45 Different {TYPES OF SLEEVES} that you can add to your clothes

Sleeves are such an important part of clothes as it is one of the first thing you see in a garment. They should fit properly and be comfortable to wear as well. Sleeve styles vary greatly with time and fashion.

Fashions of sleeves come and go. One moment a particular sleeve may be in fashion but then they disappear completely for decades to resurface later and become a rage again. I remember wearing loose puff sleeves in my teenage years as it was in fashion; now I cannot imagine wearing them, one because it absolutely kills my bodyshape and two they are luckily not in fashion. 

The two main categories of sleeves are Set in sleeves and one piece sleeves. Then there are Ragalan sleeves which joins the bodice with a slightly curved seam. The set in sleeve refers to those sleeves which are joined onto the curved armscye. They join the side seams of the bodice at the underarm. The one piece sleeves are part of the bodice; Kimono sleeves, Dolman / Magyar sleeves and the batwing sleeves belong to this category. 

Checkout this post on drafting different types of sleeves for your dresses and tops and 2 Easy DIY sleeves you can add to your sleeveless tops/ dresses

The different types of sleeves are as follows;

 1 Normal sleeve

This is a sleeve which is set into the armscye with the sleeve head curved to adjust to the roundness of the shoulder. 

types of sleeves

2 Raglan sleeves

This is a sleeve joined to the bodice with a diagonal seam running from the underarm front and back in to the neckline. Checkout the tutorial to draft a raglan sleeved top and the peasant dress pattern tutorial which has gathered raglan sleeves

sleeve styles


raglan sleeves


3 Cap sleeves

This is a sleeve which just about covers the top of the arm. It is a short sleeve. You also call it ap sleeves when the shoulder fabric is extended up and over the shoulder cap without breaking to extend slightly down the arm. The effect is the same in both cases

sleeve types

You can also checkout the slightly gathered cap sleeves in the lace yoke blouse sewing pattern for details on drafting this


4 Cap sleeves ( extended)

This sleeve is a cap sleeve with a small extension from the shoulder. Checkout this tunic pattern with extended sleeves  . 

sleeve types

5 Bracelet sleeves ( Three fourth sleeve)

This sleeve has a length between elbow and the wrist. The whole idea is that when you wear this sleeve you can see your bracelet. From the elbow it measures about 4 inches. 

different forms of sleeves

6 Lantern sleeves

This is a long sleeve with two sections. The  top portion of this sleeve flares from the sleeve head towards the wrist.The bottom part flares from a fitting wrist to meet the flare from the top. The two parts are joined by a seam which maintains its flared lantern shape. A long lantern sleeve and short lantern sleeve can be made. 

types of sleeves

7 Man’s shirt sleeve with cuff

This sleeve has two pleats at the buttoned cuff and a placket opening.

sleeve styles

8 Leg of mutton sleeves

This is a full gathered sleeve head which tapers to fit towards the wrist giving it the appearance of a leg of mutton.


9 Juliet Sleeve

This is similar to the leg of mutton sleeve. The difference being that this sleeve has two parts to it. The top part at the sleeve head is very full . This is gathered and joined to a fitted sleeve part in the lower arm.

juliet sleeve

10 Long Bell sleeves

The Sleeve has a full flare at the hem giving it a bell shape.This tutorial for a flared dress pattern has instructions to make bell sleeves


11 Bell sleeve

This is a shorter version of the Long bell sleeve, mostly shorter than elbow.

sleeves to sew

12 Frill Sleeve / Flute sleeves

This sleeve is fitted till the elbow and from there a frill is attached. The frill can be Umbrella frill in which a skirt is cut as we do for umbrella skirts , or Flared frill which has lesser flare or pleated frill. Checkout the pattern for boxy top for sewing this kind of sleeves

boxy top pattern

13 Pagoda sleeve

This is sleeve which is fitted on the upper arm and has tiered frills on the lower part of the arm to the wrist. Usually there are three tiers

sleeve styles

14 Bishop sleeve

This is a sleeve with a fitted upper part and a flared lower part. The flares are gathered at the wrist by a cuff.

different styles of sleeve

15 Peasant sleeve

This is a  gathered ragalan  sleeve which is gathered at the neck and hem with drawstring or elastic.

different types of sleeves

16 Square armhole sleeve

The armhole is designed not curved but angular, mostly square shaped. This is an interesting design element.

