Altering Short Sleeve T-shirts to Long Sleeve T-shirts




Introduction: Altering Short Sleeve T-shirts to Long Sleeve T-shirts

About: I am married with two children. Spring, summer, and fall are my very favorite times of the year. I enjoy working in the yard, sewing, cooking, quilting, gardening, and creating. I do this to keep my sanity.

I have a lot of empathy for people that have a difficult time buying clothing that fits.  My husband is tall and thin. Shoes, socks, long sleeve shirts, and coats are always a problem to find.  When he does find them they are so expensive and the choices are few.  He likes the western style because the fit is a more tailored fit.  Many years ago I decided to try my hand at making him some western shirts.  I made them for a very long time.  It cost me just as much to make them as to buy them because of the expense of the fabric, snaps, thread, pattern, and interfacing.  Then finally we were able to buy them JC Penny's.  About two years ago they quit stocking his favorite shirt in his size.  So now we are back to making them. Tonight I whipped out a long sleeve t-shirt that fit him in the sleeves.  It needs more tailoring but we were very happy with the results.   

Step 1: Supplies

1 Long sleeve t-shirt
1 Short sleeve t-shirt 
Matching thread
Tape measure or yardstick
Sewing machine or can be sewn by hand or sewing tape.  

Step 2: Size Sleeves

  • I measured a long sleeve shirt that fit and laid the t-shirts out and added a 1/4 inch seam allowance. 

Step 3: Sleeves

Cutting the sleeves:
  • Cut the sleeves off the long sleeve shirt.

Step 4: Pin Sleeves to Garment

Pinning in the sleeves:
  • Turn the short sleeve shirt and the long sleeves inside out.
  • Pin the sleeves to the short sleeve shirt matching the seam.
  • Try it on wrong side out so you don't get stuck. 
  • Adjust if necessary. 

Step 5: Sew in the Sleeves

  • Begin stitching several inches away from the seam.
  • Carefully stitch all the way around the shirt sleeves keeping the fabric smooth.  
  • Overlap the previous stitch a few stitches to secure.
  • Remove from the sewing machine.
  • Trim excess threads.  

Step 6: Finished

Turn right side out and admire your work! Try it on for size and fit.

Step 7: Sunshiine's Final Thoughts

This was a fast an easy solution to turning a short sleeve t-shirt into a long sleeve t-shirt for winter.  I loved the idea that it fit my husband,  so we are making more of these this year.  I will need to make him some shirts that he can wear out and about , but this works for working in the yard and around the house.  Here is a picture of how his shirt fits.  He always rolls up the sleeves so it is not so obvious.  I am sharing pictures of a shirt I made a couple of years ago. I could not find a pattern for the traditional western fit so this is what I made.  It has all flat felt seams ( even around the sleeves ) so there are no ragged seams on the inside of the shirt.  

Thanks for stopping by and do have a Happy Thanksgiving.

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    5 years ago

    Very smart and useful solution! Thanks for sharing.


    9 years ago on Step 7

    good ible. I used this method to turn some cheap shorts into walking shorts for cool weather. saved about ten dollars a pair doing that.


    Reply 9 years ago on Step 7

    Thanks for sharing and have a splendid week!


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts! It was very easy to make. We live in a warm winter climate and usually a long sleeve shirt is plenty warm for the outdoors most of the time. Have a great day!