DIY Hack Your Pattern Sewing Tutorial

Make Your Own Flounce Sleeve

As promised in this post where I showed you how to make a lined V-neck bodice, here is the Flounce Sleeve modification I made on the same peplum! This is another Hack Your Pattern post, which allows you to take a pattern you already own and modify a part of it for a new look. Sleeves are a very quick way to do just that. For this mod, all you need is your sleeve pattern piece, tracing paper, writing utensils, and a ruler.

Trace your full sleeve onto clean paper. For cut on the fold sleeves, flip the pattern over to trace the other half. Mark the halfway point of your sleeve so that you draw the vertical line on the photo, which is your grain. Perpendicular to that, draw in your capline, which is perpendicular to your grainline and runs from one edge of the sleeve to the other, before the side seam begins. Now, measure 1/2″ over from the grainline and make a mark. This will be used to overlap and remove some of the sleeve ease in a future step.

1″ from each side of the grainline, draw vertical dashed lines. 2″ from each of those lines, draw new vertical dashed lines so that your sleeve piece looks like this. We are creating slash lines to be used a pivot points for adding our desired fullness to the sleeves.

Now’s the time to get to cutting. Cut your sleeve apart completely at the grainline so that you now have two pieces. Once you’ve done that, cut each of the dashed lines you made up to, but not through the top edge of the paper. It should look like this so far.

Along the sleeve cap, meet the edge (grainline) of the pattern with the 1/2″ mark that was made prior. While holding the overlap, spread the bottom pieces so that they are at least 2″ apart. Note here: in all these spreads, you can actually experiment with your own measurements. If you want less flare to your sleeve, spread less. If you want more flare, spread more. I am sharing the exact measurements used to create the sleeve shown on my finished garment. Tape the overlap at the top together to hold in place. Position the pattern on a fresh piece of paper so that you have enough space to spread and tape your pieces apart.

For the remainder of the slash lines, I spread them 2.5″ apart. As stated before, this is personal preference that I settled on. Tape each spread to fresh paper at the top and bottom to help hold them in place while you’re spreading. Once you are finished spreading, create a new capline by doing the same thing you did before. It is fine if it goes off of the sleeve piece. Draw a new grainline perpendicular to this line. Smooth out the bottom hem of the sleeve into a subtle curve, using a French curve or eyeballing it. Make sure that the side seams of each sleeve are equal, and true up (correct), if needed. I added a tiny bit of curve at the top (about 1/8″) since the sleeve cap was flattened. This was personal preference and did not affect the pattern in any way.

Your pattern piece is completely, except for labeling. I write the type of sleeve it is, which pattern it belongs to, how many to cut, and any other relevant details, such as sleeve front and back, if applicable to your pattern.

Cut your sleeves out, marking the center/shoulder mark. Fold each right sides together and sew along the side seam. Turn your bodice wrong side out and your sleeve right side out. Note: Make sure your bodice is wrong side out. Mine is lined with the same fabric, therefore hard to see. The understitching should be on the outside, if that applies to your bodice.

Insert the sleeve into the bodice, matching the center marking from the sleeve to the shoulder seam and the side seam of the sleeve to the underarm. Pin or clip all around. Sew sleeve. Repeat all steps with the other one.

Turn the bodice right side out an admire your new, gorgeous sleeves! Hem them in your preferred method (I chose a rolled hem), finish the rest of your garment construction, according to your pattern directions and flaunt those flounces <3

P.S. If you love this fabric, it’s Rivanna ITY from one of my favorite fabric shops, Amelia Lane Designs!

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