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DIY Ruffled Handkerchief Sleeve

by Fabric Wholesale Direct July 26, 2018 64 Comments

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 STARED!

  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


Fabric Wholesale Direct
Fabric Wholesale Direct

Author


64 Responses

Brittany Wilson
Brittany Wilson

July 30, 2018

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

Cherry
Cherry

July 28, 2018

Gorgeous sleeves!

Susan Hall
Susan Hall

July 27, 2018

WOW, those sleeves really are something!!

Maria
Maria

July 27, 2018

Beautiful! Love how the sleeves flow.

Carol
Carol

July 27, 2018

Your ruffles definitely elevate your blouse into something special.

Ashley M
Ashley M

July 27, 2018

Those sleeves are gorgeous!!!

Renee
Renee

July 27, 2018

Beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

Bec Munro
Bec Munro

July 27, 2018

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

Kristina
Kristina

July 27, 2018

Those sleeves are absolutely gorgeous!!!!!

Robin
Robin

July 27, 2018

Great tutorial and what a fun and sassy look!

Michele Chapman
Michele Chapman

July 27, 2018

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

Summer Miller
Summer Miller

July 27, 2018

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

Tina H
Tina H

July 26, 2018

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

July 26, 2018

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

July 26, 2018

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

Terri Chevalier
Terri Chevalier

July 26, 2018

This is so cool!!

Karla
Karla

July 26, 2018

Fantastic!

Kimberly Nilsson
Kimberly Nilsson

July 26, 2018

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

TMarie
TMarie

July 26, 2018

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

Pam Wagner
Pam Wagner

July 26, 2018

Lovely sleeve! Thanks for the tutorial!!

Robin E
Robin E

July 26, 2018

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

Jill  Ferguson
Jill Ferguson

July 26, 2018

Beautiful! Thanks for the great tutorial

Leanne Wong
Leanne Wong

July 26, 2018

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

Pam C
Pam C

July 26, 2018

What a fun way to change up a top.

Molli Glowacki
Molli Glowacki

July 26, 2018

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

Tricia
Tricia

July 26, 2018

Can’t wait to give this a try!

Elaine
Elaine

July 26, 2018

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

Judy Ortega-Kinney
Judy Ortega-Kinney

July 26, 2018

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

Cynthia Vaughan Smith
Cynthia Vaughan Smith

July 26, 2018

OMG these sleeves are #goals

Jamie Adler
Jamie Adler

July 26, 2018

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

Livia
Livia

July 26, 2018

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

Morgan
Morgan

July 26, 2018

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

Stephanie G.
Stephanie G.

July 26, 2018

Love this! Will try it out!

ParisGrrl
ParisGrrl

July 26, 2018

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

Margaret Isom
Margaret Isom

July 26, 2018

Love these sleeves and this tutorial!

Jennifer J
Jennifer J

July 26, 2018

This is so ridiculously gorgeous!!! Eep!

Anna Bentley
Anna Bentley

July 26, 2018

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

Koneko
Koneko

July 26, 2018

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

Mala
Mala

July 26, 2018

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

Tina Butler
Tina Butler

July 26, 2018

So cute! Thanks!

Anna p
Anna p

July 26, 2018

Love the ruffles.

ashley
ashley

July 26, 2018

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

Cheryl Bell
Cheryl Bell

July 26, 2018

Great tutorial – as always! Cute sleeves!

Laura
Laura

July 26, 2018

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

Sylvia
Sylvia

July 26, 2018

Great tutorial! I love the finished product!

Tina Weikel
Tina Weikel

July 26, 2018

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

Anneliese W
Anneliese W

July 26, 2018

Thank you for the tutorial it looks great!

Bunky Bell
Bunky Bell

July 26, 2018

Very informative and well illustrated. Thanks

Rebecca Woods
Rebecca Woods

July 26, 2018

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

Marta
Marta

July 26, 2018

Gorgeous! I like the pants too.

Heather scales
Heather scales

July 26, 2018

This is gorgeous! I think I’ll be making one today!

Barbara Huss
Barbara Huss

July 26, 2018

Very feminine; looks great on you!

A King
A King

July 26, 2018

Beautiful! Nicely done. If the ruffle were in a very light weight fabric (such as chiffon), you could just double the width, fold in half lengthwise and then complete as the ruffle and not have to bother with hemming the ruffle.

Diana
Diana

July 26, 2018

That turned out amazing! I would love to see this same top in a print. Thank you for showing us how easy it can be to take an existing pattern and make it into our own dream.

Cara G
Cara G

July 26, 2018

Great tutorial! These sleeves look amazing!!

Sandy V.
Sandy V.

July 26, 2018

I’m loving your top and the how to DIY. You make it look so easy.

Cindy Dill
Cindy Dill

July 26, 2018

Looks great, can’t wait to try it out!

Mel
Mel

July 26, 2018

Love those sleeves!

Amanda G.
Amanda G.

July 26, 2018

Amazing tutorial. Thank you for making it look so simple.

Michelle Ackland
Michelle Ackland

July 26, 2018

I seriously thought it was super complicated but you make it so simple!! Thank you, Kristi!! I think I’m gonna have to modify some outfits now!! 🤣🤣

Sarah Bolen
Sarah Bolen

July 26, 2018

Love the look of the sleeve on this. Looks like you can make them as long or short as you want!

Marta
Marta

July 26, 2018

These are so fun! I can’t wait to try!

Charlene
Charlene

July 26, 2018

Those sleeves are amazing and the fabric looks like it’s so soft!

Lolita lane
Lolita lane

July 26, 2018

Super cute shirt!

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