As the spring temperatures start to rise and you’re looking for something to wear that’s not too stuffy or hot, consider removing the sleeves from a blazer to create a versatile and modern look. A sleeveless blazer can give you the polished look of a suit for work, or it can be worn with jeans and a T-shirt for a more casual look.
Things You’ll Need
- Seam ripper
- Sharp scissors
- Dress form (optional)
- Sewing machine with a universal 90/14 needle
- Coordinating bias tape
Tip: You can buy bias tape, or you can make your own. Click here for instructions to make your own bias tape.
Remove the Sleeves and Shoulder Pads
1. Turn the blazer to the inside and use a seam ripper to open the armhole seams in the lining.
2. If there are shoulder pads, remove them with the seam ripper.
3. Remove the sleeves and the sleeve lining with a seam ripper or a sharp pair of scissors.
Create a Fitted Blazer
If you are lucky enough to start with a blazer that fits you perfectly, you can skip the next four steps and pick up with basting the armholes. If you are starting with a blazer that is too big, the next four steps will show you how to make it fit properly.
1. Put the sleeveless blazer on inside-out, and have a friend mark the new armhole seams with a pin. Add 1/2 inch for a seam allowance, and mark this new armhole seam with pins all around the armhole. Use sharp scissors to cut away the extra fabric of the lining and the outer fabric.
2. Next, put the sleeveless blazer back on (or you can use a dress form for this step if you have one). Have a friend pin the new side seams in the outer fabric and in the lining, separately. Sew the new seams in the lining and the outer fabric individually.
3. Put the sleeveless blazer back on inside-out, and have a friend pin the new shoulder seams in the outer fabric and the lining, separately. Taper this new seam into the neckline. Sew along the pin line in the lining and the outer fabric individually. Remove the pins as you sew.
4. Use sharp scissors to trim away the extra fabric from all of your new seams so that you have 1/2-inch seam allowances.
Baste the Armholes
1. Change your sewing machine to the longest stitch.
2. With the wrong sides together, line up the raw edges of the lining fabric and the outer fabric at the armholes. Baste them together 1/2 inch away from the raw edge. (The photo shows the topside of the armhole on top of the backside of the armhole, both basted to the corresponding lining fabric.)
Finish with Bias Tape
1. Choose some coordinating bias tape. Bias tape is perfect for finishing armholes because it is cut on the bias (45-degree angle) of the fabric, super pliable and can curve around various shapes.
2. Open the bias tape and line up one edge of it to the raw edge of the armhole seam. Pin with the right sides together and overlap the ends of the bias tape.
3. Use a universal 90/14 needle and a medium-length stitch to sew along the first fold in the bias tape.
4. Refold the bias tape, flipping it over the lining and outer fabric so all of the raw edges are sandwiched inside the bias tape. Pin in place.
5. Use a medium stitch length to sew along the inside edge of the bias tape, securing all of the raw edges inside it. Remove the pins as you sew.
Enjoy the warmer weather, and have fun creating spring looks with your new sleeveless blazer.