Sleeves too tight--can I fix it?

Mr. Lynx recently purchased a woman’s shaped soft cotton t-shirt for Lancer1 and she complained the sleeves were too tight (how woman’s clothes can be) and so we ordered her the next size larger. It arrived today and she still doesn’t like the fit. It’s really tight near the armpits. I’m not a seamstress. Is there a way I can open a seam and add in a little extra fabric or loosen the sleeves any? The place we ordered from let us keep shirt #1 and Mr. Lynx suggested we take sleeves off and make it a tank, but I don’t want to do that with both.

I can add pics later if that would help. Thanks.

Yes, you can add what they call a gussett or godet…depends on where it is tight…can she raise her arms?

I would google search inserting a gusset…it can be as simple as a small triangle piece under the arm…but then, you would also have to add some to the under part of the sleeve unless the sleeve is already fitting nicely and is just being tight because of the body…

Sometimes, the armhole itself is too low and needs to be raised higher into the pit to make it fit…

adding a gusset to a seam

Go to about 7 minutes into this one:


AIMR’s suggestions are probably more helpful than mine (I’m no seamstress!)

But I’m wondering if you could cut a slit all the way up the sleeve and then insert either a panel of crocheted lace or one made of a contrasting fabric?

that would work and be a lot easier and more practical for a non-seamstress…

Thanks everyone! I will look for closely at these suggestions when I am on a computer!

AIMR’s suggestion of a gusset sounds right. It’s sort of an elongated football shape, with the ends coming to points. If you can use fabric from the first tee, it should be nearly invisible once you put it in there.

1 Like

This, yes; a football or diamond shape gusset sounds like it’ll work well if the tightness is just in the armpit, and should be pretty easy to sew in-- just be sure to pin! :slight_smile:

For future reference, the same kind of thing works well for enlarging either the body or the sleeves, too-- instead of a diamond shape, just have a strip that goes up the seam you want to enlarge & tapers to a point on the other side of the armpit.

1 Like

Ok, thank you all. These suggestions are very helpful. The gusset idea was what I was imaging. I’ll see what I come up with.