Alright, so I am trying to control myself from not starting on Christmas crafts and sewing from now on (although I did buy some fabric for making pajamas for all of us 😉 ). And hence trying to find different projects to do. It recently started getting a little chilly here in Alabama and my son doesn’t have many full sleeves tees. Although all his half sleeves shirts fit him pretty well right now so I didn’t want to just put them away and buy all new set. This  gave me an idea for another project to distract me from my Christmas crafting mind set and here it goes, the tutorial for refashioning half sleeves tees into full sleeves.

Here are some pics of my sweetie wearing the t-shirt. He loves to collect sticks and play with them. He is showing me some cool stick he found on our deck in these pics. Its so hard to make him pose now a days, he just doesn’t want to stand or sit still :).

adding sleeves

All you need for this is the half sleeves tee that you want to change and coordinating fabric or you can also use any existing t-shirt of yours (as I did) or your hubby’s that coordinates with the half sleeve tee and some threads.

First step is to make the sleeves. If you are using a t-shirt of yours for making the sleeves, then I suggest using the bottom part of it which will save you the hemming at the edge of the sleeve (one less step). You can see in the picture below what I am saying.

DSC_1789Now next step is to cut two rectangles of equal length which will be folded in half length-wise to make the sleeves. I used one of his existing t-shirt to measure the size of my sons arm and then subtracted the length of sleeves on his half sleeves t-shirt. So suppose my sons arm length was 12 inches and the half sleeve shirt is approx. 5 inches. I will subtract that 5 from 12 and add like an inch or two for sewing at the top. So I made two rectangles of size 8 inches X 5 inches. I folded them length wise and sew them length wise as shown in the pic below.


As I mentioned because we cut the fabric for sleeves from the bottom of an existing t-shirt, which was already hemmed, I wont have to hem the shorter side of the sleeves now. So what remains is just adding them to the t-shirt. But if you are using a fabric to make sleeves then before proceeding to the next step you should fold atleast half an inch width wise of the sleeves and sew them as hem.

For attaching first turn the t-shirt on which you have to add the sleeve inside out. Then keeping your sleeve rectangular pockets you made wrong side too, insert them on top of the half sleeves of the t-shirt, as shown in the pic below and pin it.

DSC_1794Now my sons sleeves were not wide enough to go under my sewing machine so I did the next step of attaching the full sleeves to the half sleeve by hand. For this, turn the t-shirt right side out along with the pinned sleeve, which will also turn right side out, and carefully use a needle and matching thread to sew the sleeve in place from the front of the t-shirt.


And ta-da you have a full sleeves t-shirt ready. I made another one and plan to make few more.

DSC_1796Hope this post will be helpful. I am sorry I didn’t take more pictures as I went through this so if anything is unclear please don’t hesitate to ask.

Happy sewing,