Arm Warmers & Superhero Cuffs Tutorial

Stretchy arm warmers or cuffs can be used to add extra character to dance or cosplay costumes.

To make the pattern for your arm warmers or cuffs you will need a sleeve pattern from a tight fitting garment. You can use a sleeve from a leotard pattern or you can trace off a sleeve pattern from a leotard you already own.

To adapt your sleeve pattern to make an arm warmer pattern, first fold down the cap of the sleeve to form a straight line. Cut the sleeve cap off along the fold.


Fold the remaining sleeve pattern in half. This centre fold is approximately where the elbow will be in your garment.

Fold the sleeve in half again.


When you open it out you will have 3 folds in your paper pattern. Cut the pattern at the first fold for superhero cuffs and at the third fold for long arm warmers. (Of course you can cut your pattern to any length you like. Just remember you will lose approximately 1.5cm (½ inch) at each end when you turn up the hem).

Fold your fabric in half. Place your pattern so the straight edge is along the fold, pin the pattern in place and cut out your arm warmer. Cut out a second arm warmer in exactly the same way as the first.

Fold the arm warmer in half with right sides together and pin the raw edges together. Sew the raw edges of your arm warmer together using either an overlocker or serger or a zigzag stitch on your sewing machine.

Turn up a hem of approximately 1.5cm (½ inch) at each end of your arm warmer. It is usually easier to sew the hem with the sleeve the wrong way out and the presser foot inside the sleeve opening.

Sew up the hem at either end of your arm warmer either using a zigzag stitch on your sewing machine or a coverstitch.

Your arm warmers are now complete.

You can also make superhero cuffs by cutting your pattern on the first fold and then sewing them together using exactly the same method as for the arm warmers.