Customize the sleeves of your basic t-shirt patterns

I'm going to give you some finishing ideas for the sleeves of your basic t-shirt patterns. A basic t-shirt is an essential garment in anyone's closet, but that doesn't mean it should be boring or monotonous. With a little creativity and the curiosity to apply one technique or another you can transform that simple t-shirt into a unique garment made to your style.

I want to show you some sewing ideas that you can try to give a special touch to the sleeves, bottoms or necklines of your summer t-shirt patterns. Transforming a basic white t-shirt into a unique and personalized garment is in your hands and can be a fun and rewarding activity. These sewing ideas are just the starting point that I give you and that I encourage you to put into practice.

Patrón camiseta básica manga corta

Sleeve finishing ideas:

  • Classic finish. This is the finish you will find on most T-shirt sleeves or bottoms. It is made by folding the seam allowance of the T-shirt and sewing a double seam with a double needle.

acabado clásico del bajo de una manga








  • Cut the fabric without seam allowance and apply a decorative double seamCotton and elastane knitted fabrics have the peculiarity that when cut they do not fray and you can leave them unpolished. Remember that for the project to look good, the cut must be clean. Use a good pair of scissors or if you think that the scissors will not cut as expected, use a circular cutter, the cut is more precise and continuous. Make a decorative stitch on the edge with the twin needle using a thread of the same color or playing with colored threads or lurex.

Acabado manga corta a sangre puntada doble hilo lurex








  • Cut the fabric without seam allowance. If you are going to choose this finish, cut a few millimeters off the seam allowance to respect the original length of the sleeve. This sleeve can be left with the fabric cut (full bleed), the fabric itself will roll up and give the garment a more casual finish.








  • Textile Painting: El tie-dye or Textile Painting is a fun technique. Experiment with different colors and applications to create a unique and modern t-shirt. You can make splashes, stains, apply the dye with sponges or brushes on bottoms, necklines or wherever you feel like it.

Acabado manga corta pintado








  • fantasy rubber bandsAdd fancy rubber bands to give a romantic and feminine touch to the sleeves of your basic T-shirts or make a more sporty T-shirt finish.

Acabado manga corta goma fantasía    acabado manga corta goma fantasía

  • Deforms the tissue with tensions: In many occasions we do not take out all the potential that our machine has. We limit ourselves to using one or two basic stitches because of ignorance or because we have not read the functions offered by our sewing machine. Invest some time in reading the instructions because you will discover finishes that you might not have thought you could do with your machine. This finish is made by adjusting the tension of the feed dog of the overlock.

Acabado rizado de una manga

  • Sleeve with added piece: Finish off the sleeves of your T-shirts with a folded strip sewn to the sleeve of the same fabric or with fabrics that contrast in color and texture.

acabado manga con pieza añadida  acabado de manga con pieza añadida cortada

How to sew cotton or elastic knitted fabrics

  • Use aball point needle (specifically for stretch fabrics), this way the fabric fibers will move sideways when the needle goes through the fabric and will not break them, and use the zig zag stitch if you use a flat (normal) machine.
  • If you have an overlock use the four threads to sew and polish the seam allowance so that you can do both operations (sew and polish the seam allowance) in a single pass.
  • For the double stitching of the sleeve hems, bottom hems and for the double stitching of the collar, use a double needle specifically for stretch fabrics and two spools of thread. I invite you to watch a reel I made in my instagram account
  •  Thread a twin needle.
  • Finally, use the specific presser feet for elastic fabrics. Teflon presser foot or the double-drag foot.The Teflon foot is non-stick and travels over the fabric without stretching. The double-drag foot walks on top of the fabric.

Video tutorial how to finish your short sleeves in a different way