DIY Ruffled Handkerchief Sleeve

DIY Ruffled Handkerchief Sleeve

Who doesn’t love a unique sleeve design? Whether it’s a formal dress or everyday top, a fun sleeve can steal the show in any garment. WARNING: adding different sleeves to your favorite patterns can get addicting!

Arm movement can give way to so many flowy options—which is why a beautiful handkerchief sleeve is a perfect choice to amp up volume. Adding a few ruffles to the hem will draw the eye and turn any top into a stunner! Prepare to get creative and learn how to add this dramatic look!

The best part of this tutorial is: You can choose any pattern you would like! The best type of design to add this sleeve to requires a lightweight woven fabric, such as rayon challis. This fabric will provide the beautiful light drape needed for a flowing effect. Today I’m using the George + Ginger Tether Top. 

Supplies: 

Time: 

2-3 hours

Difficulty: 

Beginner

LET'S GET STARTED!

  1. First, you will need to adjust the sleeve piece on the pattern. Time to do a little drafting! Using the same curve for the armscye (the armhole opening in a garment) as the original, you will extend the side edges out at an angle and square off the design as shown in the photo. The dimensions are approximate—it doesn’t have to be exactly those numbers—as long as they are close and it has the same basic shape.

  2. Cut the sleeve and ruffles as shown in the diagram below. You will need two (mirrored) sleeve pieces, two long ruffle pieces cut at 4” by the width of fabric (WOF) and four short ruffle pieces cut at 4” by half of the width of fabric. 

  3. Next, hem the ruffles for each sleeve. Place all of the ruffle fabric right sides up. You will hem one long edge of the long ruffles, one long edge of the short ruffles and opposite short ends on the short ruffles. To hem, fold the raw edge back 1/4" and press. Fold back 1/4" again, press and sew 1/8” away from the inner folded edge. 



  4. Gather the ruffles. There are multiple ways to do this! Some like to run two basting stitches and pull the bobbin thread to ruffle the fabric, some like to use a serger. I gather using my sewing machine set at a high tension on the longest stitch length—it ruffles the fabric automatically. You will gather all of the ruffles on the long, unhemmed sides.


  5. Now lay one of the sleeve pieces right sides up. 

  6. Line up the gathered edge of one of the long ruffles along the long edge of the sleeve, right sides together, and pin or clip into place. Sew along the gathered edge, sewing just above the gathering stitch. Finish this seam. 

  7. Press the seam with seam allowance up. You may choose to topstitch 1/8” away from the ruffles. 

  8. Lay the sleeve right sides up again with the long ruffle flipped down. Now place the short ruffles along the side edges and long ruffle, right sides together. Make sure the hemmed short edge on the short ruffles are placed at the bottom of the long ruffle. Pin or clip into place and sew along the gathered edge, just like you did with the long ruffle. Press the seam and topstitch.

  9. This is what your finished sleeve will look like. Repeat these steps on the other sleeve. 

  10. Finally, finish adding the sleeve as directed in your pattern by attaching to the armscye and sewing up the sleeve and side seam.  


YOU ARE ALL DONE!

 

This tutorial was created by George + Ginger

64 comments

Brittany Wilson

Brittany Wilson

Cutest tutorial yet!! I absolutely love this top from color to style. Job well done!! Challis order coming in soon.

Cutest tutorial yet!! I absolutely love this top from color to style. Job well done!! Challis order coming in soon.

Cherry

Cherry

Gorgeous sleeves!

Gorgeous sleeves!

Susan Hall

Susan Hall

WOW, those sleeves really are something!!

WOW, those sleeves really are something!!

Maria

Maria

Beautiful! Love how the sleeves flow.

Beautiful! Love how the sleeves flow.

Carol

Carol

Your ruffles definitely elevate your blouse into something special.

Your ruffles definitely elevate your blouse into something special.

Ashley M

Ashley M

Those sleeves are gorgeous!!!

Those sleeves are gorgeous!!!

Renee

Renee

Beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

Beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

Bec Munro

Bec Munro

Wow! What a beautifully unique sleeve!
I can’t wait to create something similar!

Wow! What a beautifully unique sleeve!
I can’t wait to create something similar!

Kristina

Kristina

Those sleeves are absolutely gorgeous!!!!!

Those sleeves are absolutely gorgeous!!!!!

Robin

Robin

Great tutorial and what a fun and sassy look!

Great tutorial and what a fun and sassy look!

Michele Chapman

Michele Chapman

Thank you for the tutorial! Love the top and those sleeves are amazing

Thank you for the tutorial! Love the top and those sleeves are amazing

Summer Miller

Summer Miller

Amazing!! I love how whimsical it looks and so elegant too! Beautiful job!

Amazing!! I love how whimsical it looks and so elegant too! Beautiful job!

Tina H

Tina H

Love the sleeves. This is a great way to updo a shirt needing a bit something else to spice it up. Fabric looks so amazingly soft.

Love the sleeves. This is a great way to updo a shirt needing a bit something else to spice it up. Fabric looks so amazingly soft.

Tina H

Tina H

Love the sleeves. This is a great way to updo a shirt needing a bit something else to spice it up. Fabric looks so amazingly soft.

