How to Cut The Sleeves of a T-shirt (5+ Cute Ways And Ideas)

T-shirts are very comfortable. They are usually made to be a relaxed fit so you can move more freely than you would with a dress shirt. Plus, t-shirts can be cute especially when you do some customizing although guys may not like those cute designs on their t-shirts.

There are several ways you can cut the sleeves out of a T-shirt. One method would be to cut the collar along the stitch line then cut the sleeves. With one finger reach into the armholes and bring the two sides together. Then wrap the two sides with the cut-off portion of the shirt.

To learn more about cutting your t-shirts in a cute fashion, just continue to read our article. It has the information you need. The look of that shirt described above is for women and can be quite daring when done right.

Can T-shirt Sleeves Be Tailored?

Yes, this can be done and you may need a little expertise in sizing to get the task done correctly. There is a slight process involved but in the end, you may be pleased with your results.

Part of the process will involve cutting the material and then ironing it before you hem it. Of course, you will need to decide how big or how small you want those sleeves. make accurate measurements so you do not accidentally make a cutting error and having to trash your project.

But even if you do make an error, the trash may not be the first solution. You should check to see if the error can be re-purposed into one of the cute ways you can cut a t-shirt sleeve.

If you can, you just saved yourself some money and did not waste any of your efforts. One option would be to trim the sleeves into a fringe style that provides both a unique look and a cute way to wear your t-shirt.

It will take a little thought as to how you will tailor your sleeves but when you proceed you just need to be careful and watch your actions as you take each step.

Cute Ways to Cut T-shirt Sleeves


There are more ways to cut t-shirt sleeves into cute designs for women than there are for men. Most men don't need cute designs, they just want a nice comfortable t-shirt sleeve that allows them to move freely.

But for women, it seems that the options are unlimited. The first style would be to cut little diamond shapes starting with the sleeves and going across the back to the other sleeve then back across the front to where you started. Make sure to arrange the diamonds into a good pattern and leave enough space in between each one.

Another way would be to cut slits into the sleeves, either horizontally or vertically and you can do one or more slits to get you that cute look. Each slit should be tied together as well. Or just cut a piece out of the end of the sleeve and tie it up like you would the front of the shirt.

Another interesting design would be to cut the t-shirt at the collar leaving the stitched part intact and do the same with the sleeves. Next, you sew fabric lines from the body of the shirt to the collar and around the sleeves. You still have a t-shirt but it gives your body plenty of breathing room.

Then there is the cut the sleeves completely off look and turn your t-shirt into a tough man’s look. Just leave the shirt as is except to cut some cute designs into the body of the t-shirt.

Also, you could leave the logo or school name on the front and cut the sleeves to the collar at an angle. The sleeves would look wider at the top and narrower at the bottom. Part of the collar would not have any fabric attached to it.

If the t-shirt sleeves are long enough, you can turn them into little or big bows and have them drape over your shoulder and a small portion of your upper arm. Plus, if you are very handy, you can turn a long sleeve t-shirt into a fashion statement by cutting little arrow-like shapes down the seam so you have a nice triangle design to the sleeves.

This look can be complemented by cutting a lace pattern to the front of the shirt. This is just the tip of the iceberg for cute ways to cut your t-shirt sleeves.

How to Cut t-Shirt Sleeves Shorter

This process is not that difficult and anyone can take a pair of scissors to a t-shirt and cut the sleeves shorter. There is no skill in doing that. The skill and the difficulty come in when you want those sleeves to look good when you are done.

Step one would be to find the perfect t-shirt to alter. There is no sense trying to cut up one that looks old or ratty. Step two is having to fold the t-shirt in half to see how it will look against your body.

Step three has you placing chalk marks on the T-shirt sleeves where you want to make your cuts. If you want to keep the seam, simply place the marks as close to the seam as reasonably possible.

Step four is the cutting step and you need to be careful. keeping the seam intact means watching those scissors as they move around the fabric. It is easy to make a mistake especially if you get distracted.

When it comes to cutting out the seams, you have to be just as careful as you do not want to end up with a jagged look. You will want a smooth line after you are done.

