Sunday, 4 May 2014

Make do and mend - Shortening sleeves on a waterproof jacket

I've had this waterproof jacket for years but it rarely gets worn because the sleeves are so long. If I wear it walking and it rains I end up with soggy wrists as the sleeves start off turned up and then fall down after a while.

In keeping with the Buy Nothing New Challenge I thought I would try to shorten the sleeves so Ic an get more wear from the jacket.

I am the queen of lazy fixes so normally I would just turn the sleeves under and stitch them in place but there is a rubber bit on the cuff that is quite bulky. I have never shortened sleeves properly so this was a bit of an experiment!

Taking off the cuff was a bit tricky because it was secured on both sides and really well made!
I should have measured the sleeve length first but I took a guess that I needed to take off the length off the cuff so I took 5 centimetres off the outer sleeve and the lining. 

This turned out to be a bit of a mistake, but I didn't find that out until I finished machine stitching the outer sleeve to the cuff and realised it was still far too long  when I tried it on :( It turns out I needed to take a whopping 10 centimetres off!

I pinned and tacked the sleeve to the cuff and then machine stitched them together. I thought I'd done great until I realised it was still too long and I had to unpick it and chop a bit more off! Turns out the DIY mantra measure twice and cut once applies to sewing too :(

The original sleeve was machine stitched with a running stitch on the inside on both the outer sleeve and the lining, I think this must have been done before the sleeve was attached to the body. I couldn't work out how to do this without taking the whole sleeve off so unsettled for hand stitching. 

Instead of the original finish I tacked a hem into the lining and then tacked the lining to the cuff. 

I then hand stitched the lining onto the cuff with small stitches tacking care only to go through the inner layer of the cuff so as not to damage the waterproofing on the outside with unnecessary needle holes.

The shorter sleeve was quite a bit wider so I put a small single tuck in the fabric and secured it with the hem.

I'm really pleased with the result, the stitching at the lining is visible but  I now have a much more wearable jacket and saved it from the charity shop :)

Ta da, a sleeve that fits


  1. This is great, thank you! Sleeves are always much too long on me, and my current waterproof is no exception! Will need to give this a go!

    1. Really glad you found it helpful Wendy :)