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Pattern Altering: Short to Long Sleeves

2013 October 15

Since it is quickly becoming cooler around here these days, I am finding that a lot of my go-to kids patterns have short sleeves! Not a problem – there is an easy way to change a simple sleeve pattern so it is fall and winter appropriate.

I traced one of my daughter’s shirts when extending the sleeve of the Figgy’s Banyan Tee for my oldest.

You will need:

  • long sleeve tee that fits and uses the same fabric as your pattern (woven tee – woven pattern, knit tee – knit pattern…)
  • short sleeve pattern piece
  • paper a bit longer than the length of the sample tee sleeve
  • pen
  • ruler or straight edge

Here we go:

(1) Fold your sample sleeve exactly in half. (2) Check the seam allowance amount in your pattern directions and mark it on the pattern piece. (3) If your sleeve is not cut on the fold, find the centre and lay it on the edge of your paper (4) Lay the sample long sleeve on the pattern piece with the fold along the edge of your paper. Line up the shoulder seam with the seam allowance mark on your pattern piece.

(5) Trace the sleeve edge allowing extra at the wrist for hemming. Trace a few inches up the side of the sleeve, adding in the seam allowance amount.

(6) Mark the top corner of the sleeve pattern piece with a dot (see photo).

(7) Use the straight edge to make a line from the bottom hem edge to the dot you just marked.

(8) Finish by tracing the rounded part of the sleeve around to the edge of your paper.

Proceed as detailed in your pattern instructions with your new long sleeved pattern piece. Be sure to mark your pattern piece so you don’t forget to cut it on the Fold! It is on the straight paper edge of your pattern piece. You will also need a bit more yardage than the pattern instructions suggest to fit your new sleeves.

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