Make a Puff sleeved Top – Sewing pattern & tutorial

puffy sleeved top diy tutorial

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. 

puffy sleeved top 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.

make an easy top

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

sewing pattern for a top

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. 


sleeve pattern

Then mark the armhole curve through the points x & y.

sleeve sewing pattern

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


sew a top

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.

sew an easy top

Step 4 Join the bodices

Join the two bodice pieces by the shoulder seams, keeping them right sides together


sewing a top with free pattern

free sewing pattern for a top

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.

sewing a simple top

Step 6 Prepare the sleeves

You have to join the sleeve bottom edge to the puff piece. 

sewing a puffy sleeved top

First turn under one edge of the puff fabric 1/4 inch first and then 3/4 inch to make a casing for elastic

puffy sleeve top sewing pattern

Gather the other edge of the puff piece with basting stitches 

sewing a puffy sleeved top

Keep the gathered piece rightside down on the bottom edge of the sleeve and stitch in place

puffy sleeved top sewing pattern

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.

sew a puffy sleeve

Tack the elastic ends in place so that it doesnot come loose from the casing

puffy sleeve

Step 7 Join the sleeve to the armhole.

puffy sleeved top diy tutorial

Step 8 Stitch the side seams of the bodices and the sleeves

sew a puffy sleeve top

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 

puffed sleeve top sewing pattern

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.

sew a simple puffy sleeve top

It will look like this

sew a simple top with puffy sleeve

Turn the other edge of the binding to the back; fold the edge and stitch the binding in place

simple top free sewing pattern

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.

make a simple top

This will give a tight v shape to the slit

puffed sleeve top sewing pattern

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

sewing pattern for a simple top

If you are looking for making simple puffed sleeves check out this post – 3 ways to sew a puff sleeve

Related and helpful posts on sewing: 15 dressmaking tips; Sewing tips and tutorials

Comments 8

    1. Post
  1. Your guides are detailed and simple to follow, the fact that you link related guides is a plus, thank you very much for putting them up

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