Make a Sleeveless Shirt From an Unused T-Shirt

Aug 1st, 2009
Make sleeveless shirts from extra T-shirts and save money. Made right, these sleeveless T-shirts are as good as the store-bought ones. How to make sleeveless T-shirts plus ideas on how to recycle the leftover sleeves.

     Sleeveless T-shirts have been, and will continue to be popular choices for men’s summer wear. Here I will detail how you can turn a regular T-shirt into a sleeveless T-shirt

     There are two ways to cut a men’s T-shirt; either leave the seam on the shirt or just cut the seam off with the sleeve. If you leave the seam on the shirt, it will make the shirt stronger and less likely to rip down from the armholes. It also makes the shirt look neater and if you do it right, it’s hard to tell the shirt apart from the sleeveless T-shirts from the store. See Homemade DIY Sleeveless shirt craft slideshow guide (seam remain, neat, strong variant) for a detailed, step by step slideshow.

     Cutting the seam off allows for the shirt to be more comfortable. It also gives it a more ragged look. This would be the preferred method if the lounge feel were desired. The liability is that the shirt is more prone to rip. It also would cause the armholes to be deeper which can be a problem with baggy shirts. This method allows tight shirts to be comfortable and loose shirts to look good. See Homemade DIY sleeveless shirt detailed slideshow guide, comfort variant for a detailed, easy to follow picture guide.

     Spread the shirt out and make a small hole in the sleeve about an eighth of an inch from the seam, with a pair of scissors. Insert one blade of the scissors into the hole and cut around the sleeve, cutting through only one side at a time. The cut should be right next to the seam. If the seam is to be left on the shirt, it is important to cut between an eighth of an inch and a quarter of an inch from the seam. To cut too close causes the seam to come apart with time, and to leave too much sleeve causes not only a ragged look but also the remainder of the sleeve to curl outwards. If the seam is not being kept, distance is not as important.

     A funny thing about T-shirts is that the sleeve always wants to curl outwards, but the shoulder always curls over inwards. It is that exact curling that with time, works to make the T-shirt look neater yet still comfortable. To hasten the curling, gently tug on the cloth like you were trying to pull the armhole wider and it will curl over.

     Long Sleeved T-shirts are also good for cutting to sleeveless shirts. Because the only difference is the length of the sleeve, the shirt will look the same once it is cut. Set aside the sleeves for future crafts or uses.

     There are a number of different crafts and uses for T-shirt sleeves. The sleeve can be made into a hat or a headband, for example. They can be worn under a baseball cap for the ghetto look. Or if the shirt is a certain color cloth that is needed for a specific craft, the sleeves can be cut off so you still have a shirt while also having the cloth needed for the project.

     Long sleeved T-shirt sleeves are more desirable for crafts. Not only do they make good nightcaps, but also they can be made into a handbag. Sew up the cut end and then make two holes on the inside of the cuff on either side of the seam. These holes go only through one half of the cuff. Insert a string which then serves as not only a handle but pulls the bag closed. My favorite craft is to sew a ball into the sleeve. To do so, I sew the cuff shut, then put the ball into the sleeve. On the other side of the ball, I use a rubber band, which I twist until tight. This holds the ball in place without having to sew it, allowing me to replace or remove the ball as desired. Now I have a “comet” ready to launch with the swing of a bat.

David Farrell
Mr. Dave,an accomplished freelance writer, is the RuneScape Examiner, an Associated Content top 1000 writer, and a UConn Certified Master Gardener. Mr Dave's interests include RuneScape, gardening, and crafts. Mr Dave has over 20 yrars gardening experience,…
Follow
Your comments