Saturday, October 29, 2016

Shortening shirt sleeves

Shatsu no sodetake wo tsumeru

This is an alteration I’d been thinking of doing for some time. I bought a book about shirt alterations ages ago, but I didn’t do anything after reading it. 

When you google “shortening sleeves,” you get info on ripping off the cuff, cutting the sleeve, and stitching the cuff back in place. This is very simple, but it means the sleeve slit will become shorter, making it harder to roll up sleeves. Plus, shirts look nicer with a full length slit.

Behold, the two-year-old white Uniqlo wrinkle-resistant button-up shirt. The sleeves are about 4 cm too long, but it’s a comfy, practical white shirt, so I’ve worn it at least once a week for the entire time I’ve had it. It’s probably due to be replaced, but I decided to do the alterations anyway, as practice, wear it some more, and then buy a new white shirt ;)

If I do the “rip out cuff, cut off sleeve, stitch back together” thing, I’ll land just below the buttonhole on the slit, which would look kind of wrong.

Before doing anything else, I stole a pencil from the Pumpkin Prince’s school pencil case and marked the cuff and slit backings “R” or “L.” Then I ripped the stitches out of the cuff and the slit backings. I had to rip off the button on the slit, but not the cuff.

Then I marked 4 cm above the cuff stitches as the sew line, and 1.5 cm (seam allowance) below that as the cut line. 

 I extended the slit 4 cm, and imitated the V-shaped slit at the top as well as I could.

I then basted the inside slit backing to the seam on the extended slit, and machine stitched it to the sleeve. I made sure the free edge was on the right side (outside) of the sleeve (this took about three tries to get right, but wrinkle-resistant cotton is forgiving). Then I stitched across the top edge of the slit.

 Then, I basted the outside slit backing to the seam, making sure to cover the free edge of the inside slit backing with the triangular edge. Then, again, machine stitching.

(I forgot to take pictures of this part, but this is the same as a lot of other online tutorials, so you can ask Prof. Google for help) I basted the inside of the cuff to the sleeve. The sleeve was, of course, slightly wider at the new seam, so I ended up making wider tucks than the original sleeve to fit the cuff. Then I machine stitched the inside of the cuff to the sleeve, basted the outside cuff to the whole thing, and added top stitching to the outside of the cuff.

Like all my alterations, slightly crooked, but most of the time, “slightly crooked but right length” looks better than “perfectly straight but too long/ wide.”