Adding Sleeves to the Lucy Swing Top

How to Add Sleeves to the Lucy Swing Top Sewing Pattern

Hey ya’ll, it’s me, Suzanne, again with a really fun, yet educational blog this time.

So many of you have loved the Lucy Swing Top but asked that it have sleeves. Here is the scoop (educational part) on that. Not exactly. You can’t just add sleeves to something that’s drafted as a tank, the shoulder seam and armscye will be too small. The shoulder seam will end up landing way too high on your shoulder not giving the result you are looking for. How do we adjust for that?

You can simply place a sleeved bodice piece over the bodice of Lucy Swing Top, place a piece of paper under it and redraw it. Easy enough? Well, not for me.

I am not a pattern designer, just a seamstress who loves a challenge of mashing patterns and seeing what I can do with them. This one, I just could not wrap my head around. The armscye curves a bit and I could not figure how I was going to make a sleeved piece work. So, after multiple sleepless nights, I chose to go the total opposite direction!!

Enter a tried and true pattern, Fall in Love. This is a fantastic base for so many mashups and hacks; check then out on the blog.

Here’s how I did it:

  1. Begin with the bodice of , Fall in Love. I only printed the top portion and drew a straight line down for the fold side using Pellon Easy Pattern 830 paper.

Then for the outer side, I angled my ruler starting at the bottom of the armscye out. You can make this angle bigger than I did and it will just add to the swing.

  1. Draw in all pattern markings, adding a horizontal grainline just under the bust area. I put the vertical grainline 3” in from the fold line to prepare for the upcoming slash and slide.

  1. Slash the pattern from bottom up, on the grainline, to the horizontal grainline and across to the edge of the armscye leaving a small “hinge”. Do not cut all the way through the armscye.

  1. Place a piece of Pellon 830 under your piece that is a good bit wider than your pattern. Keeping the center (fold line side) stationary, slide the slashed piece out to the create the amount of swing you desire and tape it down. I went out 7 ½” (measured at the bottom). I feel you could go more, but I would add another slash line or 2 so as not to distort the armscye.

  1. Then I placed the Lucy Swing Top over my back piece for inspiration. Lucy is wider than mine, but I did not want very much swing; you definitely could use multiple slashes and create a bigger swing if you choose.

  2. I also used Lucy Swing Top to determine the length; measuring it from the bottom of the armscye down.

  1. Fall in Love has a front and back piece, so this is what the final pattern should look like.

From here, just cut and sew as the Fall in Love

pattern instructs. Sew shoulders, add sleeves, sew sides, neckband, hem! Easy? Right!

Couple of things:

  • Use a lighter weight knit fabric, it gives better drape.

  • My black version has a hi-lo hem with trim for something different. I also think a pretty piece of lace would be nice at the hemline.

  • The yellow one is a poly knit crepe from The Fab Clique. I adore this fabric BTW!

  • I added Bishop sleeves to the yellow one, but once they were in, decided to leave them as wide bell type sleeves. It adds to the romantic feel of this top, don’t ya think?

So, there you go, a sleeved swing top!

Enjoy and be sure to share your creations on the Ellie and Mac Facebook group!

FYI: This blog contains affiliate links. There is no extra charge for using them and I do profit slightly from your usage.

(Written by: Suzanne Todd)

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