DIY T-Shirt Sleeve Cutting Ideas


There are as many DIY ideas as there are any other cutting the t-shirt ideas. It just takes a little ingenuity, a little brainstorming, and a little common sense to come up with something unique and closer to your personality. (Click how to cut neck of t shirt for more ideas)

One way is to simply re-hem the sleeves. If you want them shorter, cut the hem off and fold the sleeves back to where you would prefer them to be. This is a simple process and a simple design but some people do like the simple things in life.

Another option is what has already been described at the beginning of the article. After laying the t-shirt flat, you cut the collar along the stitch line, but do not throw that cut part away. it will be needed later on.

Create an elongated front collar and then cut the sleeves off. When those steps are done, take your fingers and reach into the hole and bring both sides of the cut-out sleeves together. Then use the cut-off strip as a tie to bind that look to each other.

Other DIY ideas would be a simple neck cut out with shortened sleeves, a peek-a-boo style or add colorful fabrics to the sleeves after you shorten them or alter them in another way.

How to Fringe a Shirt Sleeve

The way to fringe a t-shirt sleeve is probably best done if you copy the same method you would use for the t-shirt bottom. The fringes may be shorter and the work a little bit less.

But the simplest way to do it would be to lay the t-shirt on a flat surface so it is easier to work on. Then cut off the finished hem at the sleeve bottom. If you want the sleeves a little shorter, you do it at this step and cut the material where you want it to stop.

Once you have the sleeve size figured out, simply cut horizontal lines, starting at the bottom of the sleeve and ending up approx. 1/2 inch from the shoulder seam. The narrower you go the thinner the fringes will look. The wider you go, the fatter they will look.

To get a more finished look to your t-shirt, you can tug lightly on each fringe to have them roll up a bit. This technique makes sure the fringes remain separated as well as lets them swing freely.

You may want to add some beads for a more decorative style and look.

Cut and Tie T-shirt Sleeves


There are several different methods you can try out. The one you choose will depend on the look you want, how many ties you want, and where you want those ties to be located.

For longer sleeves, you can cut a strip of fabric from your shoulder seam down to the wrist seam leaving about an inch to inch and a half buffer fabric zone. Then cut little holes on both sides of the new slit all the way up.

Once you are done that, you can use laces or other thin fabric pieces as laces and lace-up the sleeve. For sorter sleeves, you can cut a line from the middle of the bottom finished hem to the top shoulder hem, not damaging either. Then take your scissors and cut horizontal lines on both sides.

You can make those lines as narrow or as thick as you want but do not complete the cuts or you will lose some material. After you are done, just tie the opposite lines together.

Or you can cut the sleeves out entirely and then cut a slit up from the shoulder seam to the collar and tie the two sides together so that the ties remain on your shoulders.

What to do With Cut Off Shirt Sleeves

If you are creative, there are numerous options at your disposal. You can fashion them into doll clothes or even clothes for stuffed animals. That takes only a few minutes of your time to get done.

Then you can turn those cut-off shirt sleeves into small bags for coins or other small items you do not want to lose. Another option would be, if the cut sleeves are long enough, is to turn them into long pieces of narrow fabrics and use them as laces, ties, or bows.

You can change the size of those fabric strips before you cut them and use them as thin or thick bows that add a decorative touch to your t-shirt. Also, you can put them in your scrap pile and save them for an upcoming school craft project your children have had assigned to them.

You could also dye the colors and cut them into nice shapes to embellish your t-shirt once you have the sleeves looking like you want. A little brainstorming here should turn up quite a few interesting projects that would brighten your home or your clothing items.

You have a lot of leeway and freedom in how to use those scrap pieces of fabric.

How to Hem T-Shirt Sleeves


The first thing you do is insert a ballpoint needle into your machine. Then thread the machine with the type of thread you want to use making sure it is not too thick for the eye of the needle.

If you are going to use a zig-zag stitch, set your length to 3 and the width to narrow. This allows for some stretch to take place later on while giving you a nice decorative touch.

If you are replacing an old hem or repairing one, cut away any loose hem threads, then pin the hem to the size you want it to be. Fold the fabric over twice to hide the raw edge. Now once that is all done, sew away.

