Sewing: Let's Give That Sleeve Some Puff

Puff Sleeve Tutorial

This tutorial will show you how to turn a standard sleeve into a puff sleeve.

You will need:

  • Your sleeve pattern piece
  • Tracing paper such as trace and toile, light sew in interfacing or baking paper
  • A ruler
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Pen or pencil
  1. Trace your sleeve pattern onto the tracing paper.
  2. Find the centre and draw a vertical line from the sleeve head to the hem.
  3. Using your centre line, draw a number of lines evenly out to each side of the sleeve. I used two inch intervals.
  4. Cut along these lines, keeping track of the pattern pieces so you don’t mix them up. You can number them if you’d like.
  5. Spread the sleeve sections evenly apart, using a ruler to measure each gap. Bigger gaps between each section will mean a bigger sleeve and vice versa. I used two inch gaps between my sleeve pieces.
  6. You’ll now need to either trace your new sleeve or stick the pieces onto a separate piece of paper and cut around it. I used tape to stick my pieces to the table so I could trace a new sleeve pattern piece. Make sure you transfer all the notches and markings required to match the sleeve to the armscye.
  7. Use your new sleeve pattern piece to cut your puff sleeves.
  8. Gather your sleeves with two rows of gathering stitch (one within the seam allowance and one outside the seam allowance for nice gathers), along the sleeve head as normal. To finish, I’ve folded the hem up twice to create an elastic casing, but you could also measure your arm, cut a rectangle of fabric to make a cuff and then gather the bottom of the sleeve to fit into the cuff. Alternatively, you could hem as normal and you’d have more of a bell sleeve.
  9. And it’s done, a nice big puffy sleeve to change up any dress or top pattern. Use your power shoulders to take over the world.


Tutorial by our maker Katie