How to Fix Stretched Sweatshirt Cuffs

by Helen Holzer

Sweats are comfortable, making them popular for exercise apparel and for lounging around the house. If you roll up the sleeves on your sweatshirt only to find that the cuffs have stretched out of shape, there are some simple ways to fix the problem. Several methods can be tried that should shrink your stretched sweatshirt cuffs in a jiffy.

Items you will need

  • Washing machine
  • Dryer
  • Steam iron
  • Stretchy material
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread

Wash and Dry

Step 1

Look at all of labels on your sweatshirt. Most sweatshirts are 100 percent cotton and will shrink relatively easily in the washer and dryer. Labels that say “preshrunk,” “anti-shrink,” “no shrink” or “shrink resistant” will resist shrinkage techniques.

Step 2

Wash your stretched sweatshirt in the washer with hot water. Place it in the dryer on the hottest setting until dry. The heat from the dryer should reduce the cuffs. You can also let the sweatshirt dry in the sun. Repeat as necessary, but keep in mind that the sweatshirt may shrink along with the cuffs.

Step 3

Try holding a steam iron over the stretched cuff to shrink it back into shape. Blast it with a few puffs of steam. Iron the cuffs to provide even more heat.

Replace the Cuff

Step 1

Replace the stretched-out cuff if it will not return back to shape using other methods. Find similar or complementary stretchy material.

Step 2

Cut out two rectangles that match the end of your current cuff. Double over the length of the material and fold it so the folded edge is the bottom of the cuff.

Step 3

Taper the rectangle to make a close-fitting cuff by sewing a seam on the underside of the new cuff.

Step 4

Cut off the old cuff to replace it with the new one along the line of the old seam.

Step 5

Use a sewing machine to stitch on the new cuff. Repeat with the second cuff.


  • Check frequently during the shrinking process to ensure your cuff is not getting too small and the material is not getting damaged.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/ Images

About the Author

Helen Holzer is a veteran journalist who began writing in 1972 and has lived all over the country. She has written and edited on nearly every topic for major daily newspapers and other publications. She has also been a book reviewer and currently lives in the Pacific Northwest. She has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Minnesota.