Bishop sleeve : 4 types of bishop sleeves and how to draft them

bishop sleeves

Bishop Sleeve is a long sleeve, gathered at the hem to a fitting plain cuff band or an elastic cuff. The sleeve is quite fitted at the armhole but gradually widens as it reaches the hem, where the fullness is contained with the cuff.

A bishop sleeve can be slightly full or It can be very full and billowy and made in a flowy drapey fabric. The Bishop sleeve can create a very feminine silhouette for your garment.

Bishop sleeve on a wedding dress

4 main types of Bishop sleeves

Bishop sleeve with plain cuff

Usually the bishop sleeve ends with a plain band at the hem – the sleeve edge is gathered and attached to a band.

A narrow band.

bishop sleeve with a plain band cuff

Or a wide band.

bishop sleeve with a wide band cuff

Bishop sleeve with plain cuff and simple placket opening

The band of the bishop sleeve can have a simple placket opening and the band will have a button opening.

bishop sleeves with placket

bishop sleeves

Bishop sleeve with cuff gathered with elastic smocking

The end of the bishop sleeve can be gathered with elastic thread smocking. You can check out how to shir fabric like this with elastic thread.

with a gathered hem

Bishop sleeve with an elastic band

The Bishop sleeve can end with a simple elastic band.

bishop sleeve with simple elasticied ends

Half Bishop sleeve

sew a puffy sleeve top

You can learn here how to sew this kind of sleeve.

How to draft a Bishop sleeve

Draft an ordinary sleeve and mark parallel vertical lines on the sleeve. Check out this post on drafting sleeves.

Pattern for the bishop sleeves

Cut out the lines.

Mark lines and cut through them

Keep your sleeve pattern on another piece of bigger fabric. Spread the cut lines.

Cut open the marked lines

Mark around the sleeve.

Make the sleeve pattern according the outline

Cut through this new outline. This is your new Bishop sleeve pattern.

Check out related posts on sewing plackets on sleeve hem.

Related posts : Frill sleeves/Ruffle sleeves; How to draft Flutter sleeves ; Different types of bell sleeves


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Author: Sarina Tariq

Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.

5 thoughts on “Bishop sleeve : 4 types of bishop sleeves and how to draft them”

  1. What happens to the sleeve head? It spreads as well so it doesn’t match the original head. Do I retrace the original head on my new pattern piece?

    • You need to copy the spread sleeve head as well, or there will be a sharp angle where the rest of the sleeve spreads out. Either adjust the size of your armscye accordingly, or put gathers into the bell of the sleeve head to shrink the length back down so it fits the predrafted armscye.

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