In the world of ready-made clothing, i sometimes have a tough time buying shirts and pants the fit my body kind without high-quality tailoring. The good news is, I have learned how to stretch clothing to ease them right into the appropriate shape because that me! these tips additionally come in comfortable if i shrink a favorite shirt or sweater in the wash and also need to stretch it earlier into its appropriate size.

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The best way to stretch clothing is to soak the garment utilizing a fabric softener or hair conditioner and also then big the loosened fibers into shape. Tools choose waistband extenders can likewise easily stretch clothes. Certain species of cloth additionally respond well to steaming or the use of prevent or weights come stretch out vital areas the the garment.

In this article, you’ll discover seven reliable ways to stretch out and resize her clothing. You’ll also learn the ideal ways to stretch different cloth types, such as cotton and polyester. Finally, you’ll find tips for just how to protect against shrinking your clothes!


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Can friend Make clothing Bigger?

Most of the time you can easily expand a garment by one or 2 sizes, depending on its construction and also the type of material it is made of.

But wouldn’t the be easier to just buy a piece of garments in the right size to begin with?

Not necessarily. Regularly when you walk shopping come buy off-the-rack clothing in places like T.J. Maxx or Target, what you obtain is a kind of “one size fits all” in every size.

You may think that yourself as a dimension 12, but if you inside wall up a row of dimension 12 people, each one of you would certainly possess distinctive body characteristics, and also none the you would fit perfect in the average piece of size 12 clothing!

This is why knowing just how to resize apparel using basic stretching techniques can aid you attain a fitted, or also tailored, look!

Of course, you may likewise need to learn some of these tips to rescue laundry accidents. It’s a rare person who hasn’t occasionally shrunk a sweater in the wash by accident! The great news is, you deserve to pretty conveniently unshrink sweaters or t-shirts the shrank a little in the wash.

In general, heat reasons most type of fabric to shrink end time. Warm water in the washing device or one over-hot dryer have the right to make your clothes shrink in the wash.

This happens since the procedure used come weave textiles usually applies a many strain to the fibers, extending them tightly together they gain twisted into yarns and then woven or knitted into cloth. When those taunt fibers suffer heat, lock relax earlier into your original, shorter shape!

Keep in mind, though, that clothing may additionally stretch over time. Sometimes this happens together you wear miscellaneous frequently–think of her favorite henley the goes baggy in the elbows over the years! This can likewise happen if you hang up a really wet item come dry, as the load of the water will certainly stretch out sweaters or knit garments.

How to Stretch Clothes: 7 Methods

The easiest means to stretch apparel is come soak lock in a special systems such as water and also conditioner. This will certainly relax the fibers, enabling you to increase the clothes into a slightly larger size. You have the right to reasonably suppose to large most apparel by at the very least one complete size.

That said, also the ideal stretching technique has part limitations. Friend shouldn’t plan to broaden a garment by any an ext than two sizes in ~ the most.

If you have actually a sewing maker and feeling confident in her abilities, friend can additionally learn tailoring methods to resize apparel permanently. However, a bit of intentional stretching regularly takes less time and effort and also offers friend an easy way to make apparel bigger without sewing!

Check the end these seven different stretching methods and also then decide which one will work best for you!


You will uncover each of this methods simpler with a little setup before you acquire started.

First, review the manufacturer’s brand inside her shirt or various other clothes. This will certainly tell you two essential things: what type of cloth your garment is do of and what sort of care it deserve to withstand.

Some that the techniques defined here work best on particular kinds of fabric, such together knits. Knowing if her shirt is do of cotton knit or woven wool will help you select the finest stretching method.

You also want to know if you have the right to safely reveal your shirt, dress, or sweater to water. Make certain the label doesn’t check out “dry clean only!”

Next, make certain you have actually a clean bathtub or sink because that the soaking methods.

You should likewise go with the procedures in each technique to make certain you have all the essential tools top top hand.

Finally, usage this tip to assist unshrink apparel to the correct size and shape! role out a huge section of parchment record and ice its corners to a table or her floor. Next, uncover something comparable to the too-small clothing yet in the correct size and shape.