Love the sleeves. This is a great way to updo a shirt needing a bit something else to spice it up. Fabric looks so amazingly soft.

Charity G

Charity G

Cool tutorial. Thank you! Now to decide what pattern I want to use it on.

Cool tutorial. Thank you! Now to decide what pattern I want to use it on.

Terri Chevalier

Terri Chevalier

This is so cool!!

This is so cool!!

Karla

Karla

Fantastic!

Fantastic!

Kimberly Nilsson

Kimberly Nilsson

Love the tutorial! Now to try it myself…. 😀

Love the tutorial! Now to try it myself…. 😀

TMarie

TMarie

Wow such an incredibly unique look but you made the instructions so simple! Thank you

Wow such an incredibly unique look but you made the instructions so simple! Thank you

Pam Wagner

Pam Wagner

Lovely sleeve! Thanks for the tutorial!!

Lovely sleeve! Thanks for the tutorial!!

Robin E

Robin E

wow!!! this is AWESOME!!! definitely want to try this!!! great blog post!!

wow!!! this is AWESOME!!! definitely want to try this!!! great blog post!!

Jill  Ferguson

Jill Ferguson

Beautiful! Thanks for the great tutorial

Beautiful! Thanks for the great tutorial

Leanne Wong

Leanne Wong

I love that look. Big, ruffly sleeves are so much fun.

I love that look. Big, ruffly sleeves are so much fun.

Pam C

Pam C

What a fun way to change up a top.

What a fun way to change up a top.

Molli Glowacki

Molli Glowacki

So fun!! Thanks for the detail tutorial and pictures!

So fun!! Thanks for the detail tutorial and pictures!

Tricia

Tricia

Can’t wait to give this a try!

Can’t wait to give this a try!

Elaine

Elaine

My granddaughter said “It looks like she’s got butterfly wings”. Great sleeve.

My granddaughter said “It looks like she’s got butterfly wings”. Great sleeve.

Judy Ortega-Kinney

Judy Ortega-Kinney

Thanks for the great tutorial. Always love what you have to share with all of us.

Thanks for the great tutorial. Always love what you have to share with all of us.

Cynthia Vaughan Smith

Cynthia Vaughan Smith

OMG these sleeves are #goals

OMG these sleeves are #goals

Jamie Adler

Jamie Adler

Game changer!! Love this! And, so happy to see you here, Kristi!

Game changer!! Love this! And, so happy to see you here, Kristi!

Livia

Livia

Fantastic tutorial!
The sleeve is amazing! Thank you for sharing your talent with us Kristi 😘

Fantastic tutorial!
The sleeve is amazing! Thank you for sharing your talent with us Kristi 😘

Morgan

Morgan

Love the idea of your ruffling method – I’m going to give it a try! :)

Love the idea of your ruffling method – I’m going to give it a try! :)

Stephanie G.

Stephanie G.

Love this! Will try it out!

Love this! Will try it out!

ParisGrrl

ParisGrrl

What a cool tutorial—looking forward to trying it out.

What a cool tutorial—looking forward to trying it out.

Margaret Isom

Margaret Isom

Love these sleeves and this tutorial!

Love these sleeves and this tutorial!

Jennifer J

Jennifer J

This is so ridiculously gorgeous!!! Eep!

This is so ridiculously gorgeous!!! Eep!

Anna Bentley

Anna Bentley

Great pattern! I love that fabric with Jean’s.

Great pattern! I love that fabric with Jean’s.

Koneko

Koneko

Love, love, love this!!! Thanks for the mod and can’t wait to try it.

Love, love, love this!!! Thanks for the mod and can’t wait to try it.

Mala

Mala

Love the sleeves! Such a beautiful shirt!!!!

Love the sleeves! Such a beautiful shirt!!!!

Tina Butler

Tina Butler

So cute! Thanks!

So cute! Thanks!

Anna p

Anna p

Love the ruffles.

Love the ruffles.

ashley

ashley

I love this. Always looking for tips to make with woven and ways to make them different, unique and cute!!

I love this. Always looking for tips to make with woven and ways to make them different, unique and cute!!

Cheryl Bell

Cheryl Bell

Great tutorial – as always! Cute sleeves!

Great tutorial – as always! Cute sleeves!

Laura

Laura

Super cute! Crop tops with beautiful, flowing sleeves are very in right now. Great tutorial.

Super cute! Crop tops with beautiful, flowing sleeves are very in right now. Great tutorial.

Sylvia

Sylvia

Great tutorial! I love the finished product!

Great tutorial! I love the finished product!

Tina Weikel

Tina Weikel

How lovely! I’ll be looking for an opportunity to use this! Thank you!

How lovely! I’ll be looking for an opportunity to use this! Thank you!

Anneliese W

Anneliese W

Thank you for the tutorial it looks great!

Thank you for the tutorial it looks great!

Bunky Bell

Bunky Bell

Very informative and well illustrated. Thanks

Very informative and well illustrated. Thanks

Rebecca Woods

Rebecca Woods

Handkerchief hens are so hot right now, so this tutorial is awesome!

Handkerchief hens are so hot right now, so this tutorial is awesome!

Marta

Marta

Gorgeous! I like the pants too.

Gorgeous! I like the pants too.

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