I was standing in a queue recently and the girl in front of me and the girl behind me were wearing tops with these puffy sleeves. I took it as a sign. Sign that I should make one and write a tutorial on how to make it.
This tutorial is for sewing a simple everyday top with the puffy sleeves. You need one and a half meters of fabric for sewing this top. The puffed part can be made from the same cloth or another drapey fabric or a sheer one or an eyelet fabric or even lace.
Step 1 Cut out the pattern pieces for the bodices
First take two fabric pieces of length 27 inches and fold them by the middle. Mark the pattern as given below on the top part.
Back bodice pattern.
After you have marked and cut the back pattern as given above, remove one of the bodice pieces ( this is your back piece) and mark the front pattern on the remaining piece. There are only a few changes between back and front patterns – in the length and neckline and armhole
Front bodice pattern.
The x-v in the diagram is a 2 inch long cut for a small slit – make this along the center fold of the front pattern
You can shape the waistline slightly if you want to.
Step 2 Cut the sleeves
Cut the sleeves as per the pattern given below. You can find more instructions for cutting sleeves in this post on sewing sleeves.
To make the sleeve pattern, keep two fabrics of length 12 inches and width 16 inches together, right sides together. Fold them by the middle. 12 inches is the sleeve length – adjust it to what you want the length of your sleeve to be
A-B is the measure around your arm where the sleeve ends plus 1 inch. I took mine as 6 inches
First mark the following marks on the pattern. x & y are marked after dividing the 3.5 inch line by 3 equal divisions.
Then mark the armhole curve through the points x & y.
The red line passing through the x is the back armhole line. After marking this, cut through the line passing through the x point – you will be cutting all the 4 layers of your sleeve fabric . Then open up the sleeves and cut one side with the line passing through y
Step 3 Cut out the Puff pieces
Cut 2 pieces measuring 20 inch width and 7 3/4 ich width.
If you want a longer puff, you can change the length of the puff by increasing the length of the fabric piece – but you will have to reduce the length of the top sleeve part as well accordingly.
Step 4 Join the bodices
Join the two bodice pieces by the shoulder seams, keeping them right sides together
Step 5 Finish the bottom edges of the bodices
Hem the two bodice bottom edges – make narrow hems as this is curved. Ensure that they align and are of the same height – other wise when you stitch the side seams they will not be the same height.
Step 6 Prepare the sleeves
You have to join the sleeve bottom edge to the puff piece.
First turn under one edge of the puff fabric 1/4 inch first and then 3/4 inch to make a casing for elastic
Gather the other edge of the puff piece with basting stitches
Keep the gathered piece rightside down on the bottom edge of the sleeve and stitch in place
Insert 1/4 inch elastic through the casing with a pin. I used 5-inch piece of elastic -this depends on your arm round. Fit the elastic around your wrist.
Tack the elastic ends in place so that it doesnot come loose from the casing
Step 7 Join the sleeve to the armhole.
Step 8 Stitch the side seams of the bodices and the sleeves
Step 9 Bind the neckline
The neckline could also be finished with facing – in which case you would do this before joining the shoulder seams, for easy sewing.
To bind the neckline you need to bind the slit first and then bind the neckline
For binding the slit cut out a 3/4 inch piece of bias cut fabric strip which is 6 inches long
Keep the strip right side down on the right side up slit. Join the strip straight all along the cut edge of the front slit.
It will look like this
Turn the other edge of the binding to the back; fold the edge and stitch the binding in place
It will look like this now, with a u shape. To change the U shaped slit , stitch the inside of the binding as shown in the picture below
Hold the two sides of the binding together from the inside of the top and stitch diagonally on the bottom edge- the red line in the picture.
This will give a tight v shape to the slit
Take a long bias cut strip of 1 inches to bind the neckline – it should be long enough to cover the full neckline plus 1 inch extra for turning the edges inside.
Fold the short edges of the bias strip to the inside as you stitch. After stitching the edges together, turn to the other side and stitch in place
If you are looking for making simple puffed sleeves check out this post – 3 ways to sew a puff sleeve