This post might contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase using one of these links, we might earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Learn More

How to Deflate Puff Sleeves Without Sewing: Fully Explained

You probably have that old dress with puffy sleeves sitting in your closet. You like its design and you want to wear it but it seems outdated and too regal. Or maybe you recently bought a shirt with puffy sleeves that are a bit too puffy for your liking.

You want to alter it, but you’re not exactly sure how to do that and you don’t know how to sew. No worries, here are a few tips on how to deflate puff sleeves without sewing.

Key Takeaways

  • Deflating puff sleeves is usually done with the help of sewing and a sewing machine
  • However, this doesn’t mean that you cant deflate the puff sleeves on your garment without sewing
  • The easiest methods of deflating puff sleeves are: washing the garment, cutting the seams, and removing the elastic
  • What you need for all of these methods is a sharp object to cut the seams with, your hands, and an iron
  • Creating a normal sleeve or a curtain sleeve out of your puff sleeve isn’t as hard as it looks.

How Can Puff Sleeves Be Deflated

When you have huge puffy sleeves that you find are outdated and look too regal, you’re probably wondering how you can change that. And, obviously, there are countless ways of doing that. Most of those ways, however, require knowing how to sew and stitch.

Puff sleeves can be deflated by removing the part of the stitch on them where the fabric is bunched up together to create a puffy voluminous look. So, the first thing you can do is unstitch the seams on the sleeve.

Also Read: Tips To Add Sleeves To A Wedding Dress

Without Sewing

You can either deal with the fact that you have a cool-looking puff sleeve at hand and try to match it with different extravagant clothing pieces. Don’t be scared of improvising, a fashion artist shouldn’t be afraid to put together a cool outfit even if it’s not trendy at the moment.

However, if you really don’t want to do that and you want to change the shape of the puff sleeve on your garment there are a couple of things you can do.

Having in mind that you have no idea how to sew and you don’t own a sewing machine means that you can’t really do a great job at deflating the incredibly puffy sleeves on your garment that you don’t like. No need to fret, I’ll give you a few tips on how to do that without sewing.

With Sewing

After you’ve done that, see how the sleeve looks on the inside. You can notice a lot of seams and fabric. Chances are since it’s a puff sleeve, there is an elastic that is holding the sleeve together on your arm.

You can remove that and make sure to loosen up the fabric in general. This would create either some kind of normal sleeve or a loose-fitting sleeve that will look like a curtain. Those look very fashionable too.

When you know that you can use a sewing machine, the easiest way to deflate the sleeves would be to change their shape.

This can be done by cutting the seams that connect the sleeve to the bodice of the dress or the shoulders on a shirt and playing around with the materials. You can remove the excess material unstitch it and then stitch the finished sleeve back on.

The sleeve is going to look great once it’s finished, and the end results are sure to deflate the puff sleeve, making it a lot nicer on the eyes.

Washing the garment

Depending on the material, you can wash the garment in order to decrease its volume. This is especially going to work on linen or cotton materials.

Cutting the seams

A really easy way to fix up your sleeve is to see how the stitches on it work. Chances are, there are about 3-4 seams at the top of the sleeve which create the puffy look.

To unstitch them you’re going to need a seam ripper, a razor, or a pair of scissors. Anything of these tools works as long as you’re careful with what you’re cutting. Try to do a great job and make sure that what you’re cutting is the fabric and not your skin.

To loosen the seams and remove the thread holding the material together, you need to turn the piece of clothing inside out and see how it’s sewn on the inside. When you look at it you’re probably going to find a few seams at the top of the sleeve as well as some fabric.

You can unstitch the seams at the top and make sure to carefully do this so you don’t ruin the rest of the sleeve. Once you’ve gotten rid of the folds you can get your flat iron, put the sleeve on the ironing board cover, and splurge some hot water on the places where the seams were.

This ensures that you’re taking care of the fibers in the material. Use your fingers to go over the dots in the material where the thread took place. Once you run over the damp fabric, you’ll notice that those dots aren’t there anymore. This means that you’ve done a great job.

Removing the elastic

The easiest way to deflate your puffy sleeves would be to just rip the seems to create a normal sleeve. However, this isn’t the only method. Another great method for making the sleeve not look so massive is to remove the elastic.

Given that it’s a puffy sleeve and that it probably has an elastic band at the end of it in order to complete the puffy look means that once you take that off the sleeve will deflate.

So, what you wanna do to remove the elastic is, once again, use a seam ripper or a razor. This is slightly harder than just removing the seams at the top, as you have to make sure you’re going to do this super carefully to not ruin the rest of the sleeve.

You need to make a slit into the material where the elastic is and pull it out. However, if the elastic is sewn onto the material you’re going to carefully rip the seems out of the material. Then you’re going to cut the elastic and finally get rid of it.

Once you’ve done this, make sure to clean up any excess threads and you’re done.

Also Read: How Many Sizes Can a Dress be Taken In?

Final Words

If you want to deflate the puff sleeves on your clothing item without sewing you need to be confident and not be afraid of experimenting. This can definitely be done without sewing, even though using a sewing machine is the preferred method.

In conclusion, the only thing you need to be able to do any sort of DIY project is to own a pair of scissors and don’t be afraid to be creative.