Make Arm warmers

Make Arm warmers

Arm cuffs are a shorter version of arm warmers, and both arm cuffs and arm warmers can be made to suit any style. Here’s how to make your own arm cuffs out of an old T-shirt. Easy! And you can use a similar method to make arm warmers, too…

Sewing is easy when it’s a super-simple design (yes, but say that 10 times fast, Cindy Brady). I’d had my eye on an arm cuff or two at the store, and then realized they’re not really worth $15.00 when you can make one yourself. Since I had some T-shirt scraps left over from a previous T-shirt customisation, I realised I could easily make my own arm cuffs.

Arm cuffs are a strange fusion style that echoes the days when men were highwaymen, gentlemen were pirates and women wore long dresses and hung around clinging to trees waiting to be kidnapped. They’re only semi-practical, but depending on the fabric you use and the trimmings you have (a cameo broach? Black lace? White T-shirt printing paint to squeeze into skeleton shapes?), an arm cuff can suit any style – from lolita goth to decora style to rock chick to victorian lady.

Arm warmers are great too. Arm warmers are a perfect blend of function (they keep you warm) and form (they look truly excellent as they fill the gap between your bare arms and the rest of the world).

You can convert leg warmers or old tights into arm cuffs and arm warmers, but we’ll be looking at using old T-shirts because it’s so easy. Even a sewing beginner with a low attention span and no sewing machine will have the skill and patience to make arm cuffs or arm warmers out of their old T-shirt.

I’ll be focusing on making arm cuffs, because that’s what I initially wanted to buy – until I made some myself. But you can use this technique to make arm warmers, too.

How to make your own arm warmers / arm cuffs

The sleeves of a T-shirt are a perfect place to start, because they’re already hemmed. I’m all about shortcuts, baby.

I started by cutting a shape like the one on the right, the one that looks a bit like a pair of girl’s jockey shorts.

You can cut simple, slightly curved shapes in differing lengths in order to make different styles of arm warmers and cuffs.

Arm cuffs can be long, or they can be almost like bracelets. You can make arm cuffs with or without thumb holes; the beauty of any arm cuff you make is that it can have a style all of its own.

Customising your arm cuffs

Novelty buttons are usually less than $3.00, or you can take them off of your old clothes.

Use outgrown Halloween costumes, fishnet stockings that have a hole in the crotch, ribbon and lace from your baby sister’s old hair bow.

If you’d like to add a ribbon to lace up your arm warmer, but have trouble with straight lines, use a strip of tape as a guide. Poke 7 holes on each side and lace up like your shoes.

Try using strips of the screenprinted part of an old shirt to create an add-on.

Sew a strip of elastic up the front or cut the bottom like pirate pants for added interest.

You can use zippers, buttons with buttonholes, snaps, safety pins, laced-up ribbon, or hook-and-eyes to secure your band. One thing I’ve realized is that elastic is your friend!

If you make a pair of arm warmers that won’t stay up, don’t forget you can use punky big kilt pins or even suspender clips to fasten them to the sleeves of your top…

Alice in Wonderland arm cuffs

Alice in Wonderland arm cuffs

Alice in Wonderland arm cuffs

Alice in Wonderland arm cuffs

Alice in Wonderland arm cuffs

Alice in Wonderland arm cuffs

Alice in Wonderland arm cuffs

Alice in Wonderland arm cuffs


write for Mookychick