Tutorial ~ Turn A Long Sleeve Shirt Into A Short Sleeve

by Destri on July 29, 2011

My poor little guy has been wearing the same shirt to church for weeks now (white polo).  Last week he finally put his foot down and wanted to wear his favorite shirt.  I tried to convince him that long sleeves generally do not go along with a 110 ° heat index, but he didn’t care.  So I decided before this weekend hit, I had better turn some of his long sleeve shirts into short sleeves.  It worked out great because he has not yet outgrown his shirts from last winter, but they might get a little too small come this winter.  It seems they always outgrow them in the sleeve first anyway :).

I will share the easiest one first, but don’t throw away the scraps (heaven forbid ;)), we’re going to be using them next week to make this shirt.  Catch me after the jump for the how-to!

Tutorial ~ How Turn A Long Sleeve Shirt Into A Short Sleeve

These are the shirts I had to work with.  Today’s project involves the farthest shirt on the left, his favorite.  The denim shirt I decided to just leave alone, because it looks like it will fit him this winter.  So round up a shirt or two, your sewing machine, and we’ll get started!

If you have a short sleeve you can use as a guide, just lay it over the long sleeve as shown.  If not, no worries; this is easy enough.

Cut off the sleeves at the same angle as the guide, and leave enough to hem the sleeves.  If you don’t have a guide, just eye ball it :).

You can see in this photo that I left about 1½ inches on the sleeve length for hemming.  Don’t throw away those cuffs!  You might need them for the other shirt we’ll tackle next week :).

Now turn the sleeve under ¾ inch and then again ¾ inch, leave the shirt right side out.

Press the sleeve with a hot iron to set.

Take the sleeve off your machine, and slide the edge of the sleeve to the 6/8 seam guide.  This should have the stitches right where you need them, but make sure that your needle is over the cuff.  The reason we are sewing on the right side, is you just get a nicer looking stitch.  Set your stitch length a little longer and then sew around the sleeve.  I found I liked to start on the top of the sleeve, rather than on the underside at the seam.

Now slide the edge of the sleeve to line up with the 5/8 inch seam guide on your machine and sew a second time around the cuff.

You should have two rows of stitches looking like this.

Then you have a nice and professional looking finish :).  I like to press my stitches with steam afterward, just to set them.

The only place that was tricky for me was right at the seam on the underside. I had to work the fabric a little to keep it straight through the machine.  Just take it slow through that point, smooth out the sleeve as you go and it will turn out great!

Really  I can’t believe I haven’t done this before!  It was so easy.  I have been working on some projects that require math and such, so it was nice to work on a simple and satisfying project for a bit.  I worked my way through three shirts, and so now he even has a nice set for back-to-preschool.  He pretty much only wore them to church, so they look brand new :).

Next week I will have this shirt for you, it was a fun one!  And easy peasy because you use the existing button holes. So keep the scraps from this shirt and your little guy can have a rolled cuff argyle shirt to sport around.

You can find the rest of the boy tutorials here!

This is the skirt pattern I have been working on, and I am in love with it.  It has a wide waistband that ties, and then hidden gathered  panels to add a little fun.  I have started on the second one and decided to add a bit more gather underneath.  I was originally wanting a side tie, but I arranged the waistband as such that the skirt looks better tied on the front.  So I am looking for a little feedback, side tie, or front tie?  The bow will be slightly smaller too, though I have to say the big one is growing on me :).  Also, how big should I go with the pattern?  I was thinking to a 6T, thoughts?

Happy Friday friends, I will be back later with a weekend send off!

~Destri

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