Sew Guide » 3 types of {Puff sleeves} and How to sew them

3 types of {Puff sleeves} and How to sew them

I know many girls on whom the Puffed sleeves look beautiful, but alas they are not for me. I have an inverted triangle body shape and puff sleeves would kill it . But I sew it regularly. The ones I sew have the perfect body shape for a puffed sleeve- my kids. 

The puffed sleeves  ( Puffy leeves, puff sleeves all one and the same) have an old world charm ( a Victorian era reminder?) which is great, but only if you have the body for it .If you have a narrow top body ( a pear body shape) or a slim figure go for the charming puffed sleeves.  This sleeve will bring a balance to a body shape with broad hips. On kids’ dresses the puffy sleeves look adorable and give fullness to their willowy frame. If you absolutely love a puffed sleeves and want to incorporate it into your wardrobe there are many ways to it – add it to your shrug pattern or a fitting top pattern. 

The 3 styles of puff sleeves are as follows

  1. Puff sleeves with fullness at the top and bottom
  2. Puff sleeves with fullness at the bottom only
  3. Puff sleeves with fullness at the top only 

The puff sleeves with fullness at the top and bottom – Pattern

 puff sleeves

How to sew the puffed sleeves

Step 1

Get a normal sleeve pattern according your measurements. If you haven’t made a normal sleeve make a normal sleeve following the directions here

puffed sleeve diy pattern

Step 2

Fold the normal sleeve by the center. Keep it on another slightly bigger  pattern drafting paper folded by half like the normal sleeve pattern. Even a newspaper would do.Add the necessary inches ( you can add inches keeping in mind the gathers you want.) I have added 1″ for a slight puff. 

puffy sleeves sewing pattern

Step 3

After you have added the inches and marked one side of the pattern open up the papers, both the normal sleeve and the pattern paper. Mark the other side of the sleeves too.

 

puffy sleeves

Step  4

Fold the hem at the wrong side of the sleeve, twice inside ; this is for an elastic casing. Keep in mind the width of the elastic.

If you want a bottom hem frill you will have to add a strip of fabric some 1″ from the hem after finishing the hem. Stitch a 1.5″ piece of strip to the back of the sleeve 1″ from the finished hem – this will form the casing for the elastic. When you insert the elastic the hem will gather like a frill

puff-sleeves10

Step 5

Make two rows of gathering stitches ( basting titches with a long stitch length) leaving long trails of thread on both ends. 

Checkout the post on how to gather fabric 

puffed sleeves pattern

Step 6

Insert the elastic with a pin onto the elastic casing you have made at the hem

puffy sleeves

Step 7

Stitch the ends of the elastic to the side seam allowance with 2-3 back stitches with your sewing machine ( to keep them in place)

 puff-sleeves17

Step 7.

Gather the top of the sleeve by pulling the thread tails gently, distributing the gathers evenly

puff sleeves sewing

You have the sleeve ready to be joined to the bodice.

puff-sleeves178

If you are adding the sleeve to an old sleeveless bodice, remove the side seam stitches under the armhole, some 3-4 inches. Keep the sleeves wrong side up on the armhole of the right side up bodice. Stitch the sleeves at the armhole with a 1/4 inch allowance. Make double stitches. . Now join the side seam and the sleeve side seam in one stretch.

As you can see the sleeve with 2 inch additional added to the fold line and sleeve head makes a small puff only . You can add between 3 – 6 inches for a big puff sleeves 

sew puff sleeves

The puff sleeves with gathers at the bottom only – Pattern

 puff sleeves

The puff sleeves with gathers at the top only – Pattern

 puff sleeves

Another way to get the look of puff pattern with gathers at the top alone, is to give darts at the bottom hem, by using the first pattern given here. One or two darts at the edge will ease the fullness the bottom

Butterfly sleeve is another variation  which is a puffed sleeves with fullness at the top and a straight down or wide bottom edge ( unlike the tapered bottom edge of a normal sleeve). Checkout the tutorial to make a butterfly sleeve. Still another variation is the peasant style ( gathered ragalan sleeves) Checkout the tutorial for the peasant dress pattern

Charlize Theron is sporting the puff sleeves in a long sleeved sheer version.

Dare to make it in Leather.

 

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