Tutorial Tuesday: Create Short Puffed Sleeves On The Everyday Top



The Everyday Top is exactly that. It's the perfect laid back top for everyday!  The pattern is loaded with neckline options so no two tops need to look the same.  I chose to make this top with a sweet Peter Pan collar.  Today I'll be showing you an easy way to make one more modification to the everyday top making it perfect for year round wear.  Keep reading to learn how to modify the pattern's long, slim sleeve into a short, puffed sleeve! 

Modifying the sleeve takes a few steps but, is easier than you might think.  I'll be using the slash and spread method to create a classic puffed sleeve similar to that on Baby's Party Dress.  Because I am not a pattern drafter, I referred to the Girl's Peasant Top pattern for an approximate sleeve inseam on a puffed sleeve. I am making a size 3 for Sweet Pea. You may need to shorten or lengthen the sleeve length slightly for other sizes.  Ready? Let's go:

Shorten, Slash, and Spread the Sleeve Pattern:
  1. Grab the Everyday Top sleeve pattern piece and trim to the size needed, in my case, size 3.  
  2. Measure and mark the sleeve length.  My underarm sleeve length is 2 3/4".  I curved the line up ever so slightly closer to the center fold line.  Think 1960's puff sleeve instead of 1980's. 
  3. Trim the sleeve length on the line drawn.
  4. Draw a guide line perpendicular to the center fold line.  This will allow for keeping the pieces in line when spreading.
  5. Now we are ready to draw our spreading lines.  Draw a vertical line half an inch in from the center fold.  Draw a second, third and fourth line each one inch from the previous line.
  6. Before cutting the sleeve apart (this is the slashing part!), it is helpful to number each section as it is important to keep them in the correct order. Then cut on each slash line drawn. You should now have five sleeve sections.
  7. Next, spread the sleeve sections on a separate piece of paper. Using the guideline drawn in step 4 to keep the pieces aligned, tape each piece with a one inch gap between them. Almost done!
  8. Next we will add a little height to he cap of the sleeve, allowing it to puff. Measure 1/2" up from the top of the center fold side of  the sleeve. Then continue the curve to meet up with the right hand, top corner of the first sleeve section. Connect the sleeve section on the hem edge and we have successfully slashed and spread a sleeve. Congratulations!
     

  9. Add a notch to the pattern piece at the edge of section 1. This will be where gathering threads start and stop. Be sure to transfer the notch to the sleeve as you cut it out.
  10. Cut out the sleeve. Congratulations! You have successfully slashed and spread a sleeve! Cut out two sleeves on the fold as you would for the original, long sleeve. Make sure and remember to mark the notch.

Sewing a Short Puff Sleeve:

Sewing a short, puff sleeve is easy, there are just a few modifications from the Everyday Top instructions.  Assemble the top up to the point of setting in the sleeve. Then follow these simple instructions:
  1. Sew two rows of gathering threads, at 3/8" and 5/8", between the notches on the top of the sleeve.
  2. Hem the sleeve with a folded casing by folding up 1/4" then another 1/2" and stitch close to the folded edge.
  3. Set in the sleeve. Match the center points and edges. Place another pin at the notch, this will be close to the yoke seam but not necessarily lined up.
  4. Gather the sleeve to fit. Stitch and finish this seam.
  5. Insert 1/4" elastic in the hem casing. I used 8" for my size 3.  I again referred to the Girl's Peasant Top for a guideline on elastic length. As you thread the elastic through the casing, stop to secure the elastic before it disappears inside the casing by stitching through the hem and elastic about 1/4" from the edge. Continue threading elastic through and secure on the opposite side in the same manner. 
  6. Sew and finish the side and sleeve inseam in the manner describe in the Everyday Top pattern.
  7. As a final step, secure the seam allowance on the sleeve casing with a few stitches to help it lay flat and be less bulky.
  8. Finish according to the Everyday Top pattern instructions.  Hooray, it's done!


I lengthened Sweet Pea's top by a little bit knowing that she outgrows everything in length long before width. Then I whipped up a pair of Sterling Leggings (shortened to capri length) for a complete outfit.  Now go grab some fabric and try it for yourself. With this simple modification the Everyday Top also becomes the "Every-Season Top"!



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