How To Make Sleevies

A Simple Way to Make a Pair of Sleevies

This can be used by anyone, not just women.

In the summer seasons, it's hard to find long-sleeved tops, and often hotter, so this is a good alternative.

You will need:

  • Footless tights. You can get them most places. Some stores will sell them for very little, while others are expensive. As I'm in the UK I can't recommend stores in the USA, but I'm sure Wal-Mart will sell them. (They seem to have everything!) In the UK, places like New Look and Tesco have them. You can use normal tights, but they may not look as neat.
  • Pair of scissors.
  • Short sleeved t-shirt to wear with them. I haven't had much success with sleeveless ones, but you could try.

Yes that's all!


  1. First of all, check that your footless tights fit you. This is a good indication that there will be enough fabric for your arms.

    Most footless tights will have a little elastic around the top of them. (Not the band that goes round your waist. It's usually around the top of your thigh.) If yours don't, do not worry, it will work just as well.

  2. A little above the top of the top of the elastic on one 'leg' (I call them legs!), make a hole with your scissors. But do not go through the other side.
  3. Begin to cut around the leg, as straight as you can. Don't worry, this bit will be hidden under your t-shirt.
  4. Once you have cut all the way around, you should just have a leg. Hold it up, wave it about! If you haven't got one, you might have made a mistake. Let me know and I'll try to see where you've gone wrong!

    As footless tights have a neat bottom, it will not look "homemade" when you wear it. If you are using normal tights, you will need to cut off the 'foot' of the 'leg'; try to be neat, as this will be seen.

  5. Now put the sleevie onto you arm (ah! now we can call them 'sleevies'!). Leave the end bit around your elbow, or further down your arm if you prefer, and bring the top of the sleevie around your shoulder area. Don't worry if it doesn't fit perfectly up there. Just check to make sure the length is suitable (you can always roll them up a bit). If it needs trimming, then trim a bit. If it's good, move on!
  6. Repeat for the other arm. So you now have 1 sleevie. Do the other 'leg', and you can use the 1st sleevie as reference or a template to get a similar size.

How to wear

Different things feel comfortable for different people. If your arms are not stick thin (like mine), the elastic maybe enough to hold the sleevie up around your shoulder. If it keeps falling down or doesn't feel secure, then listen:

Put your brand new sleevies on BEFORE you t-shirt of choice, and tuck them under your bra strap; this should hold them up. Then put your shirt on over the top. Wave your arms around and lift them up and down, making sure no part of your arm is visible because that would ruin the point! I usually find it comes up around my armpit, so I have to do a little extra 'tucking' there.

Be creative and positive. If it doesn't work out, try again. Try different patterns, colours, texture, all sorts! Maybe try sewing buttons and sequins on to match your outfit.


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