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Can a Tailor Shorten Sleeves? (What To Expect)

A tailor’s job is to help you make new clothes or help you deal with any kind of problem you might have with clothes you already own.

Something that has caught my attention these days is the question of whether a tailor can shorten sleeves, and I would like to say that there are a few things that I would like to mention about this question, of course, related to its answer.

In this blog, I will answer the main question: “Can a Tailor Shorten Sleeves?” meanwhile, I will also give you some other important information completely related to the main topic. Let me start this article so you can have a clearer mind and idea about shortening the sleeve length of a jacket suit!

Key Takeaways

  • Yes, your tailor can reduce the sleeve length, and it’s actually one of the easiest things he or she can accomplish for you, regardless of what clothing you want to be trimmed.
  • To begin the process of reducing sleeves, a tailor needs a ruler, seam ripper, scissors, pins, chalk or a pencil, and a sewing machine.
  • Every sewing procedure begins with measurements, so it goes without saying that this is one of the first things you should mention if you need your sleeves shortened or anything else changed to your clothing in general.
  • If you ever come across the term “hemming” in relation to sewing, it refers to the edges of clothing that need to be altered; in the case of altering dress shirts sleeve, it describes the bottom of the sleeves.

Can a Tailor Shorten Sleeves?

Without depending on what clothing you own, you should know that your tailor can shorten sleeves, and basically, it is one of the easiest things that he or she can do for you!

As said, being the easiest thing that one can do, you will have your suit jacket sleeves ready and steady so that they can be the perfect fit for you.

If you own rack dress shirts with super long sleeves and a decorative material that holds anything attached, things can become harder, but that doesn’t mean that your tailor cannot help you there. Again, you can be more than sure that your tailor can shorten the unwanted long sleeves.

How Does a Tailor Shorten Sleeves?

Now that everything is said and done, an important thing to mention is the part about how a tailor can shorten the sleeves that you don’t like or are too long for you. I would like to mention the materials that your tailor will use and also I will explain how the procedure of shortening sleeves goes.

If you are a new tailor and want to start a business, I think that this part will help you as well.

Things that are Needed

You probably know which materials a tailor uses, but still, there are some that I should specify and you should know regarding shortening sleeves. When it comes to that, a tailor needs a ruler, seam ripper, scissors, pins, chalk or a pencil, and the sewing machine

Let’s start the process of shortening the sleeves!


The first thing everyone does and should know is that every process in the sewing field starts with measurements, and of course, it is one of the first things that should be mentioned if you need your sleeves shortened or anything else done to your clothes in general.

Here the main role is for the ruler, as it will help the tailor determine where you want to have your sleeves.

On this part, your tailor will also have to mark and sign where you want your sleeves to end, and he or she will use chalk or any kind of object that will help with the marking process.

For a better fit and no other inconvenience or error, it is better if you have the cloth worn since that way, you can have a clearer idea of how it will stay and where it will end.

After everything, tailors use pins just in case the chalk may disappear out of nowhere!


If everything mentioned above is clear and done, the time has come for the most sensitive thing that a tailor does, and it comes with the usage of the seam ripper and the scissors.

Using the seam ripper may sound like an easy process as with it, your tailor will only deal with the stitches that are added at the end of the sleeve, the unwanted ones. Still, you are a new tailor; you should keep in mind that you should be very careful while using the seam ripper and not rip off the whole piece.

Cut, cut, and cut! The last thing that a tailor does after everything mentioned above is done is to cut the parts of the sleeves that you don’t want, just on the part where he or she has marked them or has used the pins.

By the way, you will notice that your tailor will leave them up to three to four centimeters longer. Don’t get frustrated because that is how it should be done.

Adjustments on Hemming and Sewings

If you ever encounter the word hemming in the sewing process, it has to do with the edges of the clothes that you need to adjust, and in sleeves, it refers to the bottom part of them.

Once everything is done, such as measurements and cuts, your tailor has come to the part in which the performance and the procedure should be finished. With the help of pins again, he or she will put them around the sleeves of your clothes as that way they work easier.

When it comes to the sewing machine, professional tailors know the importance of taking the pins out as it can destroy the sewing machine. The sewing machine’s stitch should be straight so that it can move freely around the sleeves.

As I mentioned, the sewing machine, the time has come to an end. The process of shortening sleeves is almost done.

Your clothes, in fact, your sleeves, are more than ready to come with you out and about!

Final Words

If everything mentioned throughout this blog is understood by you, I am glad to say that we are here at the end of this article!

As you can clearly notice, the shortening of sleeves in general, be it a jacket sleeve or whatever, can be done easily by a tailor and not only. If you have some ideas for yourselves, I am pretty sure that this process, being an easy one, will become the best DIY that one can do!

Further Reading

The world of sewing, the world of tailors, in fact, has a lot of questions that are asked, and if you found an answer here clearly, I would like to invite you to check out some other blogs!

You can check out whether a tailor can taper pants or if tailors can make pants bigger, or if you are a fan of dresses or dress shirts in this case, you can find out if your tailor can help you make the dress bigger!