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Forum > Sewing Techniques and Tips > Adding a little bit of length to a T-Shirt? ( Moderated by MissCelie)

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Adding a little bit of length to a T-Shirt?
MaggieMinnich
MaggieMinnich
Intermediate
Ohio USA
Member since 7/22/11
Posts: 3
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Date: 8/20/11 8:06 AM

Hello! I have a conundrum. I've recently lost a vast amount of weight, which has left me with very saggy, flying squirrel upper arms. The store-bought shirts that I can now fit into (size 14 or 16) have very short sleeves, which leave the extra skin hanging out, which not only doesn't look the best, but is uncomfortable at times, as well. I have three patterned, good quality t-shirts I bought from Kohl's that I'd like to make the short sleeves a tad bit longer, but am unsure how to do that and still make it look cute. Should I just add 2" or 3" of a coordinating solid fabric to give it a "layered" look? What about if I wanted to make it pretty by adding a ruffle or something, as well? Does anyone have any suggestions or know of a fast tutorial I can view? Thanks for your help!!

Maggie

gramma b
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gramma b
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Date: 8/20/11 8:42 AM

Congratulations on your weight loss!
Now just pump a little iron or soup cans for those arms...

For T sleeves you can add a not-too-tight ribbed band for casual,
a wide piece of lace for dressier, or I like to do "flutter" sleeves, if you are going to make new ones.

The pattern piece I use is from another pattern, but you can draft your own from a regular T sleeve. It has the same top curve, just flare out the bottom of the sleeve from the armhole out, then cut the bottom in a crescent, not straight across. You can lettuce-edge the hem or do a regular one.
I think flutter sleeves soften arms whatever the size, and are dressier than a regular T. I have taken out the arm elastic on peasant-type blouses to do this, as they look baby-ish on older figures.
For winter if you buy long-sleeves T's, you can cut off the bottom of the sleeve and have the fabric to cut new ones, then add a matching flower at the neckline.

To co-ordinate an extension for your print, you can use a solid, then make a matching fluttery or twisted flower to add to the neckline so it will look like it came that way.

-- Edited on 8/21/11 2:14 PM --

tourist
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tourist  Friend of PR
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British Columbia CANADA
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In reply to MaggieMinnich


Date: 8/20/11 11:21 AM

Hi Maggie - yes, congrats on the weight! Probably the easiest fix is to layer with a 3/4 or long sleeved top in a neutral or coordinating colour. But if you really want to add length you could do the fake layered look pretty easily. The great thing is that it won't take much fabric, so you can do several tries and see which you like best. Just hand or machine baste them in and wear them around the house and/or take some photos.

DH once insisted that I shorten some golf shirts for him and over my protests, insisted that I make them too short. And this is a guy who almost never spends any time caring about what he looks like. Anyway, I did the shortening and then had to do the fake layering when he found out they were too short. It was on the bottom hem, not the sleeves, but the same idea and it worked really well.

------
http://bgballroom.wordpress.com to follow the progress on my next ballgown.

marec
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marec  Friend of PR
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Date: 8/20/11 12:07 PM

First, congratulations! How about removing the sleeves completely, and adding a mesh sleeve in a coordinating fabric? That would give it a very current look.

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my blog: http://kf-biblioblog.blogspot.com/
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MaggieMinnich
MaggieMinnich
Intermediate
Ohio USA
Member since 7/22/11
Posts: 3
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Date: 8/20/11 6:40 PM

Wow, such great suggestions!! I'm going to JoAnn's tomorrow to get some fabric and see what I can come up with. I like the idea of the flutter sleeves, though. Hmmm...well, since I've got several of them, I can do different ones for each shirt! LOL

Thank you all for your help! I knew this would be the place to go to!!

Maggie

purplebouquet
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purplebouquet
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Date: 8/29/11 7:27 PM

My daughter has a beautiful RTW shirt with a clever sleeve hem finish you could try.
Cut off the factory hem finish. Then measure the hem circumference and cut two strips of fabric the same length and one strip should be the desired width you want, plus seam allowances, the other one a bit shorter, i.e., 1/4. Then finish the long edges of both strips with a lettuce finish and sew together at the shorter end. Layer the shorter strip on top of the longer one. Attach to the sleeve with a conventional sewing stitch or serger or coverlock stitch. The two layers make a very flattering finish and the lettuce edges give a bit of playful feeling.
Claudia

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