Try not to stretch the fabric as you sew, gently guide the material through the needle without pulling. Trim any loose threads and iron with the fabric-approved setting. if you want to do a rolled or clean finish hem make sure to leave yourself about an inch of material for the allowance.

A lighter finished hem can be cut with pinking shears, then turn the fabric up on the wrong side for a hem allowance. Pin in place. Now stitch just below the cut line with a stitch length at 3 and a narrow zig-zag stitch. Again avoid trying to stretch the fabric as you work.

This last option cuts down on any bulk. When you are done lightly iron the hem.

Are My T-shirt Sleeves Too Short?

There are many reasons why the t-shirt sleeve may be too short. You cut off too much is one major reason but another is that the t-shirt sleeves may have shrunk or were not originally made to go all the way down to your hand.

In the latter two cases, you can take another shirt that you may not wear that much and cur off the bottom hemmed part of the sleeves on that shirt. Cut them to the length you need. That will leave the finished bottom hem on the old sleeves in place so you do not have to do any hemming.

One big tip, make sure to use the same color of shirt as the t-shirt you are trying to lengthen. Or use contrasting colors that do not clash with each other. After you have the length you need and keep in mind you may need to make it a little bit longer for sewing.

Slide the cut sleeve part into the sleeve of the t-shirt you want to lengthen and pin in place. Make sure to line up the vertical seams before you pin. After you have pinned the sleeves together you can sew.

Follow the topstitching in the t-shirt sleeve to make them look normal and use the same color of thread that matches the t-shirt color. Lock the stitching in place so it won’t unravel on you and you are done.

What to do if t-Shirt Sleeves are Too Long


The standard and traditional practice have always been to roll or push the sleeves up your arm to where you want them. This is the easiest and cheapest fix you can do. One reason people choose this option is that you never know when you will need longer sleeves again.

Another way would be to go to a tailor and get him or her to shorten the sleeves for you. They will have the expertise and all the right threads so the end result looks professional.

Or you can do the job yourself but that does take some time and some effort to get the look just right. The first step would be to turn the t-shirt inside out and cut the sleeves right at the finished shoulder hem. Leave that hem alone as you will need it later on.

Next, you simply resize the length of the sleeves cutting off any excess material. Make sure to take accurate measurements and double-check the ones you marked when you measured the material.

Once that is done you can re-attach the fabric to the t-shirt. Of course, you can simply measure the length of the t-shirt, stopping where you want the length to be. Add a little in for the new hemline and cut the material off.

Then re-hem the sleeve to the length you like and you're done.

T-Shirt Sleeves Too Baggy

One method you can try is to sew a dart from the bust apex to where it needs to go. You can make this dart by simply pinching the fabric on the wrong side of the shirt. Then sew the fold.

Or you can try to add a band or binding material by placing extra material inside the arm and sewing it into place. Finally, you could try to add an elastic band usually use for underwear to help close off the baggy nature of the sleeve.

These are fairly good methods but they may take a little bit of work. The practical way would be to open the vertical seam up and place a bit of the fabric inside the other one until all the baggy nature is gone. Then sew a new vertical seam.

Cut off any excess material once you have the seam in place so it doesn't bother you when you wear the t-shirt. Or you can remove the sleeve altogether and re-size it from scratch but you may still need to add a little extra fabric to the armhole to make that smaller to fit the new sleeve size.

How to Cut t-Shirt Sleeves Into a Tank Top


Step number one is to gather your supplies which will be scissors, a tape measure, and a washable marker. Then lay your t-shirt flat so you don't have any trouble with measuring.

Step two has you marking a spot from the collar along the shoulder seam where you want the new look to start. Usually, about 2 inches is enough. Step three is where you mark 2 inches from the bottom of the sleeve seam down the shirt.

The actual length will depend on how much of the inside of your body you want to reveal. Step four, you cut starting at the bottom mark and following the natural curve of the t-shirt and head for the top mark.

Step five, fold your shirt so that the fabrics line up and trace the first cut line over the second sleeve area. This will make the cuts identical. Make your second cut when done.

Finally, hem the new cut lines so the shirt doesn't unravel on you.

Some Final Words

There is nothing wrong with cutting your own t-shirt sleeves. It is one practical way to save money and still get to wear the design you like. Just take your time and be careful when you make your cuts.

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