For example, if you should unshrink a shirt, uncover a shirt in a similar style that fits girlfriend correctly. Place this effectively fitting shirt down on the parchment paper, and also trace its overview with a pencil. This way, you have the right to spread out the too-small shirt to match the pencil outline!

A note of caution, pack paper, tracing paper, and also normal printing record will dissolve once wet. Also, friend don’t desire to use any form of ink for this process, as it could stain her clothing.

This will certainly act together your template so that you can stretch a shirt earlier into simply the right shape!

Hair Conditioner or cloth Softener

Since you probably have actually a favorite hair conditioner sitting in your shower or a nicely scented fabric softener wait in her laundry room, this technique offers a quick and also easy everyday fix!

This an approach works an extremely well ~ above knits. You have the right to also shot it on most kinds of cotton. It also works ~ above polyester, despite you will should use warm water v synthetics, and you may have to employ muscle come stretch this type of cloth.

To resize a shirt or other clothes:

Depending on the dimension of her shirt, fill a sink, bathtub, or bucket with heat water.Add a couple of tablespoons to a quarter cup of conditioner or fabric softener, and also swish it approximately till the dissolves.Gently submerge your shirt in this solution.Soak a shirt make of thin towel for 10 minutes and also a more thickness knit for approximately 30 minutes.Take the plug the end of the bath tub or drainpipe the water out of the sink.Gently press some that the moisture out of the shirt, and also then role it increase in a towel to remove more water. You desire the shirt damp, no soaking wet!Spread the end the wet shirt level on peak of her parchment-paper template. Use a slow-moving smoothing activity to big the shirt out until its edges match the theme shape.Use smooth, heavy objects to host down the edges together you stretch the shirt. Clean mugs, canned food, or the type of candles that come in glass cups job-related well.Finally, let everything sit because that at least 24 hours. You want to permit the fibers dried in their relaxed, unshrunken form to make the extending permanent.

Baby Shampoo

Baby shampoo includes milder agents than continuous shampoo, and also the absence of harsh chemicals provides it a perfect choice for plenty of kinds that material. This method works on most knits, woven type of cotton, or cotton blends. You have the right to also try this on animal fibers favor wool.Fill a sink, basin, or tub with warmth water.Measure in one or two capfuls of baby shampoo, depending upon the dimension of her garment.Submerge the shrunk clothes in this solution and also let that soak for 10 minutes.After the soak, submerge her hands in the water and also massage the fabric gently. Think that it favor kneading wet, hefty bread dough! You desire to make sure the infant shampoo gets right into the yarn to job-related its magic and relax them.Lift the apparel out of the solution and press several of the overabundance water out. Put a bath towel top top a flat surface and also roll increase the item of apparel to remove more water.Finally, arrange the shirt or dress flat on your parchment document template and gently tug it earlier into shape.Use weights to host the leaf down.Let the garment air dried till no moisture remains.

If you use this method on a wool shirt or sweater, you might have to spend much more time kneading and gently pulling on the while in the soak. This fibers take much longer to relax and unshrink.

Vinegar and Baking Soda

Using a baking soda soak and then a vinegar rinse can additionally relax the yarn in her clothing. This process involves a couple of more steps, yet it provides cheap household products you probably have in her pantry!

That said, the baking soda and also vinegar method works best on cloth made of organic fibers, such together cotton. That won’t job-related on synthetics like polyester or rayon.

Measure 2 tablespoons the baking soda into 8 cup of hot water. Stir this for a couple of minutes till the baking soda dissolves and you can’t check out it anymore.Submerge your garment in this solution and knead it tenderness to make sure it gets great exposure to the baking soda.Lift the wet garment out and press the end the overfill water the end without wringing it out. (Don’t drainpipe the water, as you will need it again in a minute!)Use your hands to tug on opposite political parties of the garment. Because that example, organize the collar and the hem the a shirt, and also pull gently.Then location the garment ago in the baking soda mix, and also let the soak for an hour.Next, incorporate four cup of warmth water with one cup of distilled white vinegar.Add the vinegar mix come the baking soda soak. You have to see this mixture foam up as the baking soda and also vinegar react together.Finally, place the garment level and allow it come air dry.

