How To Shorten Sleeves On A Waterproof Coat

Is your waterproof coat too sloppy or big to fit? Do you want your waterproof coat to be fit and stylish? Well, the best solution is to shorten your coat with sewing techniques and methods.

You can visit a tailor to shorten your coat, but it will become an expensive step for you. If you want a solution that best fits your budget and gets your job done, then alter the coat yourself. It is not so late to learn and use it for your own purpose.

If you’re determined enough to shorten the sleeves of your waterproof coat, then there’s no stopping from getting desired results. You will have to learn every piece of equipment you need, every step involved, and implement them efficiently.

In this article, you will enhance your knowledge and get to learn how to shorten your sleeves on a waterproof coat. You can sit back at your home, follow this article and get the best fitting size of coat sleeves.

So, keep following this article till the end to get a comprehensive tour guide to shorten sleeves efficiently.

How To Shorten Sleeves On A Waterproof Coat?

Shortening your waterproof coat will transform it from loose-fitting and sloppy to stylish and attractive outwear. You can easily shorten the length of your coat sleeves with the help of a sewing machine.

Moreover, if you know some basic sewing skills, the procedure will become more efficient and straightforward.

If you want to have a great start to your shortening procedure, you will need proper pieces of equipment.

Firstly, you have to start taking measurements with the help of the measuring equipment to find the new length sleeves. You have to mark the new length, cut it and finish the hem to get it shortened quickly and efficiently.

So, get ready with all of your equipment and follow each step discussed in this article to get the best results after shortening your waterproof coat sleeves.

Things Needed To Shorten Sleeves On A Waterproof Coat

If you have the right equipment by your side, you can easily shorten your coat sleeves at the comfort of your home. So, check for these things in your list before starting with the procedure.

  • Measuring Tape
  • Chalk
  • Scissors
  • Seam Ripper
  • Sewing Machine
  • Waterproof Coat
  • Matching Thread

If you want to efficiently and successfully shorten the sleeves of your waterproof coat, then follow this step-by-step guide.

Step 1: Trying The Waterproof Coat To Determine The New Sleeve Length

To get the best fit for your waterproof coat, you have to try it on. Then, check where you want the sleeves to fall. You can bend your arms and hold your sleeves straight to check the most comfortable position for your sleeves. In addition, you can do midpoint measurement in between the two spots on your sleeves.

For instance, if you want to shorten your sleeves till the wrist, but it gets too short while bending the elbow, then you will have to trim it at the end for about 0.5cm below the wrists.

Step 2: Marking And Measuring The Length

Now, use chalk to mark the position around the sleeve. Then, you can remove your waterproof coat and connect the mark spots to form a solid line around the sleeves. Moreover, you can use a ruler to draw accurate straight lines and make sure that the marks are of equal distance from the end of the sleeve.

However, you must remember that the marked line is not where you will cut your sleeves. You will have to add some space for the seam allowance. So, you can measure about 5.1cm from the first line to the end of the sleeve. Again, use the chalk to mark this spot around the sleeve and join them with one bold line.

Step 3: Pulling Out Stitches Along The Hem And Seam

In this step, you have to use the seam ripper. You can use its hook to rip off the stitches on the seam and hem of your waterproof coat. This step is essential for you prior to cutting and stitching.

This will help you detach and remove the sleeve lining from the fabric and enable comfortable hemming of the sleeves. However, you must be careful enough not to rip the fabric. In addition, you can open up the mitred corners around the buttons of your coat, if necessary.

Step 4: Moving The Lining Fabric Up Into The Sleeve

You have to move the lining fabric up into the sleeve to avoid cutting through it. If you cut the lining with the exterior fabric of your waterproof coat, it will damage the fittings of your coat.

Moreover, you can use ball pins to pin the lining inside the coat sleeve. This will ensure you keep the lining away while cutting the outer fabric. You can also press your sleeve to make sure that the edges are nice and clean.

Step 5: Cutting The Outer Fabric Along Second Line 

Now, in this step, you have to cut the outer fabric of your coat sleeve with the help of scissors. Make sure that you cut the outer fabric straight along the marked line around your sleeve. Then, you have to repeat this same procedure for the other sleeve.

Step 6: Pulling Down The Lining Fabric

In this step, you have to pull down the lining back. Make sure that the lining gets past the new sleeve fabric end. If you have used pins in that place, then take them out first before pulling the lining.

Step 7: Trimming The Coat lining With Seam Allowance

Now, you will be trimming the coat lining such that it is a bit longer than the sleeve finishing you want. You have to allow the seam allowance and cut the sleeve fabric a little shorter. However, if you trim or cut the sleeve lining with the equal length of the finished sleeve, your fabric will get pulled and puckered.

Step 8: Folding The Fabric To Cover Lining

In this step, you will be folding the sleeve fabric by 5cm to cover up the lining.

Also, make sure that the coat lining and exterior material of your sleeve are lined up. Then, you can fold the outer material on the sleeve end inside the sleeve. This will help you to hide the raw edges.

Step 9: Placing Pins Around The Folded Sleeve

In this step, you will have to insert the pins perpendicularly at the sleeve end for easy removal while sewing. You can place a pin after every 5cm in your sleeve.

Step 10: Securing The Fabric With Straight Stitch

Now, you have to use your sewing machine for further procedures. You have to set your sewing machine with a setting suitable for straight stitches. Then, place your coat sleeve in the sewing machine needle and start sewing all around the edges of the coat sleeve.

In addition, you must ensure that the colour of the thread matches the colour of your waterproof coat. Moreover, the stitch position in your sleeve should be around 3cm from the edge you folded.

You must note a few points, such as removing the pins before sewing, etc. If you’re not comfortable with a sewing machine, then you can use a large thick needle to sew the coat sleeves by hand.

Step 11: Doing Back Stitch At The End

Lastly, you will have to secure the stitches at the end. You have to press down the lever, which you will find on the side of your sewing machine. Then, hold that lever while you put gentle and firm pressure on the foot pedal of your machine. This step will help to reverse the action of your sewing machine. So, you will be able to backstitch now.

You have to do sewing for about 5cm and then stop holding the lever and sew back to the place where you began. Finally, cut off the excess threads, and your sleeve work is done. Repeat the process for your second sleeve, and your waterproof coat is ready with perfect fit and size sleeves.

How Long Should A Coat Sleeve Be?

If you have a coat or a jacket, then it should have sleeves that fall within ¼ inch to ¾ inch above the shirt sleeves. If you go anywhere longer than this, you will be wearing a coat with a sloppy and loose sleeve length. In addition, anything shorter than this length will make your coat sleeve look like a boy’s outfit.

What Can Be Done If Your Sleeves Are Too Short?

If your dress or any garment is too short with its sleeves, the best way is to lengthen them. You may ask how. Well, you can use the bottom end of a shirt sleeve that fits best in your body. You can use the shirt sleeves which you wear underneath your sweater with similar fabric materials. However, the sewing and alterations process is tricky and exciting.



I'm Jessica Flores, a professional fashion designer and an expert seamstress. Crafting has always been a deep-seated passion of mine, one that has flourished and evolved over the years. I've dedicated considerable time to both studying and practicing in the realm of fashion and sewing, amassing a wealth of experience and skills. It brings me great joy to share these insights and experiences with you all, hoping to inspire and foster a similar passion for the art of sewing.

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