How to shorten cardigan sleeves…

So we were staying at a B&B in Maryland for friends’ wedding and there was a Real Simple magazine in our room from like five years ago (no joke) and it had this article about sprucing up your wardrobe by taking all the pieces you don’t wear to a tailor and letting them go nuts. One of the examples was creating a short sleeve cardigan out of a long sleeve cardigan.

So I’ve been rocking cardigans of late, and I had a couple in the closet that I wanted to wear, but didn’t. Part of the problem is that my arms are super long so long sleeves tend to be too short and 3/4 length sleeves end up hitting me right at the elbow which is more like 1/2 length (and is annoying to wear). They had sleeve issues.

Here’s what I did with them:

Here’s the ‘before’ of the first one.

First I put on the cardigan and measured where I wanted the sleeve to fall on my arm. Then I subtracted the length of the cuff because that would be going back onto the bottom of the shortened sleeve. Then I cut the sleeve off at that point (after I took it off), leaving a touch for seam allowance.

I cut off the cuff as well, leaving the same amount for a seam allowance.

I turned the cuff inside out.

Then, I put the cuff over the sleeve (right sides together) and lined up the cut edges.

I didn’t pin it, but I lined up the existing seams on the sleeve and the cuff and started sewing at the point where the existing seams lined up.

I sewed along where the cuff was originally connected to the sleeve, all the way around, stretching the cuff, but not the sleeve because the circumference of the sleeve is a lot larger than the circumference of the cuff.

And voila!

After I took the finished photo, I added a sugar skull to cover up a coffee stain I forgot about…

Cute, right?

Here’s the other one…before



…photo credits go to the five-year-old on this one…

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2 Responses to How to shorten cardigan sleeves…

  1. Kelli says:

    Awesome – thanks for reading!

  2. Jennie says:

    Hi, I just wanted to say this is an awesome idea! I just did this to a winter long sleeved cardigan and it only took about 10 minutes and worked perfectly. Now I can wear my sleeveless maxis with a nice short sleeved cardigan. Thanks for the tutorial!

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