Monday, September 17, 2012

Simplified Gathered Sleeves Tutorial

       Well this post is rather late's raining, it's Monday, enough said. So now then, let's chat about sleeves! Changing up the way a sleeve looks on a top or dress, can completely alter the over all appearance of the style. It's a simple way to make five of your favorite shirts, and nobody to ever guess it's the same top!

       A gathered sleeve is simply done by adding width to the shoulder portion of the sleeve. I have added width to the wrist portion of the this sleeve as well, so it is a very gathered sleeve. It can be as little or as much of a gather as you prefer. If you have a pattern to a top you like, you can alter it super easily by adding in space down the middle.

         This is how I do it, without using a pattern. Start with a cut out shirt.

     Take your cut out shirt, and line it up the shoulder with the fold on your folded fabric. The fold is always at the top of the shoulder, so that the seam will be in the underarm. For this sleeve I left a two inch gap between the fold and shoulder. If you wanted a less dramatic gather, you would only leave a half inch or an inch. Try to spread out the arm hole so that is a gradual curve.

     Trace the arm hole onto the fabric. Decide how long you want the sleeve to be, and measure down the fold that amount. This is where you will mark your lower arm hole.

      I wanted a gathered wrist, so I make my lower arm hole to be nine inches long. (For a total of 18 inches when it is unfolded)

     Now, I connect the dots between the two lines I have marked.

       When it is cut out, it looks like this. The curve of the arm hole should be very smooth.

     To sew it to the shirt, first sew the shoulder seams.

       Sew a gathering stitch across the top of the sleeve. Gather the sleeve so that is matches the arm hole.I kept my gathers all in the center, but you could do across the entire top of the sleeve if you wanted.

      Open your shirt out, wrong side facing up. Match the sleeve into the hole. I pop a pin right at the center just to make sure I keep it centered as I sew it.

      Sew the sleeve to the shirt.

     Lastly, sew from the wrist, all the way down the side to the hem of the shirt.

      And you are left with a lovely gathered sleeve! I used elastic as I hemmed the wrist to achieve the gathered wrist.

     It's hardly any harder than doing a regular sleeve, and is certainly worth the tiny bit of extra effort!

      I hope that all made sense! This shirt is part of my Fall collection which I am putting into my shop this week, and is also available locally at AJ's Boutique. Don't you just love Fall colors and prints??!! I do, and I'm dying for it to cool off around here so it will actually feel like Fall!

 Philippians 4:19   But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.


  1. What a great idea, and I love how it turned out! I'd love for you to link it up:

    See you soon!

  2. great post! super inventive and fun. We should definitely follow each other.