Changing sleeves on a T-shirt

Changing out the sleeves on a T-shirt is super easy and can change an average T-shirt into a special occasion shirt in no time.

  • Always wash your shirt and sleeve fabric before beginning your project so both the t- shirt and sleeve fabric will shrink.
  • Iron fusible cut-a-way stabilizer to the back of the shirt if you will embroidering a design to your shirt.
  • Find the center of your shirt before embroidering. I like to use tailor’s chalk and mark the center of my shirt to line up my design.

  • Embroidery your design to the front of your shirt
Time for machine embroidery!
Get this design here
Purchased design here
  • After embroidery carefully pull the cutaway back and cut it close to the design – TIP if you heat the fusible cut-a-way with the iron it will peel back easily.
  • I also like to Iron a thin piece of interfacing or underlining (like french fuse) on the back of the design to keep the back of the embroidery from being itchy.

Now to transform your T-shirt!

  • Cut off the sleeves from your t-shirt
  • I like to mark the front, back and center of the sleeve so when I cut the new sleeves I don’t sew them in backwards.
  • Cut your t-shirt sleeve and spread it open to make a bell pattern for a fuller sleeve. Cut up close to the sleeve cap, but not through . The top part of the sleeve cap should remain the same measurement. Just use one sleeve for this step.
  • Lay out your new sleeve pattern on the fabric you will cut. Don’t forget that you will need to cut through 2 layers. Your fabric should be either right sides together or wrong sides together. That way you get one sleeve for each arm!
  • Cut out your new sleeve. Don’t forget to mark the front, back and center on your new sleeves. I added length to my sleeve. You are the designer!
  • Sew the new sleeve into the hole of the t-shirt right sides together. Use caution to match front, back and center so you don’t sew the sleeves in backwards!
  • That’s it! Super easy! A new custom shirt just for you!

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