How to Make a Shirt Longer in Length

By Jessica Cook ; Updated April 12, 2017
Grab the shirt that's too small and another one to match and do some sewing surgery.

If you have a love-hate relationship with your favorite shirts, it's time to do a little DIY shirt surgery and rekindle the love affair all over again. A great top that's too short can be frustrating; stop pulling on that hem and do something about it so you can wear that shirt again without all the angst. Add length to a shirt with a little help from a second shirt you no longer wear.

Put on the shirt that is too small. Use a tape measure to determine how much length you want to add to the shirt, then add 1/2 inch to this measurement and call it measurement A.

Cut off the bottom hem of another shirt in a similar size and coordinating color, positioning your cut A inches up from the bottom hem of the shirt.

Turn the short shirt inside out. Line up the cut edge of the second shirt with the original bottom hem of the short shirt, positioning the new hem so that it points up toward the armpits of the original shirt. The wrong sides of the shirts should be touching each other. Pin in place all the way around.

Sew a zigzag stitch around the hem of the shirt, lining up your stitching with the original hem of the shirt. Stitch through both layers of the shirts as you go.

Remove the pins and pull down the hem of the added shirt so it hangs below the hem of the original shirt and wear it.

Things Needed

  • Shirt, too short
  • Shirt, coordinating color
  • Scissors
  • Straight pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread

Tip

Instead of a second shirt, you can use fabric to add length to the too-small shirt. Simply cut two rectangles out of the fabric that are A high by 1/2 the shirt width, seam them up the sides and hem the bottom before attaching to the shirt that is too short.