3 ways to Draft a beautiful DIY {FLUTTER SLEEVE} Pattern

flutter sleeves


Flutter sleeves are the cutest sleeves you could add to any pattern. This is one of my go-to patterns for kids’ dresses when I have to add extra sleeves. For adults also there is not many sleeves which gives a dramatic touch ( in a nice way) like this one.

If you are planning to make this pattern for an adult, please note that this sleeve is not ideal for someone with a heavy upper body or broad shoulders, like an inverted triangle body shape. The fullness of these sleeves will give the illusion of more heaviness. 

Draft a Flutter sleeve Pattern

Method 1 A gathered flutter sleeves

flutter sleeve

Step 1

Fold a piece of fabric 7 inch wide and 25 inch long ( for one sleeve)

Mark the following pattern on it. Cut it out

how to sew flutter sleeves

Step 2

Gather the sleeve cap 4 inch to either side of the center fold line to half the width. Use basting stitches to gather as shown in this tutorial for gathering fabric. Stay stitch the gathers in place. Finish the edges of the sleeve. Finish the hem as well.

flutter sleeve

Step 3

Stitch the Sleeve to the top, as you would a regular sleeve. If you are adding this sleeve to a sleeveless dress/top, keep the sleeve under the armhole line and top stitch the sleeve in place. Stitch the side seams. 


Method 2 Small flutter sleeve

This is a sleeve which mostly suits a kid’s dress. Fold a piece of fabric ( for one sleeve) with length about  20″ and width 4″ 

Mark the pattern as the picture below. You need to cut two pieces of fabric for one sleeve . One is used as a facing/ lining. Cut out the 4 pieces of sleeve pattern for two sleeves

Sew the main piece and lining right sides together at the hem edge with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

Turn the sleeve inside out. You will get a piece as the picture below

Gather the sleeve cap with basting stitches

flutter sleeves

Sew the sleeves to the bodice armhole.

flutter sleeve



Method 3 Flutter sleeves

This one is my favourite type of flutter sleeve –  it gives a real fluttery flowing sleeve , without any gathers.

A similar but with more flare is given in this post Flutter sleeve top sewing pattern and tutorial. 

flutter sleeve top

Step 1

Decide on the length you want for the sleeve.Make a half circle with this measurement as radius.

how to make flutter sleeves

Step 2

Extend the line A – B down 7 inches ; if your bust round is over 38 inch make this 7.5 inch.

how to sew flutter sleeves

Step 3

Divide the line A- E by 3 and mark the two points 1 & 2 . On the point 2 draw a horizontal line 2 inches to either side.

flutter sleeves pattern

Step 4

Join the Points A-F-E & A-G-E in a soft curve

flutter sleeves stitching pattern

Step 5

Extend 2 inches from E to H. Join the points C and D to H

Step 6

Cut open the line E-H and cut out the inside portion of A-F-E-G

flutter sleeve pattern

Once you have drafted this pattern on to the paper, keep the pattern on to the fabric which is folded on the bias.Check out this article on How to cut fabric

How to stitch the flutter sleeves

Keep the sleeve piece with center point ( Point A) aligned to the center of the armsyce of the garment. Start stitching from the middle point to one side. After one side is stitched, start again from the center to the other side.

For more sleeve patterns check this post on making different Sleeve patterns.

Comments 6

  1. Do we have to add length to them the flutter sleeves? Also, could you add more direction and pictures about how to attach the sleeve itself at the end? Thank you!

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  2. I really love your website. As a sewing enthusiastic, I am just excited to go through different pages. Thanks a lot for sharing your knowledge.

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