How to Sew a Tulip Sleeve

How to Sew a Tulip Sleeve

Hi Friends, I am Sequoia from SequoiaLynn Sews and today I have a fun sleeve hack to share. This adorable tulip sleeve is pretty quick to sew and it is a perfect addition to any of the fun, flirty dresses that are available from Ellie and Mac. For this demo, I am using the Slow Sunday Dress as I love the shape of it for a Summer dress. I am going to walk you through the steps to create this look for a set-in sleeve. Once you learn how, you will want to do it to all of your tops and dresses! 

Preparing the Pattern 

Assemble your pattern as usual. Now trace your sleeve pattern onto another piece of paper in order to save your original sleeve from *harm* during this process. If your sleeve pattern is cut on the fold, you can get away with only making one pattern. If the front and back sleeve are sloped differently, you will need two separate patterns. For the sake of this demo, I am using two sleeve copies and have labeled them F for front and B for back. Be sure to copy the grain line and pattern markings as well. 

 Making the Tulip

From the center top point of your sleeve, draw a line straight down. This will represent your grain line as well as the line we want our tulip petals to overlap. I marked my pattern with the star at 5 inches down from the center of the sleeve cap. Keep in mind that if your arm is smaller, you may want this line to be shorter. Next, on one of your pattern pieces, measure from the center point of your sleeve cap out for your tulip overlap. I used 4 inches as my overlap length, but 2 – 4 inches should be perfect. Now use a French curve or similar item to intersect the new marking with your star marking at your grain line. Continue your line in a gentle curve down to the hem line. Cut along this line and save the piece that has the underarm side seam. That is your first tulip!

 Making a Tulip Twin

Use your first tulip as a pattern to make your second one by simply turning it over and laying it on your traced sleeve pattern. Make sure these are mirror (right sides of the pattern pieces together) images so you don't end up with the same pattern piece. Be careful that your tulip pattern overlaps your center star point. Trace the line and cut this pattern as well.  

 Both sides of your tulip sleeve are now patterned and should look like this.

 Cutting the Pattern Pieces from Fabric

For your tulip sleeves, cut two mirrored sets of each pattern piece. Do not forget to mark the center point of all the pieces as well as the mark indicating 4 inches from the center point. While your fabric is out just go ahead and cut the rest of your garment as normal and set aside. Actually, I cut my dress first and used my smaller scrap pieces for the sleeve. I suggest doing that to make the best use of your fabric.

Make Your Sleeves

I just did a simple double turned edge for my finish. You could also do a lining and have no hem line. It is up to you. Finish all 4 pieces being careful that you are finishing the bottom of your sleeve and not the sleeve cap. Now align your pairs. You will need one front and one back for each sleeve. Match your sleeves at the center top sleeve cap mark and then the edge of your sleeve should be *almost* to the 4-inch marking. Remember you will be short the length of the hem allowance. Now is the time to run a basting stitch along these edges to keep them together. I was mindful to have my pieces overlap from opposite sides so that my sleeves would both overlap back to front. Now you will add these sleeves into your dress just like regular sleeves and you are all finished! 

I really adore the flirtiness of these sleeves on the dress. I hope you have enjoyed taking a closer look at creating these sleeves and do give it a try. If you would like to see what else I am making these days, feel free to visit my blog. SequoiaLynn Sews

If you are interested in making The Slow Sunday dress, or any of the other wonderful patterns from Ellie and Mac, I appreciate your support in using my Affiliate links.  


(Written by: Sequoia Bond)

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