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Short Sleeve to Long Sleeve Dress Refashion

Mother of the Beige Dress Refashion
A Polyester Flowers No Sew Dress-to-Top Refashion

The other day, I woke up, took a shower, and then donned my refashion for the day.

Just one problem…It was a little chilly out, and my arms were NOT going to be happy as-is.

Time to take this dress from short sleeved to long sleeved!

refashionista Short Sleeve to Long Sleeve Dress Refashion before
This is what I look like fresh out of the shower.

I began with removing these guys.

removed shoulder pad
Luckily they were just velcroed in.

Then I made a chop.

cutting off bottom of dress

That bottom scrap is about to become my new sleeves!

I cut that bottom part open.

cutting bottom scrap to make sleeves
You shall be my sleeve!

I cut one sleeve out, making sure it was the same width at the bottom of the short sleeve (plus seam allowance).

Then I used that sleeve as a guide for the second sleeve.

cutting sleeve from bottom fabric scrap
Gotta make ’em match!

Then, I pinned and stitched a seam down the length of each future sleeve.

Whirrrr (x 2)!!!!
Whirrrr (x 2)!!!!

I pinned my sleeves into the existing sleeves.  

Yes…I could have used my seam ripper to remove the existing sleeves and put in completely new sleeves, but I thought this would look more interesting.

I kind of like it when you can see the story behind my refashions. πŸ™‚

pinning sleeve add-on into existing short sleeve

I stitched my new sleeves in, using two rows of stitches.

sewing in new sleeves
It was a challenge, but it worked!

When I was done adding my sleevage, I still wasn’t quite happy with the fit of my frock, so I took it in just a bit.

pinning side seam of dress
Just a smidge!

I stitched each side down, and then gave my new dress a new hem!

sewing new hem in dress

My new dress had a great day at the Soda City Farmer’s Market!

Short Sleeve to Long Sleeve Dress Refashion after
With a pint of IPA!
Short Sleeve to Long Sleeve Dress Refashion after side view!
Sleeve side view!

It was a lovely day!

Checking out some sweet vintage wear!
Checking out some sweet vintage wear!
Melissa, Erin, and Jillian
Gotta have friends!
Short Sleeve to Long Sleeve Dress Refashion after with handbag
Tres chic, no?

So…for all of you who have been asking me to show you how to add on sleeves…here’s one way!


refashionista Short Sleeve to Long Sleeve Dress Refashion before and after
Mother of the Beige Dress Refashion
A Polyester Flowers No Sew Dress-to-Top Refashion

51 thoughts on “Short Sleeve to Long Sleeve Dress Refashion”

  1. Easily done and looks great. And you could also have attached the add-on pieces with a seam – another quick solution that would avoid doing a new sleeve.

  2. I love your refashions. You are talented, witty and fun to follow. But, I always received notification when you have a new post. However I no longer do. I have tried re-subscribing numerous times but it is not working. I have to search for you to see if there is a new post. What am I doing wrong??? ( you are worth searching for!)

  3. I reallyove your posts. Thrifting is fun and you find ways to make everything “you”. Making unique fashion pieces can be very spendy, but not the way you do it. Great job.

  4. Jillian – I think this is one of your best. I would have LOVED to have this dress when I was a raging hippie 50 years ago, and were I not as old as I am I would love to wear it now!! Love the way you finished it all – hem, sleeves, very well done!!!!

  5. Sleeves! Any way to add sleeves is greatly appreciated! So many of the things I find have small sleeves that don’t do my arms any favors. It kills me to find something wonderful with sleeves like a T-Rex’s tiny appendages.

  6. I love this refashion! From such an ugly dress to come up with this cute outfit! On the other hand I love that beige coat I can see on the photo of the vintage festival!!!!

  7. I just want you to know, you have made me into a thrift shopper! I’m not quite ready to do any actual sewing, but my last trips to the Goodwill have netted me some fabulous name brands in great condition and at a great price. Thanks for showing me the light!

  8. I LOVE that you added to the existing sleeves. I have a top that I was thinking of doing that to, but wasn’t sure if I’d like how it looks. Now I know it looks great. Thanks πŸ™‚

  9. You inspire me to think “outside the box” about thrifted finds, but I haven’t yet managed to do a full refashion. I have shortened slacks & jumpers, taken side seams in on dresses, and cut off sleeves., but nothing as creative, adventurous as your work.

  10. That is awesome!! I just found your blog about two weeks ago ( give or take) and I’ve managed to read a bunch of your old refashions. I’m up to year 3 lol.
    Anyway, I’ve been refashioning like a crazy, thank you for all the inspiration πŸ™‚

  11. Super cute, I love it, along with the “Sleeve Me Alone” Title. You’re good at “feeling” your piece and giving it a name, I have faith the funny, titles will keep coming πŸ™‚

  12. One way to come up with new titles, and it’s something my husband does with his photography, is song names/lyrics etc.. The more obscure the better! His followers/friends are always trying to figure out what song & how the picture made him think of it. You could also use movie names or reference something from a movie. He likes to do that too! Just some ideas to get your creative juices flowing! (like those sleeves)


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