I was lucky enough to be given a man's slim fit, cotton Calibre shirt in a small size. Although it's been well worn, the only signs of slight wear are across the shoulders. I want to keep it as a shirt, mainly to be worn in Summer to protect me from the sun, but also maybe to dress it up and wear under a blazer.
Here's the before shot. 3/4 flared pants are not the right pants to wear with a long shirt, as my legs look rather short. Perhaps skinny jeans would have been a better choice.
As it's to be worn in Summer, I want the shirt to be loose fitting. It's a little wide across the shoulders, but I can live with that. I'm hoping that shortening the sleeves is the only alteration I need to make.
Cuffed sleeves have an opening that extends past the cuff. To be able to shorten the sleeves and still have a cuff, the amount of fabric you cut off has to be less than the opening, so that there will still be an opening after the cuff is reattached. Without the opening, it may be too tight to go over the hand. You could, of course, redo the opening entirely, but I haven't covered that today.
Here's how I shortened the sleeves...
- Measure how much the sleeve needs to be shortened.
- Unpick the stitching that holds the cuff to the sleeve.
- Cut off the excess fabric. I cut off 3"; roughly the width of the cuff. I couldn't have gone much shorter than this without totally redoing the opening above the cuff.
Sandwich the sleeve between the two sides of the cuff:
- Start pinning at the end with the buttons.
- Make a pleat or two towards the buttonhole end, using the untouched sleeve as a guide. I made two pleats and just eyeballed them (no measuring).
The picture above is a close up of the pleats.
- Hand baste (long running stitch) the sleeve to the cuff and remove pins.
- Edge stitch on the exterior side of the cuff. I line up the edge of the cuff with the inside edge of the presser foot and move the needle two positions to the left (this will differ from machine to machine). My stitching ends up about 2mm from the edge. (I usually give measurements in inches.. I can visualise 2mm, but I cannot visualise 5/64". For those of you who use imperial measurements, sew really, really close to the edge, hence the term... edge stitch.)
- Backstitch at the beginning and ending of the stitching.
- Remove basting stitches.
Ta-da... one shortened sleeve. You can see how easy it is to take off a cuff and reattach it.
The photo above shows the difference in the length of the opening above the cuff; before and after.
So, am I happy with my altered shirt? I like my sleeves slightly long, so I'm more than happy with the altered sleeves and it certainly looks better after ironing. However, I still think my legs look too short and this time, I'm not convinced the fault lies with the straight leg jeans. I think I'd say the same thing, even with skinny jeans. The shirt is just too long!!!
Adding a blazer to the outfit didn't have the desired effect. It accentuates the fact that the shirt is loose fitting.
It's funny... When I looked in the mirror, both with and without the blazer, I was happy with the look of the shirt. As soon as I looked at the photos, I could more clearly see what the outfit really looks like... what works and what doesn't. I'm not sure why that is.
For a better fit and a more feminine look, I need to shorten the length and take the shirt in!!! What do you think?... honest comments only!!!
It's all academic now, as I discovered a small tear in the back of the shirt while I was ironing it. I'll still wear it as a cover up from the sun (after I've patched the tear), but it's not worth the time and effort to do any more alterations, given the condition of the shirt. Lesson learned... carefully check pre-loved garments BEFORE altering... LOL!!!
So, I've altered the title of the post from Shirt Refashion to How to Shorten Sleeves with Cuffs.