. So, like most clothes I own and actually want to look good on me, I had to make alterations.

busy work real



Altering clothes is really easy, especially if you already have a similar item of clothing that fits you the way you want. Shout out to my job for providing polo shirts that ACTUALLY FIT MY BODY.

Start by turning your to-be-altered shirt inside out and laying it flat on the floor. Place the shirt that actually fits on top and center it, lining the collar and shoulders up. IMG_1900

Figure out how much you need to take in on both sides. I could safely take in about 1 full inch from each side of my gray shirt. Since this is for class and I’m not looking to make it tight or shapely—just better fitted in a way they won’t know I’ve altered it—I’m going to take it in while maintaining the shape of the original shirt. This means that I will be following the stitches already made, not adding curves or taking off any length. IMG_1907

The armpit is where I had the most issues. I get that they’re accounting for the macho men with those mini-watermelon biceps, but what about  pipe cleaner arms?? I could house a family of 4 in the space between my armpit and the shirt. I ended up taking 2 inches off of the inside arm curve. IMG_1908

Follow the curve of the shirt and make your cohesive adjustment line. This is the line you will be sewing on.


Do the same on the other side. Make sure it looks symmetrical.


Pin it up horizontal to your line. IMG_1913

Sew along your lines. I did a straight stitch first and then a zig-zag on top of that since I don’t own a serger machine. If you don’t feel like it, you can get away without the zig-zag top stitch. I added it in because this shirt is going to get WORN. IMG_1918

Cut away the bullshit excess you no longer need. Leave about 1/4 inch. (i got eager and started cutting before I added in my zig-zag stitch. Don’t do that)IMG_1919

Nice. Now you got something that doesn’t look like a potato sack.



If I could do more work on this and not risk ruining an important shirt for class, I’d shorten up the sleeves and adjust the shoulder seam to be…actually on my shoulder. Whatever tho, this is something I’m not embarrassed about wearing anymore, so the pressure is on to embarrass myself in some other, much more emotionally devastating way.