How To Fix A Stretched Out Shirt: [Neckline, Collar, Sleeve Tips]

Expert Opinion By Fashion Writer & Doodler

Have you ever pulled your favorite shirt from the dryer only to find that it has stretched out of shape? It’s a common wardrobe woe, but don’t consign your shirt to the rag bin just yet.

With a few clever tricks up our sleeves, I’ll show you how to coax your casual shirts back to their former glory.

Whether you’re a fashion aficionado or simply looking to salvage that go-to garment, this guide is your sartorial savior.

How To Fix A Stretched Out Shirt – Quick Fix
If you have stretched shirt or facing fabrics shrinkage, you can try to fix them by
Wash them in warm water in a large pot using laundry detergent.
Now put them in the dryer at high temperatures.
You can also wash through hands in a large pot with any laundry detergent and then hang them up to air dry or spread them out on a flat surface to dry flat naturally.
If all else fails, you can always take them to a tailor or seamstress and have them altered.
Heat Washing

How To Fix A Stretched Out Shirt – [Collar, Neckline, Sleeves]

If you have a stretched shirt of cotton or cotton blend varieties,

It can be because the shrinkage fabrics have lost their elasticity or the garment was poorly made.

Either way, there are a few things you can do to fix a stretched shirt.

How To Fix A Stretched Out Collar

If your shirt’s collar is stretched out, you can try to fix the stretched-out shirt collar by sewing on a new one.

This will give the shirt a whole new look and feel.

If you don’t know how to sew a collar, you can also use iron-on adhesive tape or hemming tape.


Replying to @iliketokissb00bs this is how I fix a shirt with a stretched out collar or wrists, shoutout @obsdncollective for blessing me with the knowledge #tips #vintage #tutorial

♬ Trap Mafia – Lastra

Another option is to simply cut off the existing collar and replace it with a new one.

Get a bowl of ice-cold water and submerge the collar of your shirt in it for 30 seconds.
Take the shirt out and put it on immediately.
The ice water will cause the fibers to contract and your shirt should now fit better.
sewing sleeve

How To Fix A Stretched Neckline

If your neckline is stretched, follow these directions:

  1. If the fabric has been pulled or displaced from its original position.
  2. If so, release any pulling by carefully pressing down on one corner of the fabric with a straight edge while lifting and moving the opposite corner up towards you until both corners have released their grip on the fabric.
  3. Pin in place if needed.
  4. Repeat the above step at each end of the stretched area.
  5. Use a sewing needle and thread to sew the fabric back into place at each of the four corners, making sure not to stretch or pull the fabric too tightly.
  6. Trim any excess fabric, if needed.
  7. Wear and Enjoy your neater neckline!

How To Fix Stretched Out Sleeves

To fix a stretched-out sleeve, start by cutting off the cuff.

Then, turn the sleeve inside out and re-sew the cuff.

You can also use iron-on adhesive or hemming tape to secure the new cuff in place.

If your shirt has a lot of fabric, you may need to sew a new seam down the length of the sleeve.

  1. Remove any lint or fabric from the sleeve where it is stretching out.
  2. Grab the end of the stretched-out sleeve and pull gently in a vertical direction until you reach the original seam line (or until there is some resistance). Make sure to hold on to the ends of the fabric so that it does not come loose during this process.
  3. Cut off any excess material above and below the new seam line, and clip the corners of the new seam line to eliminate excess fabric.
  4. Sew the new seam using a zigzag stitch, making sure to stay as close to the original sleeve seams as possible. Use a backstitch edge guide if needed.
Fixing clothes

There are a washing hacks to fix stretched-out sleeves mentioned.


Washing With Warm Water

Wash your 100% cotton t-shirt or wool clothing on the warmest temperature setting in your washing machine for one cycle.

Spread it out on a flat surface to dry.

Extending fabric fibers can be helped to contract back to their former state by a mix of moisture, heat, and agitation.


Using Dryer or Flat Surface Air Dry

Place the shirt in the dryer after removing it from the washer.

Dry the garment on a medium heat setting until it is totally dry.

Air dry


Repeat the procedure of washing and flat surface drying till the garment is tight enough to fit your needs.

Wash usually causes the most shrinkage.

Despite the fact that consecutive washings will yield declining benefits, the shirt may still shrink slightly.


The Stovetop Shrink:

Sometimes, a little heat is all it takes to bring your shirt back to size. Here’s a no-sew method that’s as easy as boiling water:

Fill a pot with water and bring it to a rolling boil.

Turn off the heat and submerge your shirt using tongs. Timing is key – the hotter the water, the more the shirt will shrink.

After five minutes, remove the shirt and let it cool down before wringing it out gently.

Lay it flat to air dry, avoiding any stretching.

This method is ideal for cotton and some wool shirts. Remember, the longer it soaks, the more it shrinks, so keep an eye on the clock!


