Everyone needs alterations to make your clothes fit. You can shorten the sleeves of a button up shirt because it’s a very easy sewing alteration!
You can shorten sleeves on a button up shirt for both men’s and women’s shirts. Any shirt sleeve that has a sleeve placket can use this method. It’s quick and easy.
Clothing is made to fit an average that doesn’t exist. Simple alterations like this can make your clothes look custom made. If you want to make your clothes look tailored you can also shorten a sweater or hem jeans with the original hem. If you have the opposite problem you can use this tutorial to lengthen sleeves on a jacket!
Sleeves can only be shortened up to an 1″ though, if you shorten sleeves any more you won’t be able to roll up your sleeves.
Use a seam ripper to take the cuffs off. Pull out on the cut threads so that you don’t sew over them.
Mark (up to an 1″) up from the original cut line.
Cut along the line. You will cut through the placket, seam, and pleats.
Carefully pin the cuff onto the sleeve matching the top of the cuff to the marked line. Be careful to pin the cuff to the right sleeve. The buttons should be on the same side as the buttons and the buttonholes should be on the same side as the buttonholes.
The pleats will need to be adjusted and deepened. You will have to play with them until they fit smoothly in the cuff.
Sew with a regular stitch on the original cuff seam line. Make sure your thread matches the original thread exactly so that it doesn’t look like you altered the sleeves.
Check to make sure you caught the fabric on the back side.
Press the new pleats really well.
I’ve done this on crisp white shirts too!
If you make something using this tutorial, I’d love to see! Please share it on social media with the hashtag #heatherhandmade and tag me!
- Button up shirt with sleeves too long
- Sewing Tools
- Use a seam ripper to take the cuffs off. Mark (up to an 1") up from the original seam. Then mark 3/8" down for the seam allowance. Cut on the seam allowance line.
- Pin the cuff onto the sleeve matching the top of the cuff to the marked seam line.
- The pleats will be adjusted and deepened. You will have to play with them until they fit.
- Sew with a regular stitch on the original cuff seam line.
- Make sure you caught everything on the back side.
- Press the new pleats really well.
You can only use this technique when shortening up to one inch. If you need to shorten it more than that then you'll have to redo the whole placket.