How To Shorten Sleeves On Leather Jacket

Don’t pass up the chance to own a beautiful leather jacket just because the sleeves are too long with our tips on how to shorten sleeves on leather jacket. Shortening sleeves on a leather jacket is easier than you think, and you don’t need sewing experience or a sewing machine. So bring out those cool motorcycle jackets and chic leather tops. In less than an hour you can shorten their leather sleeves and make them perfect!

Here’s what you will need to shorten the sleeves on your leather jacket:

  • A seam ripper or  a pair of slim-tipped scissors.
  • Hand sewing needles.
  • Thread to match the shade of the jacket lining.

Follow these steps to shorten the sleeves on your leather jacket:

  1. Open the sleeve lining. To shorten the sleeves on your leather jacket without leaving telltale marks behind, you must open the lining to get inside the sleeve. Begin by turning the leather jacket over. Where the leather and lining meet at the cuff, you’ll need to rip the seam apart. Use a cheap seam ripper (which you can find at sewing stores), or a slim-tipped pair of scissors. Pull the leather and lining apart as you work to expose the seam. Repeat this step on the other sleeve.
  2. Determine the new sleeve length. To shorten the sleeves on your leather jacket to the desired length, put the jacket on while it is still inside out. Keep the lining out of the way with a few sewing pins, then fold the leather to shorten the sleeve on your leather jacket. Do the same thing on the opposite sleeve. To make sure you are shortening the sleeves to the same length, don’t measure the distance from the shoulders to the cuff. Instead, with your arms resting by your sides, have someone measure the distance between the new cuffs and your knuckles. This will ensure that the sleeves of your leather jacket will seem of equal length after your shorten them, even if the jacket itself sits imperfectly across your back or shoulders.
  3. Pressing the new sleeve fold. Don’t cut the leather or lining, in case one day you will wish to lengthen the sleeves on your leather jacket. Fold the lining inwardly, to sit a 1/4 inch lower than the leather fold. Place a towel over the sleeve then use a hot iron to press the new fold in the lining and leather. 
  4. Closing the sleeve lining. Make it seem as if a professional seamstress shortened the sleeves on your leather jacket by closing the lining with an invisible seam. Thread a hand sewing needle with the thread that matches the jacket lining. Loop the thread into the lining by the cuff until it attaches firmly, then sew a seam between the lining and the leather cuff. Always insert the needle a millimeter inside the fold of the lining (instead of on the surface), then pass it through the leather. As you sew into the leather, keep the needle flat and push it in and out simultaneously. Turn the sleeve over each time before you pass the needle through, to make sure you didn’t go through both folds of the leather sleeve. The seam you sew to shorten the sleeves of your leather jacket must go through the first layer of leather only (the fold in the sleeve). 

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