How to Add Ruffle Sleeves


Our 3352 dolman top is a favorite in my wardrobe since its launch. With the big ruffle trend we see lately, I thought it would be fun to take one to the next level and hop on the bandwagon.



Adding this ruffle/bell sleeve to our dolman top is really easy AND you get to skip armhole / sleeve hemming in the process because it it folded in half!

1 - Assemble front and back, hem the bottom and finish the neckline, following the pattern instructions



2 - Measure the armhole opening and your torso (the torso measurement is included in the dolman top's sizing chart)

3 - Cut two rectancles (your sleeves).

The measurements for each rectangle is: (OPENING x 1,5)  by (25% of TORSO measurement).  Torso?!?! Yes! Because the taller you are, the longer it has to be :)

Of course, instead of the torso measurement, you can simply go with the finished ruffle length you want. In this case the calculations would be: (FINISHED RUFFLE LENGTH + 1 cm (3/8'')) x 2.


For my size (U), this means a 24'' x 15'' (60 cm x 38 cm) rectangle for a finished ruffle that will be approximately 7'' (18 cm) long.


You haven't had your morning coffee yet? Here is a little cheat sheet for you. You can use the for the dolman or any other opening (t-shirt sleeve, hem) you have!


You can cut them along the grain or perpendicular to the grain, as long as the two rectangles are identical :)

Note that the longer the rectangle, the more gathered it will have to be. Since this sleeve is folded, 1.5 is a good ratio. For a single layer or a lighter weight fabric, you could make it longer, to make it more gathered.

5 - Fold the sleeve RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER and stitch to form a loop.



6 - Fold the sleeve WRONG SIDES TOGETHER, matching the half mark.



7 - Sew two rows of gathering stitches (longest straight stitch setting) within 6 mm (1/4'') of the edge.



8 - Pull the bobbin threads to gather,


until the sleeve matches the armhole.


8 - Turn the top WRONG SIDE OUT, pin the sleeve to the right side of the armhole, matching the sleeve seam with the side seam, the half mark with the shoulder seam.



Distribute the gathers evenly between the pins and add more to keep everything in place while you sew.

9 - Stitch 1 cm (3/8'') from edge, on the ruffle, without stretching the armhole.

Turn to right side and press gently.


Have fun with print direction and textures! A lace sleece with a knit of the matching color, vertical vs horizontal stripes... This hack is a real stash buster and you can even use it to update the look of any dolman top or t-shirt you have in your closet!


Don't forget to share the love on Instagram with hashtag #jalielife #jaliedolman, in our Photo Gallery. and on your Pinterest boards :)

Happy sewing!




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