Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

shortening sleeves/shoulder seams?

hi everyone! first time poster here. i have kind of a dilemma i could use some help on.

i usually buy mens t-shirts because i'm too fat for like, "baby tees" and most cool women's t-shirts. sooo it seems to work out alright except for one little thing.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

you know that little point where the shoulder seam meets where the sleeve is sewn on? they always say that is supposed to sit right on your shoulder but on me, since men's shirts are designed for manly broad shoulders, that happy little point ends up like halfway down my arm. i'd like to shorten the seam that goes along the top of your shoulder, like from the neck to the sleeve, without actually changing the size of the sleeve. but i have no idea how. i'd like to alter my men's shirts to fit more like this:

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

can anyone help me out? thanks! <3


( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 11th, 2007 11:14 pm (UTC)
Omigod, I have the exact same problem!

Unfortunately, I don't know how to fix the sleeves. I'll be staying tuned to this post for a possible solution!
Aug. 11th, 2007 11:26 pm (UTC)
Use a seam ripper and carefully remove the sleeves. Measure a shirt that fits you well from the neck hole to the shoulder seam (or just lay the well-fitting shirt on top so you can mark it with pins), then cut the shirt you're altering to the same length, and reattach the sleeves.
Aug. 11th, 2007 11:51 pm (UTC)
Your icon made me giggle.

I'm stealing your idea for altering the sleeves. Thanks!
Aug. 12th, 2007 07:27 pm (UTC)
i usually do this, only i put the shirt on inside out, and draw a line with sewing wax where the shoulder should start on me, then i take off the sleeves and sew them back on, but make sure you leave some seam allowance. dont sew directly on the line, leave a little bit of room.
Aug. 11th, 2007 11:33 pm (UTC)
my only concern is that moving the shoulder seam back like that may make the arm hole larger, and create a problem for you when you try to sew the sleeve back on. Have you tried using a pattern for a tshirt like McCall's 4872 or alike? You could lay it over your deconstructed shirt and it would give you a conture to cut the sleeve holes back.
Aug. 11th, 2007 11:56 pm (UTC)
thanks! do you think i could get the same effect by taking a shirt that fits well, cutting it apart, and laying it on top of my men's tshirt..instead of buying a pattern?
Aug. 12th, 2007 08:20 am (UTC)
that work too i bet. :)
Aug. 12th, 2007 01:07 am (UTC)
Oh I guess I should mention that I usually measure the cut-off sleeve and compensate the opening size by sewing some on the bottom of the arm hole. I've never just done sleeves--I usually have to resize a whole shirt, so I didn't even think about that.
Aug. 13th, 2007 12:03 am (UTC)
Love the Dune icon. Don't see many other Dune series fans out there. :-)

michelerene: I just altered a men's sweatshirt into a fitted women's sweatshirt last week, and I did not touch the sleeve seams at all.

I instead took each shoulder in by 2" using DARTS, which also gave the bust some "outness" from the shoulder down, and had the inner dart at the back extend down to the waist. I still had a drop-shoulder, but it was a normal drop, not a down-to-the-elbows drop. It also shortened the long sleeves by 2", so I didn't need to take those up.

Turn your shirt inside-out. Measure 2 darts each 1" wide over the shoulder seams, and taper them halfway to your bust point in the front. On the back, taper the neck-wise darts to about your waist, or just above, and your shoulder-wise darts to the armpit. Stitch each dart. Turn the garment right-side-out, and check it in the mirror. It helps to pin the lumpy bits flat to the shoulder seams, until you're sure you've got the right look. Then you can cut away the excess fabric in the dart, and it will sit properly. You will also want to take in the side seam just under the arm, or shape the side so you get "essence of waist". You can do that just by measuring how much you want to take in under the arm, and then trace a new seamline up each side, from shirt hem to sleeve hem.

I should get a picture of my "new" sweatshirt, so you can see. :-)
Aug. 23rd, 2007 11:28 pm (UTC)
Michelerene - I posted my sweatshirt shoulder seam modification, in case you're still interested in looking at it:

Aug. 11th, 2007 11:54 pm (UTC)
You know... the Japanese kimono is the same way. Actually, half the time the shoulder seam is so low it hits at the elbow. I wouldn't worry about it too much! Just say you're turning Japanese.
or just cut the arm holes closer to the neck. If the hole becomes larger than the sleeve you've just severed, I suggest sewing the gap closed from the bottom of the sleeve where the trunk meets that hole.
Aug. 12th, 2007 02:51 am (UTC)
gathered shoulders
I've refashioned some Ts for my daughter and one of the things I've done is gather the shoulder seams as follows: cut 2 rectangles 4" x distance between neck and armhole seams. Sew them on (inside) centered on the shoulder seam. Stitch each long side and then along the shoulder seams so you end up with 2 tunnels on each shoulder. I then cut the sleeve in a curve from about 2-3" out on top to the bottom of the armhole. If the armhole is huge, extend the side seam up a bit and cut to that point. I usually cut the neck out, but you don't need to. I cut off the bottom hem to use as a cord in the shoulder. Either use that (1/2 on each side) or get two 22" or so cords or ribbons. Cut a little hole in the top of the shoulder near the shoulder seam for each tunnel. Feed the cord in, turn it around at the neck and come out the other tunnel. Tie the ends together in a bow at the shoulder. Done.
Aug. 12th, 2007 11:38 pm (UTC)
okay, here's what I'm doing. I cut diagonally from where my actual shoulder is to where the bottom of the sleve is. Then I cut the seams off the sleeve and re-attach. It's a little puckered because the arm hole ends up bigger than the sleeve, but I don't think it's horribly noticeable.
Aug. 13th, 2007 07:45 pm (UTC)
cut off the sleeve and use a shirt with the proper fitting shoulder to re cut the sleeve hole (from the body of main part of the shirt) and sew the sleeve back on. you may have to sew the sleeve a little smaller too to fit in the smaller hole
Aug. 14th, 2007 10:09 am (UTC)
Yeah, I think my experiment would have worked better had I sewn up the excess in the sleeve hole. At least I have about a million other t-shirts I can do this on.
Aug. 23rd, 2007 07:47 am (UTC)
Possible new answer to your question:

( 16 comments — Leave a comment )