How to Make a Pair of Armwarmers

This is a super quick and easy tutorial – perfect for beginners!


You’ll need:

  • A t-shirt with a sweet pattern or about 1/2 yard of fabric
  • Sharp scissors
  • Sewing machine or needle and thread

Step 1
Measure around the top of your arm (where you want the top of the armwarmer to reach) and around your wrist.

Determine how long you want your armwarmers to be and add a few inches for hemming. If you don’t mind raw edges, or you’d prefer to finish the edges of the armwarmers with lace or trim, you can skip hemming all together.


Step 1
Step 1

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Sewing 101: Measuring, fitting, and patternmaking

If you’re using the tutorials on this site, please keep in mind that almost all of them are intended to be used with stretch fabric (t-shirts, knit, jersey, interlock, etc.). Why? Because the fabric stretches, you can be a lot less accurate with fit, and you don’t need to mess with darts!

If you’re a decent seamstress, you can probably adapt some of them to non-stretch fabrics pretty easily by adding an inch or two here and there, and by planning for some sort of closing/opening device (zippers, buttons, etc.).

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My circle skirt turned out big enough for an elephant, WTF!?

Was your circle skirt too big when you were finished?

Did you cheat?

Tell the truth, now…

I bet you tried to skip all the math and do this:


To be clear, this is the WRONG WAY to make a circle skirt. The tutorial for the correct way is here.

What’s wrong with doing it this way? I’ll explain.

Say you wanted the waist hole to be 32 inches.  Cutting the circle can be a real bitch. There’s math. Math sucks! There must be a less mathy way of doing this… You’ll wing it!

So you fold the fabric in half twice, and then you divide your waist  measurement by 4.  This gives you 8 inches.  You measure a line that’s 8 inches long, because lines are easier to draw.  But you really need a circle, so you just sort of draw a curved lined around it.

If you look at the gap between your 8 inch line and the curved line, there are several inches of extra space in there.  Now multiply that space time 4, and that’s where you got a skirt that’s ridonkulously big.

Do the math once, trace it on a piece of paper, and have it already done on a pattern that you can use over and over again.