How to Make a Muscle Shirt Out of Tee Shirts

by Morgan O'Connor ; Updated September 28, 2017

A muscle shirt is basically a men’s T-shirt without sleeves. You can try out the look by converting a basic T-shirt into a muscle shirt in just a few minutes. For an authentic muscle shirt look, pick a tighter-fitting T-shirt to convert into a muscle shirt.

Items you will need

  • T-shirt
  • Seam ripper or scissors
  • Pins
  • Iron
  • Sewing machine or needle and thread
Step 1

Use a seam ripper or scissors to remove one of the sleeves of the T-shirt at the seam. Try to just cut the threads holding the sleeve to the T-shirt without damaging the t-shirt itself.

Step 2

Repeat on the other sleeve. Discard the sleeves or keep them for another project; you don’t need them to make a muscle shirt.

Step 3

Fold the raw edges of one sleeve under by about 1/2 inch, and pin in place.

Step 4

Repeat on the other sleeve. These folds will create the hems on your newly modified armholes.

Step 5

Iron both pinned hems flat.

Step 6

Sew the hems around each of the armholes using a sewing machine or needle and thread. During this step, be careful not to accidentally sew the armholes shut. This is especially possible if you’re using a sewing machine. Remove the pins.


  • If sewing is outside of your comfort zone, leave the armholes unfinished after removing the sleeves. This will give the shirt a rugged look. The drawbacks to this option are that the shirt may begin to unravel, and it will be much easier to accidentally rip at the armholes.

Photo Credits

  • Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images

About the Author

Morgan O'Connor has been writing professionally since 2005. Her experience includes articles on various aspects of the health-insurance industry for health-care newsletters distributed to hospitals as well as articles on both international and domestic travel.