Wednesday, June 13, 2012

How to Cut Shirt Sleeves

I own at least 6 long sleeve button down shirts that I rarely wear. When I sew, I move so much that I end up only wearing tank tops otherwise I feel too constrained. This means I end up spending most of my day unfit for company, wearing undershirts...

I'm hacking off some sleeves and you can do it too.

You'll need:
Button down shirt
Pinking shears or serger or zigzag stitch

Step 1: Using scissors, cut off the sleeve. The hem should be on the sleeve when cut off, not the body of the shirt.

Step 2: Line up the sleeve so that top and bottom match. This may take some pinning and that's fine. Just get the top and bottom to lay on each other like pictured.

Step 3: Place sleeve under curve.

Step 4: Cut around armscye (arm hole) and hem on side and shoulder.

 When you remove the shirt, here's what you should have:

 Step 5: Cut strip to be about 1" in diameter. You just made a facing for your sleeve!

Step 6: Sew together top and bottom of the facing,

Step 7: Pin facing and armscye to each other; right sides together.

Step 8: Stitch together. I used my serger. You should use a straight stitch on your regular machine.

Step 9: For the raw side you can either serge, zigzag stitch or use pinking shears to keep it from unraveling. You can also double fold the raw edge under for a more professional look. I wanted something fast, so I will just be sewing this down.

Step 10: Once raw seams are sewn, fold away from the shirt body and tuck under. Pin the facing down.

 Step 11: Sew a straight stitch around the sleeve.

That's it. Now pull out all those shirts whose stained sleeves you've used for napkins and get going. Summer is here.


  1. Brilliant! I have a few shirts that could use a little change up and this seems like a great idea! :)

  2. What a great idea. I always use bias tape for this but this is a great idea I'll have to try. Thanks!


I love hearing from you! No need to be shy.