Stretch cord, ribbon, or rubber bands
One of my favorite garment make-overs – and I do plenty of them – is the interchangeable, lace-up sleeve. It’s a great way to add a little roominess in a too-tight sleeve, and a cool way to look like you have a larger wardrobe than you do. Cut the sleeves and you’ll be able to turn the dress or blouse into a stunning new piece each time you wear it.
The best look for the interchangeable sleeves is a garment featuring at least a three-quarter sleeve. The sleeve must be fitting or even too-tight. The fabric can be stretchy, or not, but shouldn’t be especially wispy. The sleeve should have no cuff.
The dress or shirt sleeve make-over is actually quite fast and easy. Cut straight up the sleeve, from the hem of it, to the shoulder area. Hem each cut side of the sleeve. Don’t worry that the sleeve will then be even smaller than it was; you can overcome that problem by continuing with the make-over.
After hemming all the way up each cut side of the sleeve, go along each hemmed area, and put in tiny buttons. Shank buttons work best to provide a way for you to lace up the cut area of the sleeve. So, start at one hemmed area, and mark the places where you will attach the buttons, from shoulder to sleeve hem. Do the same to the opposite side. The buttons can be spaced the way you want them – close together or further apart – but don’t space them too far apart. View source for more information about Sleeves.
With the buttons in place you can create various looks for the sleeve by using stretch cord. Wrap the cord around a button, cross over the split, and go around another button, and continue as you create the look you want. You can make cords that go straight across; you can make cords that crisscross. Use a cord color that matches your dress or shirt; create other looks by using cords that don’t match the garment.
Even colored rubber bands can give you the accents and the sleeve closure that you need for the dress or shirt. Today’s rubber bands are colorful, skinny, and appropriate for this garment. Between the rubber bands and the stretch cord, ribbon or jute twine, as well as the different ways to thread the material, you can appear to have hundreds of different outfits – all from one.