The right, extra long sleeved sweater can complete a chic and sophisticated look. Adding a thumb hole immediately takes it to a fashion-forward look bordering on punk rock. The little change can completely transform the look of the garment. A thumb hole can be added to any shirt or sweater with sleeves that reach beyond the end of the thumb.

Things You'll Need

Thumbholes in a Sweater

Put the sweater on and place a push pin to mark the point of the thumb joint on both sleeves.

Thread the needle with thread matching the sweater.

Pinch the fabric at the pin point, remove the pin and cut a small hole about half the size of the circumference of your thumb.

Starting from the inside of the sweater, make a few back stitches to fix the thread.

Put the needle through to the outside of the sweater 3 to 5 millimeters from the edge of the hole.

Bring the needle and thread over the cut edge of the sweater and back to the inside of the sweater.

Next to the first stitch, push the needle back through the inside of the sweater to the outside of the sweater.

Repeat the stitch, called the oversewing stitch, all the way around the hole.


  • If you have a sewing machine, use the buttonhole setting to create the thumb hole instead of hand stitching.

  • Cut the hole very small as it will stretch as you pull the thread to make the oversewing stitch.

  • Make the stitches as close together and neat as possible but do not pull too tight or the fabric will fray.

References and Resources

Alternative Windows:Stitches