In Around the Traps the other day I talked about Me Made May. Despite the fact that it feels super weird to try to take my own photo every day (and I'm often forgetting till late in the day) I've persevered and I'm really chuffed about it. I'm learning things about my wardrobe; what I have, what I need, what I like.
One of the things this month has made clear to me is that my most worn garment has never been mentioned before on this here blog. Nor has it been mentioned on social media. I think I may have thought they were so simple they were not worth mentioning UNTIL Me Made May showed me the way. By making me really think about what I make and what I wear regularly I saw that I wear these nearly every day all winter long. These are simply my most worn, most practical, most indispensable garment.
Why would you want sleeves?
So let's talk "sleeves" and why one would want some? Warm wrists = warm person. Not catchy I grant you but true. And warm! And who doesn't need some more warmth in the winter. They solve the 3/4 length sleeve sweater/cardigan problem, and more than that I've realised that I wear them with everything. I wear them with sweaters with full length sleeves as well. I wear them with my coat. Well you get the picture.
Why not just wear arm warmers?
Why wouldn't you just knit some arm warmers? They are bulky. And they look wooly. I have a few pairs of arm warmers, and while I love them, I don't wear them anywhere near as often. The "sleeves" have the advantage of looking like I have a thin merino underlayer on beneath my sweater. They don't give the wool on wool on wool look* - although it might be hard for some of you to believe, I sometimes think too much wool can be too much wool. Sleeves are just a bit more elegant, refined, simple than knitted woollen arm warmers.
What are Sleeves?
They are simply a light stretchy merino fabric sewn into tubes. I think I originally purchased from The Fabric Store. You cut two long rectangles and simply zigzagged together.
Mine are incredibly poorly made. And it doesn't even matter. Noone knows (except you lot!) and you can't tell from the outside unless you really get up close and personal with them. The appalling thing about these is that I didn't even match the cotton. You could definitely do a better job.
They do fall down slowly over the course of the day, but not so much, or so quickly that they are annoying. And also they don't look bad fallen down. In the iPhone photo at the top of the post you can see them fallen down. In the photo above this section you can see how they look normally.
How to make them.
The photos below show the dimensions that fit me. My forearm (the key measurement) measures about 9.5" around at its widest point. By making them slightly smaller they stay up. You also want them to be fairly long because as they slowly fall down they just get more wrinkly but don't show. I've never had them show.
ut two long rectangles 20" by 8.5" - your width measurement may need to be wider/thinner. Fold them in half lengthwise with right sides together. Sew them together with a zig zag with a 3/8" seam allowance. For me this gives two tubes that are roughly 8" in diameter. With stretch around the forearm as you see in the photo below they stay up.
* I often wear a hand knit sweater, beanie and cowl in the winter. To add arm warmers as well can sometimes take things a little bit too far. Feel free to disagree ;)