Flared long sleeve

Before following this tutorial, it will help to read our notes on the sleeve block here first.

Sleeves that flare from the elbow downwards


If you want to make a long sleeve, but don’t want voluminous flare from shoulder to wrist, it couldn’t be simpler.

I started off by making my sleeve piece a bit more fitted, as I wanted it to be fitted to the elbow and then flared. You can see from the finished photos that I could/should have made it more fitted on the upper arm, so if you do this one with Dune, I’d take a little more off the pattern piece than my pics show!

Mark the elbow point on your sleeve piece (typically about half-way between the sleeve head and the hemline). Draw a horizontal line through this point (perpendicular to the hemline). *If you want to make your sleeve more fitted first*, mark a point a little way on along this line, and draw a curve from the armscye to this point. Then on the hem of the sleeve mark a point however far in you would want your sleeve to be if you were keeping it slim-fit, and draw a straight line from the bottom of the curve you have just drawn down to this point.

Cut along the HORIZONTAL line you have drawn. On the piece you have just cut off, draw several straight vertical lines from the top to the bottom.

Cut along all the lines you have drawn, from the hem upwards. Do not cut right through the pattern piece, but leave a few millimetres at the top.

Now pin or tape the top part of your sleeve to a piece of pattern tracing paper, leaving room for the bottom of the sleeve piece below it. Line up the bottom piece exactly where it previously joined, and pin or tape in place the edge that you will eventually place on the fold of the fabric. Spread out the strips you have just cut: they will spread out in a circular fashion, slightly overlapping with the upper sleeve piece. Spread them a small distance from each other for a slightly flared sleeve, and a wider distance from each other for a very flared sleeve. Make sure that the distance between each piece is the same.

Pin or tape this spread-out sleeve piece to the pattern tracing paper below.

Draw around the edge of the sleeve shape you have just created, including drawing in a curve where the two pattern pieces meet, and cut out your new pattern piece.

Cut out your new sleeve, and attach to your dress! Once you have sewn the shoulder seams, pin the sleeves to the armholes. Pin the centre point of the sleeve to the shoulder seam, and the edges of the sleeve to the armhole edges. Then pin along the sleeve cap every inch or so, easing the two pieces together where necessary.

Sew the sleeves to the armholes with a 3/8” seam allowance, and press the seams towards the sleeve.

Sew the side seams and sleeves of your dress in one continuous seam from top to bottom. Press and hem the sleeve as desired.

Voilà! A beautiful flared long sleeve! Some of the pics are in black and white because I was using up scraps of mismatched fabric to make this tutorial 🙂

Just to make you smile, here’s what the Frankentop looks like (on the other side is the flared sleeve I wrote the tutorial for last week!)

See you soon for more sleeve hacks!