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How to Hem Sleeves on a Sweater Full Guide of 2024

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The best thing about fall clothes is that you don’t have to throw them away; you can always restore or renew them and wear a completely fresh look. If the sleeves of your sweater , you can hem them and make it look like new. Read on to learn how to hem sleeves on a sweater.

How to hem sleeves on a sweater

Sweater sleeves fade over time stretch and become elongated if not properly cared for during washing and drying. To hem the sleeves of a sweater, you can fold and tape it to get the desired length, or you can fold and sew to the size you want. You can choose to sew it by hand or use a sewing machine to sew accurately. Either way, it will make your sweater wearable again.

What do you mean by zoom?

The hem is a sewing technique where you turn or fold and sew the edge of a fabric or garment. You can hem a sleeve, skirt, pants or dress or whatever material you like. It usually serves two purposes. First, it helps you secure the edges of the clothes and prevents threads from coming out. You can shorten the length of a garment.

To hem a fabric, you can use several ways to do it. One is just by using cloth tape and folding it. Another way to do it is to fold it and then hem it with stitches. Or you can also cut the fabric to length and then sew it.

However, the way you hem a fabric also depends on the fabric you are working on. Folding and then going for a seam works well with non-stretch fabrics. But you have to be careful with materials such as knits or woven, which are stretchy. Sewing a seam would be a better decision.

Steps to the hem of a sweater’s sleeves

Hemming long sleeves to shorter is not a new practice. It’s been going on for centuries. It is a better option to hem a sleeve instead of throwing it away, because you don’t like the length of the sleeves. There are several ways you can hem a sleeve. We have developed a step-by-step process of one form of hemming a sleeve. Let’s look at it.


  1. Sweater
  2. Clutch pins
  3. Scissors
  4. Sewing Machine


Step 1: Place the sweater inside out on a flat surface.

Step 2: Mark the length you want to hem with stitch pins. It will help keep the fabric in place as you sew the hem.

Step 3: Now, measure an inch down and re-mark. It’s best to keep an extra inch to allow room for error and because we should handle stretch materials with care.

Step 4: Cut the sleeve at the second line marked with the pins.

Step 5: In this step you will need to fold the sweater and pin at the shoulder seams to gather it together to keep. The sleeves overlap. It is excellent practice to ensure that we accurately cut both covers to the same length.

Step 6: Now cut the second sleeve according to the first.

Step 7: Place the sleeve under and hem it.

Step 8: You have the freedom to choose how you hem your sleeves. You can trim the edge of the material before you turn and start the hem.

Step 9: When sewing the hem, it is best to keep in mind that the fabric is stretchable and that the stitch should also be stretchable for better results. A narrow zigzag stitch is fine for the hem.

Step 10: Slide the sleeves through the machine, taking care not to push or pull the fabric. Being a stretchable material, it can stretch and not produce the expected results.

Voila! You have finished the sleeves of your hemmed sweater and all as good as new.

How to give a sleeve to the hem?

If you decide to hand-hem a sleeve of your sweater, there are many ways to do this. But we have completed hand hemming and listed it in a step-by-step process. Let’s proceed with no delay.


The things that you need to hand-hem a sweater are as follows:

  1. Sweater
  2. Both side fabric tape
  3. Thin cotton
  4. Iron


Step 1: Place the sweater inside out on a flat surface.

Step 2: Take the sleeve and stick a line of cloth tape to the length you want to hem.

Step 3: It would help if you take a wider tire like this slightly far from the edges. You can take a thin strip of tape if it is closer to the edge of the cover.

Step 4: Now fold the edge evenly over the tape and press firmly with your hand.

Step 5: Repeat the process on the other side of the sleeve.

Step 6: For the other sleeve, repeat steps 4 and 5.

Step 7: Take one cover, place the thin cotton material on it and iron it. It would help if you set the iron setting to wool. Press OK and repeat the same on the other side.

Step 8: Again, for the other cover, repeat Step 7.

There you have it. An entire hand-hemmed sleeve of your sweater without using stitches and a sewing machine. Not that difficult after all! This method is relatively more manageable if you want a small zoom. Also, the process doesn’t involve much hassle.

What do you do if your sweater sleeves are too long?

Sweater sleeves that are too long are a common problem when wearing an oversized sweater. Sometimes even the sweaters of your size have sleeves that get longer. In such situations, you can hem the sleeves or shorten them first and then hem them. Either way, your sweater will look like new. When you choose to sew them, you can use your hands or do a few stitches on the sewing machine. And if you decide to shorten your sleeves and give it a fresh look, cut them off first and then hem the edges.

Can you hem a sweater?

Sweaters made from stretchy materials often pose several challenges with hemming or altering them. But yes, you can hem a sweater. There is nothing that a good and well-equipped sewing machine cannot do. So it also takes care of sewing your fall garment. It would help if you had sufficient knowledge of the tension settings, the type of presser foot, the needle and the type of thread required to sew on a knit fabric like your sweater. If you can combine all these settings and accessories, something will hem correctly your sweater. However, if you don’t, you may ruin your garment.

How can you shorten sweater sleeves?

If you clean your wardrobe, come we many things that you have long forgotten. There will be at least one sweater that you haven’t worn for years because it has long sleeves. Rather than just throwing the garment from one place to another, it would be best to spruce it up and start wearing it again. You can shorten the sleeves of your sweater by cutting or shortening them at the shoulder seam, or you can hem the sleeves if they are not excessively long.

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a site dedicated to those passionate about crafting. With years of experience and research under his belt, he sought to create a platform where he could share his knowledge and skills with others who shared his interests.