Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Sleeve Garters-- Perfect for Your Baggy Sweaters

I'm sure we've all seen the images of a bygone era where men wore sleeve garters which looked something like this:

Photo Credit: Western Emporium
These were functional staples of a man's wardrobe, designed to customize the fit of his shirt and protect it from the grime of the day. 
Photo Credit: Norman Rockwell Museum Store

We don't see them often today, although even David Beckham gave them a try.  (Who knew?)   Having said that, this is NOT a post advocating you encourage your husband to adopt them.  Not even close.

It's sweater weather and I love oversized sweaters, but I don't like baggy cuffs and dangling sleeves.  From getting in the way to being a danger when I'm cooking, my sweater sleeves need to be kept off my hands.  Using a pony-tail holder has worked to keep my sleeves up and out of my way in a pinch, but cutting off the circulation in my arms really isn't fun, so I really needed a better alternative . I headed to my computer for inspiration.

Photo Credit: Quaint Street- Ebay
I remembered these mom had a pair or two in the 80s, and, while I loved the idea, they were too small for my forearms way back then, so they definitely might be a problem now (that whole circulation issue).  Still, I pulled up Amazon and gave them a quick search and you can still buy them here, if you're interested.  When I pulled up those bands, though, the sleeve garters for men came up, too, and an idea was born.

I decided to make my own sleeve garters out of ruffled elastic.  I could customize the length and the color to suit my needs, plus I could do this project really, really inexpensively.  Ruffled elastic comes in many colors at your local Hancock Fabric or any other fabric store.  It runs about $3.00 a package (use a 50% off coupon and it will be even better).  I have a lot of black sweaters, so I made my sleeve garters black to blend in.

 I cut two lengths of elastic each half an inch larger than the circumference of my forearm (where I wanted my sweater cuffs to rest).  Then I sewed the ends together to make a circle and a sleeve garter was born. (Be careful not to twist your want your bands to lay flat.)

After that, it was a five minute sewing project (no machine needed if you don't have one!) and I had sleeve garters.

Just slip the garter on the outside of your sweater sleeve and roll it into the cuff as you roll (or one fold and then push!) your sleeves up. 

They stay up all day without cutting off your circulation as long as you measured your elastic correctly.  (Honestly, it was much more difficult to take a picture of my own arm than it was to make the sleeve garters.)

You can use them for any kind of sleeve that you want to keep higher up on your arm...blazers, blouses, sweatshirts.  Super simple problem solver!

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