Sleeve me Alone Dress

Mother of the Beige Dress
A Polyester Flowers No-Sew Top & VANELi

I’m running out of clever titles for these, you guys. ;) But hopefully this one will make sense verrrrry soon. :)

The other day, I woke up, took a shower, and then donned my refashion for the day.

Just one problem…It was a little chilly out, and my arms were NOT going to be happy as-is.

This is what I look like fresh out of the shower.

I began with removing these guys.

Luckily they were just velcroed in.

Then I made a chop.


That bottom scrap is about to become my new sleeves!

I cut that bottom part open.

You shall be my sleeve!

I cut one sleeve out, making sure it was the same width at the bottom of the short sleeve (plus seam allowance). Then I used that sleeve as a guide for the second sleeve.

Gotta make ’em match!

Then, I stitched a seam down each sleeve.

Whirrrr (x 2)!!!!

Then, I pinned my sleeves into the existing sleeves.  Yes…I could have used my seam ripper to remove the existing sleeves and put in completely new sleeves, but I thought this would look more interesting…and I kind of like when you can see the story behind my refashions. :)


I stitched my new sleeves down, using two rows of stitches.

It was a challenge, but it worked!

When I was done adding my sleevage, I still wasn’t quite happy with the fit of my frock, so I took it in just a bit.

Just a smidge!

I stitched each side down, and then gave my new dress a new hem!


My new dress had a great day at the !

With a pint of IPA!
Sleeve side view!
Checking out some sweet vintage wear!
Gotta have friends!
Tres chic, no?

So…for all of you who have been asking me to show how to add on sleeves…here’s one way. I promise to show more options as the chilly fall and winter months drag on!  ;)


4.2 (83.13%) 134 votes

51 thoughts on “Sleeve me Alone Dress

  1. One way to come up with new titles, and it’s something my husband does with his photography, is song names/lyrics etc.. The more obscure the better! His followers/friends are always trying to figure out what song & how the picture made him think of it. You could also use movie names or reference something from a movie. He likes to do that too! Just some ideas to get your creative juices flowing! (like those sleeves)

  2. Super cute, I love it, along with the “Sleeve Me Alone” Title. You’re good at “feeling” your piece and giving it a name, I have faith the funny, titles will keep coming :)

  3. That is awesome!! I just found your blog about two weeks ago ( give or take) and I’ve managed to read a bunch of your old refashions. I’m up to year 3 lol.
    Anyway, I’ve been refashioning like a crazy, thank you for all the inspiration :-)

  4. You inspire me to think “outside the box” about thrifted finds, but I haven’t yet managed to do a full refashion. I have shortened slacks & jumpers, taken side seams in on dresses, and cut off sleeves., but nothing as creative, adventurous as your work.

  5. I LOVE that you added to the existing sleeves. I have a top that I was thinking of doing that to, but wasn’t sure if I’d like how it looks. Now I know it looks great. Thanks :-)

  6. I just want you to know, you have made me into a thrift shopper! I’m not quite ready to do any actual sewing, but my last trips to the Goodwill have netted me some fabulous name brands in great condition and at a great price. Thanks for showing me the light!

  7. I love this refashion! From such an ugly dress to come up with this cute outfit! On the other hand I love that beige coat I can see on the photo of the vintage festival!!!!

  8. Sleeves! Any way to add sleeves is greatly appreciated! So many of the things I find have small sleeves that don’t do my arms any favors. It kills me to find something wonderful with sleeves like a T-Rex’s tiny appendages.

  9. Jillian – I think this is one of your best. I would have LOVED to have this dress when I was a raging hippie 50 years ago, and were I not as old as I am I would love to wear it now!! Love the way you finished it all – hem, sleeves, very well done!!!!

  10. I reallyove your posts. Thrifting is fun and you find ways to make everything “you”. Making unique fashion pieces can be very spendy, but not the way you do it. Great job.

  11. I love your refashions. You are talented, witty and fun to follow. But, I always received notification when you have a new post. However I no longer do. I have tried re-subscribing numerous times but it is not working. I have to search for you to see if there is a new post. What am I doing wrong??? ( you are worth searching for!)

  12. Easily done and looks great. And you could also have attached the add-on pieces with a seam – another quick solution that would avoid doing a new sleeve.

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