The Pintester Takes on T-Shirt Sleeve Refashion

There was a time when I was small and cute and could buy t-shirts from the boys’ section at Target whenever I felt like it. Those days are gone, but I recently found a t-shirt I could not resist, and so I bought it anyway, despite my better judgment…

griswold tshirt

My husband and I and another couple we’re friends with have a “tradition” (bad habit) of watching Christmas Vacation over and over, sometimes not anywhere near Christmas, so I could not resist picking up this t-shirt. Buuuuut, it was in the boys’ section, so I ended up with a Youth XL.

Now please refrain from commenting about how it fits on the rest of my torso, because that cannot be helped, but you can clearly see that my large arms are about to bust through the sleeves, and that is the most troubling part to me…

too small sleeves

But Pinterest can fix anything, so I searched and found a tutorial on how to doctor up the sleeves of a t-shirt.

Of course, she started with a long-sleeve t-shirt and I did not, so I had to improvise a little… Fine, a lot.

I began by cutting off the hem of each sleeve.

cut off hem

Then I cut a bitch, right up the center of the sleeve, lined up with the shoulder seam.

cut sleeve

I pulled at the newly raw hems to make them roll up, and I could have called it done right here, because this accomplished my mission of not cutting off the circulation in my ginormous Amazon arms.

But I wanted them to be pretty with the bows and shit like in the tutorial. So I made two little pieces of t-shirt yarn out of the cut off sleeve hems.

shirt hem thread

Then I tied them in bows.

tshirt thread bow

And then, with my amazing crafty prowess, I sewed a bow to each sleeve. I only drew a little blood and I only sewed through the wrong layer of fabric one or two times, and mostly I did ok at this, so don’t judge me. I feel pretty amazing that I made it work.

Ok, fine, sure, it looks nothing like the original tutorial. But I have a fancy new t-shirt sleeve design, thank you, and I like it. So there. Feast your eyes on my fat white arms, Internets. Ho Ho Ho.


To see more of Pintester’s tests (most of which are also CraftFails), check out her blog at

4 Responses to The Pintester Takes on T-Shirt Sleeve Refashion

  1. Barb says:

    I don’t think this is a fail at all, I love the results! So cute! And I think the shirt fits ok, a bit tight, but not overly so. Great job!

  2. Ms Ellen says:

    Brilliant!! it looks great… I, too, have Amazon arms, and will see if I can copy this..

  3. Pingback: T-Shirt Sleeve Refashion | Pintester

  4. Joy Watson says:

    I think the shirt looked fine to begin with, but looks great now.

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