DIY: Easy Way to Add Sleeves to a Prom Dress

4:10 PM

I recently received an email asking for a tutorial on adding sleeves to a tube top prom dress. My mind went back many years to my high school days when I realized that my mom did something pretty neat to add sleeves to my prom dresses. She used pantyhose, cut off the ends, and sewed them onto my dress. I thought it was brilliant and back then I thought I looked beautiful. The nice thing about this look is that the edges are finished with no effort and it fits your shoulder perfectly. No more ugly sleeves! Here are two different ways you can do this.

Here I am years ago rocking this look ;) For this dress, my arms are through the pantyhose just like you would put them on your legs.

In this old picture, the pantyhose were basically laying over my shoulders. My arms weren't in the pantyhose like the picture above.

We will start with the look from the purple dress. I unpicked the sleeves so I could show you how to accomplish this look. Get some matching nylons (my color is off but you get the idea). Your options are endless. I'm using my daughters old dance tights. They have a nice finished end already, but even a raw edge works great if you use regular nylons and have to cut off the toe.

 Make sure they fit your arm nicely. Think about how your arm compares to your thigh and try and figure out what size is best for you. Size small should work great since most people have smaller arms than thighs. 

Cut off your desired length.

Pin one side of the sleeve to the armpit area of the dress like so.

With matching thread, sew close to the edge to attach the sleeve.

Here is what it should look like once you are done.

 If you like the other look, here is what you do. Cut your desired length and pin it to the back of the dress like this. Sew it in place and notice how you can't see the stitch once flipped up.

Sew the other end of the sleeve to the front of the dress the same way you sewed it to the back.


There you have it! Hope this helps and have a great time dancing the night away!


You Might Also Like


  1. Very good idea!! Congratulations

  2. This is such a great idea!! And by the way, I wore that very same pink dress (if not the same, very similiar) to my Prom! Great minds think alike! :)

  3. In the 2nd sleeve, you don't slip your arm through the tights like you do in the first sleeve, right? So, it's essentially the tube sewn shut? I'm just trying to get it right - my spatial abilities are not great, lol.

  4. do you do anything to the edge of the panty hose that you cut?

  5. I'm going to go a step further and add trumpet sleeves over the tights to create a simple and quick princess dress costume