have sleeves, will travel

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Oh, hi. I have been a bit fixated as of late on armwarmers. Sometimes, when I am wearing a short-sleeve shirt, I get a little chilled, and looking for a cardigan can require too much effort. Pulling on some sleeves instantly turns that short-sleeve shirt into a long-sleeve one. It’s like magic.
I got some cozy Smart Wool armwarmers that I love, plus I have some nice cotton stretchy ones, but I needed/wanted some for running. Well, they cost a fortune, so I figured, why not make some to test out the waters? I haven’t worn these running yet, but I think they will work okay. They are super easy to make (it’s just a tube), and you do not need a serger (just make your straight stitch length longer and/or use the zigzag stitch).
I have puny arms, so if you decide to make these, you might want to add an extra 1/2″ or so. Cut out a pattern where the upper arm is about 8.75″ wide (that includes a 1/4″ seam allowance) and the wrist about 6.25″ and length about 15.5″. Just take a ruler and draw a line from the width of the upper arm to the wrist (does that make any sense? I can add more pictures if anyone is interested). Form a tube with right sides together and sew down the long end. IF you are going to use these for running or for an activity that requires a lot of vigorous arm movements, I would advise using elastic in the upper arm region. I used 3/4″ elastic and formed a tube just slightly smaller than the fabric. Sew the elastic to the inside of the tube then fold the fabric and elastic down to cover the elastic and stitch. Fold up at the fabric at the wrist and hem, and voila! Arm warmers.
I used a nylon lycra, but if you have an aversion to synthetics, you can certainly use cotton lycra or whatever. Just don’t come crying to me when your armwarmers get all wet with sweat and you have no wicking abilities.

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10 Responses to have sleeves, will travel

  1. MicheleLB says:

    Those are really cute, and drop-dead simple. I have some from our old biking days, and they must be way cheaper to make than to buy!
    Next you’ll want leg warmers…

  2. splatgirl says:

    those are SO cute! excellent work, and I LOVE the fabric! But I think it’s hilarious that you say to add 1/2″ to your 8.75″ wide upper arm. I’m not even going to say how much more than that I’d have to add, because it’s scary. My arms would look like sausages in those, whilst you look awesome in them.

  3. brandy says:

    These are so cute!! Really great idea. I’d love to make some for myself, but I’m afraid my 6 mo prego arms might look like overstuffed sausages puffing out the top lol! So cute on you though!

  4. Kim says:

    I’m wearing arm warmers right now! I go to Target, buy “over the knee” socks and cut off the feet. Perfect! And they have lots of fun over the knee socks right now…..

  5. Seanna Lea says:

    I think I would need more than a tiny 1/2 inch or so. Even at my lowest weight in years my arms are about 11 inches around in the middle of my biceps. I’m assuming you want these snug, but not tight. No cutting off the circulation here!

  6. Alma says:

    So charming! Hey, you could add a little pocket to one arm to hold a housekey.

  7. Myrnie says:

    Love the fabric! I made a pair in the Spring for my husband- his friends were jealous :) Such a great way to save a ton of money on gear!

  8. ai says:

    at first i thought those were for protecting your arms from the sun because people wear those in summer here. not so cute as those but more bland.

  9. Valerie says:

    Okay so in July I made some arm warmers only I need them for sun protection and my husband laughed at me. I think yours are so cute you are starting to motivate me into more sewing. My problem is finding cool fabics and I remembered you seem to come across a lot of fun fabrics where do you buy them?

  10. Valerie says:

    Okay so I made some arm warmers and my husband was laughing at me only I use mine for sun protection. You always have great fabrics where do you find the cute lycra stuff. You have been motivating me to do more sewing. I really love the blog.

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