How To Cut Sleeves off a T-Shirt

A recent trend in the ever-evolving world of fashion is t-shirts without sleeves. An ordinary t-shirt’s sleeves can be shortened to give them a stylish appearance. It can be worn subtly during the summer or for the ideal casual outing. 

Learning to cut the sleeves off a t-shirt is handy whether you want to customize a new shirt or upcycle one you have been wearing for a long time. You will be navigated through the process in this article, ensuring a successful transformation of your t-shirt.

What Are The Materials Required To Cut A T-Shirt? 

What Are The Materials Required To Cut A T-Shirt

You’ll need a few necessary materials before cutting the sleeves off your t-shirt. To be precise, a pair of sharp fabric scissors, a marker or chalk, a ruler or measuring tape, and a t-shirt of your choice, preferably made of cotton or a blend with some stretch. To ensure a seamless cutting operation, it’s crucial to have everything prepared.

What Should Be The Desired Length?

How long you want the sleeveless T-shirt to be is up to you. You can choose between a subtle design with fewer openings and a typical tank top shape with wide armholes. 

To begin with, each sleeve should have the desired length marked with chalk or a marker. Start with a more significant length and cut it shorter if necessary. However, remember that while you may always cut more cloth, you cannot replace it after it has gone.

How Should You Plan The Cut?

It’s time to design the cut after marking the required length. The T-shirt should be laid flat on a table or other appropriate surface. Remove any creases to ensure precise cutting. Measure and mark the same length from the shoulder seam down the sleeve using a ruler or measuring tape. 

Now, draw a straight line connecting the marks using the chalk or marker. Ensure the measures line up before repeating the procedure for the opposite sleeve.

How Should You Start Cutting?

Now that the planning is finished, it’s time to start cutting fabric. With one solid grip on the t-shirt, carefully cut following the lines drawn on each sleeve. However, to guarantee a smooth and equal edge, take your time and make careful, precise cuts. 

Since you may always trim more if necessary, it is preferable to cut first just slightly outside the lines that have been established. Make sure both sides are symmetrical before repeating the same for the opposite sleeve.

How Can You Adjust The Armholes?

You should modify the armhole’s size and shape after removing the sleeves. However, depending on the style you want, this step is optional. When trimming the excess fabric, start at the bottom corner of the armhole and curve upward towards the shoulder seam if you like more oversized armholes. 

Also, avoid cutting too much fabric at once; you may add extra trimming later. Try it on once you find the fit and comfort you want in the t-shirt.

What Are Finishing Touches Required To Have The Perfect Cut?

Finishing touches are necessary after cutting the sleeves and adjusting the armholes. Examine the armhole edges and clip any crooked or loose threads

However, if you want to have ragged ends you can leave them that way. In case you want a more polished appearance you can fold the edges under the sew. 

How to Cut Sleeves off a Long Sleeve Shirt?

How to Cut Sleeves off a Long Sleeve Shirt


First, find a long sleeve shirt that fits the bill and lay it flat to start. Then, ensure the fabric is distributed uniformly and the shirt is wrinkled-free.

After smoothing them over their length, draw horizontal cutting lines on the sleeves using fabric chalk or a washable marker. From the edge of the shoulder seam, measure the required sleeve length, say one inch. To guarantee symmetry, repeat the measuring and marking procedures for the other sleeve.

However, carefully cut along the drawn cutting lines with fabric scissors or a rotary cutter, being careful not to stretch the fabric. Trim any loose threads or uneven cuts after the operation is finished to prevent ragged edges.

What Can Be An Alternative Method To Make A Shirt Sleeveless?

Alternative Method To Make A Shirt Sleeveless

Although cutting can be a convenient way to achieve the sleeveless look on your t-shirt, there are other temporary ways that can help you do that. Of them, one simple way is folding and rolling the sleeves of your shirt. This can give the appearance of a sleeveless t-shirt.

Here’s how you can do that:

  • First, choose a shirt with flexible sleeves that can be easily rolled or folded.
  • Then, wear the shirt and make sure to fold the sleeves inward at the seam, ensuring the fold is even and neat.
  • Roll or fold the sleeve again, tucking the fabric’s edge under the first fold or you can roll it to ensure it stays in place.
  • Lastly, you have to repeat the steps for the other sleeve, and get a symmetrical appearance.

You can now achieve a sleeveless look without cutting or damaging the fabric. 

What Are The Different Shirt Types You Can Make By Cutting Off The Sleeve?

What Are The Different Shirt Types You Can Make By Cutting Off The Sleeve

The different types of shirts you can make by cutting off the sleeves are:

Tank Top

Making a traditional tank top is the most popular and simple solution. Remove the sleeves and leave wide armholes for a loose and unstructured appearance. Thus, tank tops are ideal for hot summer days or as a platform for layering.

Muscle Tee

Trim the armholes closer to the body for a more athletic and fitted appearance. This results in a muscle tee that emphasizes the muscles in the shoulder and arm. It’s a well-liked option for athletic wear or a sporty-casual appearance.


To make a racerback shirt, cut the sleeves in a curved shape from the shoulder to the shirt’s back. This option is athletic and fashionable. To be precise, more of the upper back and shoulders are visible in this design, giving it a distinctive appearance.

Crop Top

To make a crop top, trim the t-shirt’s length and cut off the sleeves if you want to display a little stomach. This design looks great with high-waisted trousers, skirts, or shorts to create a stylish and flirty ensemble.

Halter Top

Halter Top

To make a halter top, remove the sleeves and make straps that tie around the neck, exposing the back. With different strap widths and lengths available, this style is excellent for a summery and feminine aesthetic.

Cut-out Shoulder

You can only cut out the shoulders of the t-shirt while leaving the sleeves intact for a hip and edgy look. Cut-out shoulder elements result from this that are both fashionable and distinctive. Thereby, it’s a fantastic way to inject some style into a plain t-shirt.

T-shirt sleeves can be cut off to make a variety of fashionable shirts, which can completely change your wardrobe. The selections are unlimited, whether you decide on a traditional tank top, a fitted muscle tee, a stylish racerback, a flirty crop top, a pretty halter top, or an edgy off-the-shoulder style. 

Therefore, by perfecting the skill of cutting sleeves, you may customize your t-shirts and keep up with the newest trends in fashion.

Wrapping Up

Cutting off the sleeves allows you to show off your unique sense of style and breathes new life into worn-out or dull t-shirts. Thus, turning these clothes into sleeveless shirts through upcycling may make something unique and personalized to your tastes while also cutting down on waste. You can transform a plain t-shirt into a stylish standout item using a few simple cuts and alterations.

Additionally, removing the sleeves from a t-shirt is a quick and enjoyable DIY project that only needs a few supplies and can be completed using simple sewing techniques. It’s an excellent opportunity to let your imagination run wild and try various lengths, forms, and designs.

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