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Adding Sleeves #1


Sometimes I have fashion problems. This is because it is hard to find cute things that are modest. And when I say modest, I mean it needs to be long enough that it doesn’t show my belly or it hits my knee, it needs to have sleeves, and it needs to cover most of my chest. These requirements can be hard at times, but I always try my best. However, I have taken to altering my clothes in order to make them modest. This mostly happens by adding sleeves. Adding sleeves is a lot harder then it seems, but it is worth it because I am able to get my clothes to be cute and modest this way. Therefore, I will be writing about how to add sleeves to different types of clothes as I discover it.

My first type of sleeves are the most simple. I found a red lace dress that had a high neck line at goodwill, but it didn’t have sleeves and it was too short. However, it was really cute so I decided to transform it into a shirt. This is fairly simple.

First, I grabbed an old sleeve pattern from past projects. I didn’t have to be the same size as the dress because I had to take in the sides of the dress to fit me better. So I used that pattern to figure out how much fabric I could take off the bottom. Once I did, I cut it off and set it aside.

Next, I put the dress on inside out and figure out how much to take in.

Then, I sewed my new side seems and cut off the extra material. (If you have a serger, use it on the side seams. If you don’t, finish the edges in someway. I did a zigzag stitch)


Then, I place the sleeve pattern on the material I had cut off the bottom. My sleeve pattern curves, but I wanted to use the finish hem that was already there. Therefore, I place the edges of the pattern on the finished edge. This altered the look of the pattern, but it’s fine. Then I cut out the pattern. My material had two fabrics, the lace and the knitted, so I then had to sew them together before sewing in the sleeve. (But not along the hem)

Next, I sewed the side seams of the sleeve at 5/8 in. And then, I placed the sleeve right sides together into the arm hole. Most of the time, you have to do ease stitching and ease it into the arm hole, but not this time. Then I sew the sleeve on from inside the arm hole at 5/8 in. Then I finished the edges and checked the fit of the sleeve.

Finally, I had to re-hem the bottom of the shirt. Once that was done, I was ready to go.

Now I have a beautiful shirt that fits me perfectly and doesn’t look like the sleeves were originally there. (Only have a pic of the finished project. Sorry)


You can do this without cutting the fabric of the dress, you would need to find a fabric that matches the fabric of your dress very closely. This can be hard and it won’t be exact. However, it may be worth it. I hoped this helped others. Does anyone have suggestions for other types of sleeves, like for halter tops or sleeveless. Please tell me! My next sewing project is probably going to be my t-shirt quilt, so stay tune!!