If I say there is nothing special about a Tulip Sleeve, wouldn’t I be lying? Here is a sleeve that looks like a beautiful flower and what could be more special than that.
A tulip sleeve consists of two parts – the back part of the sleeve curves over the other part. In effect, both the pieces of the sleeve overlaps over each other. This mimics the look of the petals of a tulip flower -one petal curving over the other. That’s why the tulip sleeve is also called a Petal sleeve.
It’s usually more fitted at the armhole and opens wider at the hem. It is feminine and elegant and so much more better looking than a basic sleeve. This type of sleeve is used in women’s blouses and kid’s frocks and they all look very cute.
It may look very complicated but actually it is a very easy sleeve to sew.
How to draft, cut, and stitch a Tulip Sleeve
Step 1. Cut out 2 paper patterns of your sleeve.
To make the pattern of the tulip sleeve you need a basic sleeve pattern in your measurement. Make 2 copies of this in paper.
Fold your 2 paper sleeve patterns and mark the center of the sleeve. Make a notch mark there for both the patterns.
Now mark 2 inches from the center to one side. Mark this mark as X (refer picture below).
Make a mark on the other side in a similar way on the second sleeve paper pattern.
Step 2. Pattern for the front part of the tulip sleeve.
Using a french curve (or freehand mark) make a curved line starting from the x mark you made earlier.
Cut along the mark. Here I had made the x mark on the back side of the sleeve, so I have cut out the front part of the tulip sleeve.
Step 3. Pattern for the back part of the tulip sleeve.
Now mark the same way on the second paper pattern.
Mark the x on the front part of the sleeve. So when you cut through the mark you will get the back part of the tulip sleeve.
Step 4. Cut the Patterns for the tulip sleeve from fabric.
Cut out 4 patterns each for the front part of the sleeve and the back part of the sleeve – these are for the outer and lining for both the hands.
Step 5. Sew facing to one of the back pieces
Keep two of the back pieces together (one outer and the other facing or lining whatever you call it) and sew along the curved line we have cut earlier. Clip along the seam allowance. Turn the fabric right side out.
Do this for both the front and back pieces of the sleeve and for both hands.
You get 2 pieces each for both hands.
Step 6. Overlap the back piece over the front piece
Align the sleeve along the notches you have made earlier on the center of the sleeve pattern.
Remember that back piece of the sleeve should overlap over the front part of the sleeve. The tulip sleeves look better that way.
Sew along the top edge as stay stitching.
Step 7. Optional – sew trims along the lower edge.
You can sew trims to the lower edge of the sleeve or make a piping edge – both look equally good.
I am adding a lace trim along the lower edge of the back sleeve piece only.
The front and back pieces are aligned.
Step 8. Sew the sleeve to your bodice.
This is how it will look on you.