You will should launder her garment together you usually do after this process to remove the vinegar smell.


You can use heavy steam from a handheld steamship or the steam setting on your iron to quickly unshrink structure sweaters or to do tiny adjustments in some cotton and also knit fabrics. You may like to have actually this method as an emergency resource while friend travel!

That said, that won’t work as comprehensively together the baby shampoo soak come reshape most clothes like shirt or dresses.

First, hang up her wool pullover somewhere v plenty of an are to work, like on a shower head curtain rod.Allow your steamer to warm up till heavy steam emerges from its nozzle (or set your iron to its heavy steam setting).Keep the nozzle at the very least two inches far from the fabric’s surface, but move really slowly over every inch of the garment to enable the steam to work right into the fibers.Gently traction the garment in every directions while it is warm and slightly wet from the steam.Repeat this procedure as important until her sweater regains its original shape!Finally, permit the pullover air dry. Then shot it ~ above to see if you successfully reshaped it come its original size!

Stretching Tool

If you uncover that every one of your blue jeans seem too tiny these days, you might want to try this easy solution because that the waistband of most pants!

You deserve to purchase a unique tool referred to as a waistband extender fairly cheaply ~ above Amazon. Girlfriend can also make your own using a ratcheting bar clamp, yet honestly, the ones because that sale digital don’t expense much and also might save you lots of money under the road!

First, friend will have to use a spray bottle to thoroughly spray the waistband area of her jeans, dress pants, or skirt. Or you deserve to dip the waistband into a bowl of water for a minute. The doesn’t matter if girlfriend use warmth or cold water here, as the vital is simply to dampen the waistband thoroughly.Next, insert the waistband extender and also screw the extender section of it the end to the desired length. This should stretch the waistband tightly together you go. For jeans, this can take part elbow grease!Finally, permit the jeans or skirt come air dried overnight or until completely dry.Unscrew the extender and shot on your blue jeans to check out if the waistand fits!


This an approach works together an extension of any kind of of the soaking methods, such together the infant shampoo or baking soda and vinegar method.

Simply do all the measures for the soak as described in this article.

Then either spread out out a bathtub towel and also use little weights to organize down the edge of her shirt in the desired shape or cave up the garment when wet to permit the weight of the water to pull it into a longer shape.

This functions well if you should lengthen pants, a skirt, or a dress!

You may also need to usage this technique on a artificial such as polyester, i m sorry doesn’t conveniently stretch.


Some professional dry cleaners use a variation on the soak-and-lay-out technique called impede to create crisp, expert lines if reshaping a garment. Together a fun fact, knitters likewise use this an approach to complete a knitted item!

This procedure works finest on wool sweaters or knit shirts. You will need special devices such as a blocking mat that reflects measurements, which permits you come resize her sweaters or shirts precisely.

Soak the garment because that 15 minutes.You do not desire to wring out wool or knit items, together this can warp the fabric! Instead, squeeze the moisture the end by pushing the cloth between your hands. Then roll the item within a bathtub towel to eliminate excess water.Insert blocking wires along the seams of any type of crisp edges.Lay your wool or knit garment flat on a blocking mat.Insert blocking pins around one inch apart follow me the inside of the wire, advertise them gently into the mat beneath the garment. Girlfriend should have actually pins holding under the whole outside sheet of the garment when you finish.For less sharp or bent edges choose a collar, leave the cable out and just use pins placed very closely together to organize the towel to the mat.Allow the pullover or knit shirt come dry completely on the prevent mat.

As a final note on this method, friend can also skip the soak and use a steam boat to assist you big the knit cloth as you work.

How come Stretch the end a Hoodie


The easiest method to stretch the end a shrunken hoodie is to usage the conditioner soak explained in this article.

Remember come squeeze water out of the hoodie after the soak. Don’t wring it out, together this might twist the hoodie right into an odd shape!

Cotton can suffer an ext than many other fabrics in the washer and also dryer, which means that your noodle hoodies might shrink by a couple of sizes in the laundry.

The an excellent news is the you can use the conditioner soak come pretty easily expand a hoodie approximately 3 inches!

Simply follow the actions for the soaking process, and also then place the hoodie on a bath towel on top of a level surface.

