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Alter Clothes | Refashion

How to Lengthen Sleeves of a Jacket

Learn how to lengthen sleeves of a jacket using a sweater or socks. This is a great upcycle for gettings sleeves to be long enough!

With this simple refashion tutorial and a sweater, you can learn how to lengthen sleeves of a jacket or coat! This would be a great gift for someone with long arms!

I think I have monkey arms because ready-to-wear jacket sleeves are never long enough for me. I either have to make my own jackets, or I can use this sewing tutorial to simply lengthen the sleeves.

lengthen sleeves jacket

At first I thought this would bother me if I wasn’t wearing the same color sweater underneath the jacket. I’m usually wearing a bunch of layers underneath, and I don’t think anybody would be able to tell which sweater is peaking out.

It’s unfortunate that you can’t actually make the sleeves longer on a jacket, but this refashion can add length.

Want ideas for altering and lengthening? Try some of these:

How to Lengthen Jacket Sleeves // heatherhandmade.com

You can choose a matching sweater for a streamlined look where the sweater blends in, or you can choose a contrasting sweater for a nice pop at the wrists. It’s important that you choose something you’ll love!

This trick would also help with cuffs that are rough and might chafe your wrists. If your family member complains about their jacket cuffs irritating them, then you could add some sweater cuffs for a soft alternative.

How to Lengthen Jacket Sleeves // heatherhandmade.com

My brother gave me this idea, and I did it to one of his jackets. Then I did the same thing to a jacket that I wore while I was pregnant. I had thrifted this jacket and just needed a little bit of length, and this trick was the perfect solution.

Lengthen Coat Sleeves With Sweater Sleeves Tutorial

This is a version I did for my brother. The black on black looks really nice. He only needed a small amount to lengthen his jacket sleeves.

Lengthen Coat Sleeves With Sweater Sleeves Tutorial

How to Lengthen Sleeves of a Jacket or a coat

Supplies

  • Jacket with short sleeves
  • Matching or contrasting sweater you don’t mind cutting up
  • Sewing tools
How to Lengthen Jacket Sleeves // heatherhandmade.com

Measure the amount you need from your wrist to the top of the cuff.

How to Lengthen Jacket Sleeves // heatherhandmade.com

If your jacket doesn’t have a cuff then measure from the top of the placket (where the buttons are). In my photo below I was adding the length of the placket to the length I needed past the hem of the sleeve.

Lengthen Coat Sleeves With Sweater Sleeves Tutorial

Use that measurement where to cut the sleeves of a sweater.

How to Lengthen Jacket Sleeves // heatherhandmade.com

Cut both sweater cuffs the same measurement. I like to cut them at the same time so that they’re equal.

How to Lengthen Jacket Sleeves // heatherhandmade.com

Thread a hand needle with matching thread. Use two threads for extra strength.

How to Lengthen Jacket Sleeves // heatherhandmade.com

Serge or zigzag the raw edges. The olive sweater fabric was a really open weave so I opted not to zigzag or serge. Instead I put my hand stitches really close together.

Lengthen Coat Sleeves With Sweater Sleeves Tutorial

Turn the jacket sleeve right side in, and turn the sweater cuff right side in. Place the cuff around the jacket sleeve and the place where you measured before.

The sweater sleeve will probably have to be stretched out to fit around the coat sleeve. Line up the seam of the sweater cuff with the seam of the jacket.

Hand sew the sweater to the jacket sleeve. If there is lining then sew the sweater cuffs to the lining. If there is no lining then sew the sweater cuffs to the cuff.

Do your best to sew an invisible stitch by only catching a couple of threads on the jacket.

Lengthen Coat Sleeves With Sweater Sleeves Tutorial

Tie the thread off in a square knot. I like to sew each half of the sleeve individually to help prevent the thread unraveling all the way.

How to Lengthen Jacket Sleeves // heatherhandmade.com

If you lengthen a jacket using this DIY tutorial, I’d love to see! Please share it on social media with the hashtag #heatherhandmade and tag me!

How to Lengthen Jacket Sleeves // heatherhandmade.com

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My son must have monkey arms too. I used a pair of socks and added holes for his thumbs. Now his sleeves keep the snow out and say in place. Thanks for the amazing tip!

Do you know how to add cuffs that are more water-resistant and not as warm? I though about sweatshirt cuffs but I’m hoping for a solution that looks neater.

This was so helpful! Went to goodwill today and just finished up the project and it looks great! Thanks SO much!

I have a the same monkey arms and I used this idea years ago in a suit jacket. I bought a white cotton shirt at Goodwill and stitched the cuffs into the arms of my suit jacket. Then I could wear a short sleeve white blouse in the office then throw on the jacket with cuffs and look all proper when I needed to!

OMG I totally have monkey arms too that it’s impossible to find a coat or even long sleeve shirts that fit. Thank you for this!!

I am laughing as I comment — don’t get me wrong, It is a great tutorial and I will be using it to replace some worn cuffs — but (grin) as someone whose arms are nearly 3 inches shorter than normal I have never, ever experienced too short cuffs. On the contrary! As a matter a fact my extended jacket sleeves are great in cold weather – built in mittens or puppets for instant distraction…

Love seeing what you create.

Another alternative is dollar store stockings. I have used them to replace the shredded cuffs of windbreakers.

Awesome! I'm totally going to do this, thanks.

Wow, thanks so much

I bought a mint leather jacket from the 70s. Everything fits but the sleeves; I'm tall.

Thanks for so cleary showing a great way to do this. All the long armed sewing people of the world thank you!

Great I was looking for this tutorial . Thanks !

Thank you for the great fix! Now my wrists won't freeze.

I had this idea. You confirmed it was a good one. Thanks!

Just found this. Nice solution, and seems it would be helpful to make a coat warmer, too. Or fix cuffs that chafe, too.

WOW!! Way to think out side of the box! Love the color too!

Very cute, easy idea. I have fairly long arms, so this idea will be put to good use! 🙂

VERY cute! I love the mustard yellow. I think that's one of my new fashion favorite colors.