How To Make A Sleeveless Shirt [5 Super Stylish Ways]

May 24, 2022
by Jack Lyons

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We all know we've got at least 2 or 3 shirts collecting dust in our closets because we never wear them. What's worse is we know we have no intention of wearing them, but our deep down hoarder mentalities stop us from giving them away or throwing them out. 

If said shirts have sleeves and are in good condition, why not make them into sleeveless shirts that you can wear during the summer months? This will eliminate all the guilt you're feeling about not giving them away and will also give you a little creative boost! 

How To Make A Sleeveless Shirt 

There are several ways to make a sleeveless shirt. There are also different kinds of sleeveless shirts, such as tanks, muscle tees, etc. This article will show you a few methods to how you can make your own sleeveless shirt. 

1. Cutting The Sleeves Off An Existing Shirt 

You have free rein with any shirt you choose with this method, as any can be made sleeveless. You can pick from long-sleeved shirts, blouses, and T-shirts. 

Begin by turning your chosen shirt inside out and placing it on a flat surface. Then, with some sharp scissors, start cutting numerous strips into the shirt's sleeves. 

Cutting these strips will help the shirt lose the curve around the shoulder, so it feels more comfortable when it is sleeveless. 

Next, you are to cut off each strip around the shoulder seam but avoid cutting into the seam as this will cause fraying. 

If any bits around the seams need cleaning up, you can trim them with your scissors. 

Your sleeveless shirt is complete! 

2. Making A Tank Top 

This method will show you how to take a tank top. An old T-shirt would be the best option for this method. To make this kind of top, you must remove the sleeves and also part of the neckline. 

Begin by laying out your shirt on a flat surface. Start cutting out the neckline below the seam. You can pull at the shirt to make this a bit easier. 

Once that is done, begin to cut off the sleeves, starting at the armpit. Follow a slight upwards curve, making the final cut halfway between the neck and sleeve. 

You are then to hem the edges to avoid fraying. You'll be performing a double-turn hem, where you fold over one side twice before sewing. Sew all the edges to make it neat, but if you want more of a grunge look, you do not need to hem.

3. Making A Muscle Tee 

Muscle tees are great for those who work out a lot, as they allow more room for your skin to breathe.  

To make this type of shirt, you will first need to find an old t-shirt that has been washed many times. If you cannot find one, you can always buy one online.

The next step is to lay the shirt out on a flat surface. Begin by cutting off the sleeves and the bottom of the shirt.

Then, cut along the armhole line, leaving enough fabric to cover the entire backside of the shirt. Cut just above the elbow. Repeat this on the other side. 

Now, turn the shirt right side out and press down firmly. It should feel like a regular t-shirt.

Sew across the armholes and down the front edge of the shirt. Next, sew along the sides of the shirt. Once again, make sure to leave enough material to cover the backside of the shirt while still fitting comfortably. Like the previous method, if you are after a grunge look, you do not need to sew. 

4. Off The Shoulder Shirt 

An off-the-shoulder shirt is perfect for those who love to show off their shoulders. This style is usually worn with a strapless bra or no bra at all.

For this method, using a baggy T-Shirt would work best. It is important to remember that you will be cutting the back and front of the neck differently, so do each section separately. 

Start by trying on the shirt and measure from the current collar to where you want the collar to begin on your off-shoulder shirt. Mark this something that will wash off, such as fabric chalk. 

Remove the shirt and lay it on a flat surface, back facing up. Draw a line from the right of the collar to beneath the armpit on the left. 

Cut along the line before turning the shirt over so the front faces up. 

Locate the armpit of the sleeve that was just removed, and draw a line that begins there and ends at the right of the collar. 

Cut along this line, and you should remove a semicircle shape piece of fabric from this shirt along with the left sleeve. 

You must ensure that there is a straighter cut along the back of the shirt so it sits comfortably on your body. 

5. How To Make A Cap Sleeve

Cap sleeves are sleeves that are slightly triangular in shape, poking out over the shoulders and narrowing it at the armpit.

This style of sleeve is made by simply taking a regular sleeve and cutting it into two pieces. 

Begin by folding the sleeve in half so the seam runs vertically. Then, place a pin through both layers of fabric, about 1/2 inch from the top of the sleeve. This will help keep everything lined up when you cut.

Next, take a pair of scissors and cut straight down, following the pinned line. When you reach the end of the cuff, stop and unfold the sleeve.

Repeat these steps until you have four identical cuffs. Now, fold the top of the sleeve under and iron it flat. You should now have a cap sleeve. 

Final Thoughts 

Making sleeveless shirts is a great way to use up any old shirts you may have forgotten about. We hope this article has provided you with some simple guides on how to do this yourself at home! 

Related: How To Measure Sleeve Length [3 Easy Steps & Top Tips]

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