How to Shorten a Long-Sleeve Man's Shirt

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Short men or young adults who are between sizes may encounter difficulty in finding long-sleeve shirts that fit. You also may encounter sizing issues if you've purchased a secondhand shirt or received an over-sized long-sleeve shirt as a gift without a receipt. You can take up the hemline and reduce the length of the sleeves to shorten and improve the fit of your long-sleeved shirt. It may be more cost effective to learn the proper method for adjusting the hem of your shirt and length of your sleeves at home rather than going to a tailor.

Rip the arm hole seam to separate the sleeve from the seam on both sides of the shirt.

Measure the length you want to shorten the sleeves by and add 5/8 inch for seam allowance to this measurement. Cut this length off the top edge of the material.

Pin the wrong side of the seam allowance on the top edge of the sleeve to the wrong side of the armhole seam allowance and stitch the seam allowances together.

Measure the length you want to take the bottom of the shirt up and add 1 inch to this measurement. Cut this length off the bottom of the shirt.

Fold the bottom edge of the shirt under 1/2 inch and iron the fold line. Repeat and stitch the hemline down across the bottom of the shirt.

Things You'll Need

  • Seam ripper
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Pushpins
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread


  • Cher Forman; Professional Seamstress; Creations by Cher, Port Charlotte, FL

About the Author

Lina Schofield began writing professionally in 2005. She is a professional freelance writer who has worked on a variety of projects, including the founding of the quarterly publication "Propaganda." Schofield also has been published in several student collections. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English at University of Wales Trinity Carmarthen.

Photo Credits

  • Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images