How to shorten dress shirt sleeves.

This is such an easy alteration once you’ve gotten used to it.  I worked for another alteration shop and they removed the cuff and cut the desired amount off, including the placket.  This made the placket look awkward and disproportionate.  All it took was a little more effort and you couldn’t tell it was altered.

1. Remove cuff

2. Remove the top part of the placket

3. Remove the bottom or narrow part of the placket.  Take note of how the bottom or narrow piece of the placket is positioned, because you’ll be working in reverse order to reassemble it and will need to put back in correctly. Measure the length of the slit where you removed the placket.  Write this number down.

4. Measure up from the end of the sleeve, the amount you want it shortened. Chalk mark a line across the sleeve, parallel to the end of the sleeve and cut on that line.

5. Take the amount that you removed from the length of the sleeve and measure up that same amount at the end of the slit and cut it open, making sure it’s the same length that you measured after you removed the placket.

Reassembling the sleeve

6. Pin the smaller placket piece in place and sew.

7. Pin the larger placket piece in place and sew, being careful to catch the back side of the placket in the stitching.

8. Beginning with the right sleeve, pin the cuff in place. You’ll be sewing with the right side of the sleeve facing up.  Position the sleeve in the cuff just the way it was when you took it apart.  Begin sewing.  When you get about 1/2 way through sewing the cuff, stop and put two small pleats in the sleeve (closest to the button hole in the cuff) so that the sleeve will fit into the cuff. Pin the pleats in place and finish sewing. Measure the pleats and put the same size pleats in the left sleeve near button hole in the cuff.

I hope these instructions are clear. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

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