31 Days · Color · DIY · Sewing · Style · Thrifts

31 Days: Color – Day 19: Red Gingham Boy (shirt) Meets Girl (sleeves)

I love gingham. When I was in middle school, I had a pink gingham blouse I wore all the time, often paired with my gingham Tretorn sneakers. (Remember those? They’re still around, but sadly, no longer in gingham.) I don’t think I’ve ever met a gingham I didn’t like.


This red one from the boys’ department was no exception. It’s sleeves were lacking – as in lacking any sort of girlishness. I knew I would wear it if the sleeves were tighter or gathered or something.


I dug through my elastic box and found this elastic the same width as the cuffs of the shirt. I measured the circumference of my arms and added 1 inch to the length for each sleeve.

making cuter sleeves

I turned the shirt inside out.


I used the seam ripper to open up the cuff.


I used a safety pin to guide the elastic through the cuff and overlapped the elastic by 1 inch.


I closed the elastic in a circle by sewing in a square.


I sewed the inside opening of the cuff closed by machine.


Then I lined up the outside opening of the cuff and ran a straight stitch on top. The seam is on the underside of my arm, so if it isn’t perfect, it won’t show.


The after – a boys’ shirt gets a much more feminine look.



And by making the sleeve fit tighter, it layers under a cardigan without bumps or wrinkles.


Did you know that gingham is often used like muslin as a test fabric before sewing? (I could never “waste” gingham that way.) And that Bridgette Bardot wore a pink gingham dress when she got married? Thanks, Wikipedia, for once again sending me down the rabbit hole. Seriously, what did we ever do before the internet? (Yes, I remember time before the internet. I was in middle school, wearing lots of gingham.)

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This post is part of a 31 day series. Find all the posts in this series here.

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2 thoughts on “31 Days: Color – Day 19: Red Gingham Boy (shirt) Meets Girl (sleeves)


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