different types of sleeves

17 Dolman/ Magyar sleeve

This is a one piece sleeve which is an extension of the bodice. There will be no seam between bodice  and the sleeve, as it is cut as one.Sometimes a gusset is added to the underarm for ease.Check out the tutorial to make a dolman sleeved top



18 Padded shouldered sleeve

In this case the sleeve has a  shoulder pad and is made extra wide to accommodate this

sleeve types to sew

19 Petal sleeve ( lapped sleeve ) Tulip sleeve

This sleeve is joined at the top two edges overlapping. There will be no underarm seam for this sleeve. The layered panels that form this sleeve makes it look like petals; they are usually short or skimpy sleeves

tulip sleeve

20 Marmaluke or Virago sleeve

This is a sleeve which is long and full and is divided into five full sections . The parts are gathered at intersections fitting the arm.

kinds of sleeves

21 Angel sleeves / Dalmation sleeves

This  is a flared sleeve with its ends extending into long points down the sides.

22 Butterfly sleeve

This sleeve has a puff at the top and is loose near the hem. It doesnot have a cuff like the normal puffed sleeves.

butterfly sleeves

23 Bag sleeve

A long and very full sleeve that is gathered into the cuff at the wrist.

24 Draped sleeves

sleeve types

Extra fullness is given at the top part of the sleeve whereas the under arm portion of the sleeve remains fitted.A drapey effect is created by the fullness at the top, which is sometimes drawn up with elastic. 

25 Puff sleeves

A full sleeve which may be long or short which is gathered  at the top and or hem.A puff look is given as a result of the gathers. There are many kinds of puff sleeves – gathered at the armhole alone but fitting at the sleeve round, fitting at the armhole but gathered at the sleeve round , both gathered and puffed together; This sleeves are  usually gathered at the sleeve round with a sleeve band ( cuff) or elastic ribbon , or elastic enclosed casing, drawstrings.

puff sleeve

26 Drawstring puff sleeve

types of sleeves

This is a puff sleeve which is gathered using a drawstring or a cuff with the gathered hem forming a sort of frill.

27 Epaulet sleeve

many kind of sleeves

Sleeve with a strap on the shoulder to carry cape.

28 Balloon sleeve

all types of sleeves

A very full shirt sleeve which is padded to give the look of a balloon

29 Batwing sleeve

This  is a cut in one piece sleeve which narrows to fit towards the wrist.

batwing sleeves

30 Circle sleeve / Flutter sleeves

This is a sleeve which looks like a circle when it is cut. This is a sleeve which has lots of flare. Check out the post on sewing a flutter sleeve here

This kind of flared sleeve ending a inch or so above the elbow is called Capelet sleeves .

31 Wing  Ruffle sleeve

sleeve type

This is sleeve which is very short but full and is gathered to form ruffles.

32 Kimono sleeves

This is a long one piece sleeve that is an extension of the bodice and extends to  the wrist.Checkout the post on drafting kimono sleeves or the tutorial to draft pattern and sew a Kimono / yukata for more details

kimono sleeves

33 Over sleeve

This consists of two sleeves one on top of the other in layering effect.

34 Hanging sleeve

This is a very long sleeve that is open down the seam and hangs down

35 Elbow patched sleeve

This has a patch on the elbow to protect the garment from wear and tear.

different kinds of sleeves

36 Slashed sleeve

This sleeve has slashes on it revealing other fabric underneath, usually of a contrasting colour.

37 Strapped or banded sleeve

There will be a narrow strip of fabric along the hem of the sleeves.

38 Tailored sleeve

This is a two piece sleeve with seams down the front and back and not underarm like the normal sleeves. This is done so that it could be shaped

types of sleeves to sew

39 Cape sleeves

This sleeves has a lot of flare at the hem and sometimes it is cut as a circle to get the most flare. 


40 Mahoitres Sleeve

This sleeve is padded and is shaped like a bag

41 Gibson Girl Sleeve

This is a sleeve which is full at the shoulder to the elbow and very fitted from the elbow to the wrist.

42 Poet  Sleeve 

This sleeve is pleated at the shoulder and full to the cuff

43 Melon Sleeve

This sleeve is rounded at the shoulder to the elbow ending in a cuff or band

44 Gauntlet Sleeve (Pointed)

In this sleeve, the fabric extends to the back of hand usually in a V shape

45 Cold-shouldered sleeve

This is an off-shoulder style sleeve. The sleeve hangs on to the bodice from the sides rather than from the top of the armsyce leaving a hole exposing the shoulders. Check out the tutorial to sew cold shouldered sleeve here.

cold shoulder top pattern

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