Chop the Sleeves!


When I moved back from Scotland, I quickly discovered that most of my clothes just wouldn’t work for Florida summers, but I kept the hope that I might use some of my favorite long-sleeved shirts during the winter. Well, I had forgotten how much most people used heaters in the winter in Florida. The best outfits ended up being my summer shirts with my leather coat so I could adjust for the changes in temperature. I ended up not wearing most of my long-sleeved shirts. As you know, I can’t stand to just keep something that I won’t be using regularly. These were also some of my favorite shirts. The only choice: chop off the sleeves!


I was at first a little nervous that I would ruin my shirts and did some research. It didn’t take me very long to figure out how to do it. I took my long-sleeved shirt and laid it out on the floor. I then took a similar styled (fitted or loose fit) short-sleeved shirt and laid it on top. I tried to line up the two shirts so all the seams matched. I measured and marked the long-sleeved shirt’s sleeves one inch longer than the short-sleeved shirt so that I had material to fold in for a hem. Then I just cut on my marks, folded the hem in, pinned it, and hand-sewed two lines of back-stitches so that the hems on the new shirt matched those on the old one, both on the arms and at the bottom of the shirt. That’s it.

Each shirt took about one evening to do. You might be able to this with a sewing machine, but most of my shirts were fitted and I am not sure how a person would sew small arm-holes on a machine. Hand sewing it took very little time and needed just a needle with matching thread which anyone with any budget could obtain.


In my “after” picture, I have three different styles of shorter-sleeves. My loose green t-shirt has a mid-legth sleeve that looks natural for that style of shirt. My two lightest fitted shirts have very short cap-sleeves. Then for my three boat-necked shirts, I did three-quarter length sleeves, because that looks better on my body. I have broad shoulders and long arms for my height so I have to balance out the boat-neck with longer sleeves so that I don’t look like a football player or an olympic swimmer. Since I am altering my clothes to suit me and my life-style, I might as well pick the most flattering styles for me. Also, you might notice two shirts missing from my after picture. That is a white striped shirt and a gray shirt. I decided to leave them long-sleeved in the hopes I can wear them this winter. They are my favorite and the only two shirts that actually had sleeves long enough for my long arms. So not only do I now have six more summer shirts, but I have improved them to fit my features even better than they did before. Super cool!


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