Monday, April 30, 2012

An Easy Way To Shorten Long Sleeves

 Recently, my daughter was lucky enough to inherit almost a complete wardrobe from a friend that is just a little older than she is. The clothes are completely darling and my daughter fell head over heels in love with them. She only wants to get dressed if it is from these clothes. Some of her favorite pieces are long sleeved and since we are headed into a very hot summer, I wanted her to be able to wear them even on hot days. Sometimes I am a little skittish when it comes to cutting up clothes, but my Mother-in-law happened to be here that week and she was more than willing to help.
Shortening sleeves is really easy, so easy, that I have done it several time since. This is my simple way of shortening sleeves.
 First, put the shirt on your kid. You will get a better view of where the sleeves should be if the shirt is actually on.
 Then mark where you want the sleeve to hit. My top pin is my mark.
 Measure about an inch down and mark the sleeve again. This is giving an inch of space to work with. I cut a full inch extra to give me some room for error. Stretch fabric and I don't always get along, so I like some wiggle room. Cut the shirt at the second pin.
 Fold the shirt in half and pin it together at the shoulder seams and so the sleeves are laying on top of each other. This will let you accurately cut the sleeves to be the same. Cut the second sleeve to match the first one.
Turn your sleeve under and hem. You have a few options with the hemming.  You can serge the edge of the fabric before you turn it under to hem, making a traditional hem not necessary. If you are working on a knit fabric, it won't unravel, so you can turn it under and hem without worrying it will start unraveling from the other side. 
I don't pin the hem on my daughter's sleeves before I start sewing, because it gives me the freedom to trouble shoot as I go if I need to. When hemming on knits, find the stretch stitch on your machine, or you can also use a narrow zig-zag. The biggest thing to remember is to let your machine guide the fabric through. If you push or pull on the fabric, since it is knit, it will stretch out and look funny. 
Just a few minutes later, you have a shirt that is summer ready! I am loving the sun already!

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