Spread it out, so the lies clear on the towel.

Then take organize of opposite sides of the area you want to large out. Because that example, if the chest area is also tight, hold the armpit area ~ above the left and also right sides of the hoodie, and also pull firmly!

For best results, use weights to hold the hoodie flat while that dries completely.

How to Stretch a dress to do it Longer

You can quickly stretch a dress to do it longer using any of the 7 methods described in this article. Make sleeves or the hem longer actually take away very little work due to the fact that you don’t need to worry around reshaping fitted areas of her garment, such together the waist and bust.

You do want to measure everything prior to you begin to make certain you know how much come stretch the skirt the the dress. Generally, girlfriend shouldn’t intend to make a dress longer by much more than a pair of inches.

If you want to do the sleeves longer, save a tape measure handy, for this reason you have the right to measure the length as girlfriend work. You don’t want to finish up v cuffs flopping under over her hands since you overstretched the fabric!

How to Stretch a Jacket

Depending ~ above what kind of cloth your jacket is make of, friend can regularly employ a cold water soak adhered to by the weight stretching method to enlarge the jacket by a size or two.

Denim jackets work well v this method. Any kind of jacket made of cotton or a noodle blend should stretch fairly easily.

If you have actually a leather, velvet, or structure jacket. Girlfriend will have actually more an obstacle reshaping it.

You might want to leave jackets and coats to the professionals. These apparel usually function the most complex structures requiring many work to reshape without accidentally twisting or warping the material.

Professionals can measure every little thing to a “T” and also use impede mats and other tools to carefully reshape every area of these facility items.

Plus, numerous jackets and coats this days function special waterproof or fabricated material the does no stretch together easily.

How to Stretch Fabric

Understanding the qualities of a couple of popular varieties of materials will assist you know exactly how to stretch fabric. For example, cotton responds well to water and stretches easily. Synthetics choose polyester usually require warm to stretch.

Polyester fibers do not stretch at all, but the construction of many polyester material creates some provide that you deserve to use to stretch clothes. Polyester knits especially have a nice stretchiness.

An easy way to reshape a polyester shirt, dress, or sweater is come soak the in warm water. Then squeeze out most of the moisture, and also put the on while quiet damp. Undertake it till it dries completely, and also ideally, it will certainly reshape to fit you!

You can additionally use the impede or weights methods defined earlier. Simply use warm or warm water come soak the polyester article first.

On the other hand, Cotton has super-absorbent fibers that shrink or expand conveniently in solution to heat and also moisture. The fence of this is that noodle can conveniently shrink in the wash. The upside is the you can conveniently stretch it back into shape!

Cloth make of animal fibers such as silk or wool requires special treatment. You can reshape wool utilizing the impede method. Silk will certainly not large easily.

Remember that you should always check the manufacturer’s label inside your clothing to identify what kind of towel you’re working with before you try a stretching method!

Tips to prevent Shrinking Clothes

Naturally, the pure best method to unshrink your apparel is to avoid shrinking lock in the an initial place! conserve yourself a most time and also hassle by adhering to these tips together you treatment for your clothes.

Use cold water in your washing machine. This tip can save friend money, too!If you have actually the time and also patience, hand wash delicate items like a dress shirt or skirt.If friend can’t handwash, usage the “delicates” setting on her washing device for delicate items prefer a vintage t-shirt or lingerie.For synthetics, usage the long-term press setup on her washer and dryer.Hang up noodle items come air dry whenever possible.If it states dry clean, take it come the dried cleaners! Wool and also cashmere particularly require special handling.

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Most the the time, you have the right to stretch your clothes out through one or 2 sizes. You can employ straightforward at-home approaches like soaking in towel softener or advanced methods like using a blocking mat and also measuring every centimeter of your shirt or dress through precision together you pen it into place.

In general, soaking her clothes and then using careful pressure such as pulling in opposite directions or making use of weights will relax and also reshape the threads within the cloth. Various kinds of cloth react differently, though, so examine to view if what your clothes are do of prior to you start!

Have you ever accidentally shrunk a shirts in the wash? how did friend rescue it? leaving a comment below to let united state know!