The Machine Method Magic:

Your washing machine and dryer are your allies in the battle against bagginess. Here’s how to harness their power:

Wash your shirt on the hottest setting that’s safe for the fabric.

Toss it in the dryer on medium heat, checking periodically for size.

Repeat if necessary, but watch for diminishing returns – and always check the care label first!

Pro Tip: Add a cup of white vinegar to the wash to prevent colors from fading, especially if multiple washes are needed.

Sewing Solutions: For those handy with a needle and thread, minor alterations can make a major difference. Here’s how to tackle specific areas:

How To Fix A Stretched Out Shirt
  • Collars: If your collar’s gone floppy, consider sewing on a new one or using iron-on adhesive for a quick fix.
  • Cuffs: Trim stretched cuffs and reattach them, or use hemming tape for a no-sew solution.
  • Hem: A new hemline can tighten up a shirt that’s lost its shape around the bottom.

Remember, precision is key, so measure twice and cut once!

How To Reshape T-Shirt

Reshaping a t-shirt that has lost its form can often be accomplished at home with a simple steps. Here’s a concise guide to help you bring your tee back to life:

  1. Wet the Shirt:
    • Soak the shirt in lukewarm water, allowing the fibers to loosen up and become more pliable. This makes it easier to reshape the garment.
  2. Hand Stretching:
    • For areas that have shrunk or are too tight, gently stretch the fabric with your hands. Do this uniformly to avoid misshaping other parts of the shirt.
    • For stretched areas, skip this step.
  3. Reshape While Damp:
    • Lay the wet shirt on a flat surface like a clean table or countertop.
    • Gently pull and shape the shirt back to its original dimensions. Use a ruler for precision if you remember the original measurements or compare it with a similar shirt that fits well.
  4. Ironing:
    • Set your iron to the appropriate heat setting for the shirt’s fabric (check the care label).
    • Iron the shirt gently, using steam to help relax the fibers. If needed, you can slightly stretch the fabric while ironing to encourage it to reshape.
  5. Drying:
    • Avoid using a dryer, as the heat can cause further shrinkage. Instead, lay the shirt flat to air dry, or hang dry if the fabric is sturdy enough to not stretch from the weight of the water.
  6. Professional Help:
    • For t-shirts that are severely misshapen or made from delicate materials, consider taking them to a professional for alterations or reshaping.

How To Stop T-Shirt Collars From Curling

If you want to stop your t-shirt collars from curling, you can try ironing them flat.

You can also try putting them in the dryer on a high-temperature setting for a few minutes.

If all else fails, you can always take them to a tailor or seamstress and have them altered.

If your t-shirt collars are curling, it’s likely because of excess fabric around the neck.

Watch over these simple steps to stop the curl:

  1. Wet a cloth using hot water and gently wring out the excess fabric around the neckline. This will help keep the material flat and in place.
  2. Make sure that you’re using a sufficient amount of starch when you sew your shirt collar closed. A dollop of paste is sufficient. I like to use the spray bottle, which makes it easy to get into all of those tight areas around the neckline.
  3. Iron on medium heat in your iron (not too hot). This will flatten out any fluffy cotton or terry cloth layers that are pushing up against each other at the collar points and bottom roll of the shirt.
  4. Press lightly so as not to curl again once it’s dry.


We know how frustrating it can be when your wool shirt starts to worn out, lose its shape, and become quite uncomfortable to wear.

No matter how often you wash it, it just doesn’t seem to be holding up the same way it used to worn.

Fixing a stretched-out shirt or garments can be a daunting task,

But with a little bit of know-how and some simple steps, you’ll be on your way to fixing your stretched-out shirt and wardrobe in no time.

If you’re experiencing any of the above problems, there you have it – a step-by-step guide.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How Do You Fix A Warped Collar?

If your collar is warped, it can be difficult to fix. Instead, you may want to consider replacing the entire shirt. To do this, remove the existing collar and replace it with a new one. Then, measure and mark the circumference of the collar as evenly as possible around its entirety. Use a hot iron to partially shrink or stretch the fabric around the circumference markings.

How Can I Make My Collar Tighter?

If your collar is too loose, you can fix it by sewing it closer to the neckline. To do this, first, remove the existing collar and replace it with a new one. Then, sew the new collar close to the neckline using a zigzag stitch or a backstitch edge guide.

Why Do My Shirts Stretch At The Bottom?

There is a reason why your cotton t-shirt or other material shirts might be stretching at the bottom or changing shirt size. It could be because you’re wearing them too often, or it could be because they’re not the correct size.
If you think it’s the latter, you can try to fix it by washing them in hot water and then putting them in the dryer at a high temperature.
You can also try handwashing them and then hanging them up to dry.
If all else fails, you can always take them to a tailor or seamstress and have them altered.

Tasha Juli
Tasha Juli Korman is a fashion and lifestyle blogger. She has been blogging for over five years now and found her niche in the world of style! Whether it's taking you on a personal journey through her wardrobe or sharing outfits that match your own personal style, you enjoy following along.