How to Make a Muscle Shirt Out of a T-Shirt

Muscle shirts aren't just for meathead guys anymore. Hipsters and gym rats alike wear these comfortable tops. Transforming your favorite T-shirt into a muscle tee is one of the simplest T-shirt surgery projects -- and does not require thread and needle. With a trusty pair of fabric scissors, snip your way to an array of creative muscle shirts.

Popstar Rhianna favors loose-fitting muscle tees cut from T-shirts. (Image: Christopher Polk/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images)

Step 1

Try on the T-shirt to determine where you want to cut -- inside or outside of the sleeve seams. Cut outside the seams -- and leave the seams intact -- to create a more finished look.

Step 2

Examine the neck and length of the shirt. You may also want to cut those, depending on the style you want to achieve.

Step 3

Lay the T-shirt on a flat surface, and ensure that the seams are aligned. The shoulder seams should be at the very top of the shirt -- not twisted to the back -- and the seams at the hem should line up in the front and back.

Step 4

Cut off the sleeves by cutting along the sleeve seams at the armpits -- either on the outside or inside of the seams.

Step 5

Try on the shirt and examine your sleeve holes. You may want to widen the holes by cutting off more fabric along the new sleeve lines you've created.

Step 6

Remove the original neckline, if you prefer. Cut a half circle below the neckline seams

Step 7

Shorten the shirt by cutting a straight line above the hem. When you remove the hem of the shirt, the fabric will roll up a small amount, shortening the shirt further.


To avoid a mistake, turn your shirt inside out and mark your cut lines with chalk or a colored pencil.

Make each muscle shirt different. Consider cutting slits or a heart out of the back. Add fringe to the bottom or cut a wavy line instead of a straight one for a beach-ready look when removing the hem.

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