So, you should know something about me. As much as I love a good and challenging project, there are times when I love the easiest solution. A lot of people have told me that they have a hard time altering sleeves and have asked me how I alter mine. So I thought I'd show the simplest way that I use all of the time to improve a dress or top. I also don't own a serger, so I'll show you how to 'faux serge' your edges. This obviously isn't the only way to change sleeves, but if you're not wanting to spend a ton of time ripping seams and reattaching sleeves - you'll like this method.
This is the top I started with. I loved the little lace collar but the sleeves were just keeping this top totally outdated. ↓
So from the shoulder seam, I measure anywhere from 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch, depending on how deep you want the seam from the edge. I chose 3/4 inch here to make it a bit easier to see in these photos.
Cut all the way around the same width. Should look something like this. ↓
Tip: don't try to keep the sleeve folded and cut both sides at once. It usually doesn't go very well. :/
This is where the "faux serge" comes in. Set your machine on a basic zig zag stitch (you can use a fancier stitch if you prefer, but I find the simplest one the best). Set up your material so that when your needle goes right, it goes down at the very edge - juuuust barely off of your fabric. Do this all the way around the raw edge.
Your results should look something like this -- depending on how big of a stitch you use.
For the last step, I fold the edge over right where the shoulder seam is and sew a straight stitch all the way around.
That's it! Too easy, right? It probably takes anywhere from 10-20 minutes depending on your skill level.
Comment with any questions you might have!