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Tutorial: Flutter Sleeve

Posted by Tasha Jo on

Earlier this week I shared a flutter sleeve peplum top I sewed using fabric from Off the Rack.  The original pattern had a straight set in sleeve, however I really wanted a flutter sleeve to recreate a top I had been admiring.  I was able to take the original sleeve and use it to draft the flutter sleeve, and today I'm going to show you how.

Supplies Needed

  • Copy of sleeve pattern piece 
  • Ruler 
  • Pen or pencil
  • Tape or glue
  • Larger sheet of paper
  • Scissors

Because we are going to be modifying the original sleeve, I suggest either reprinting the pattern piece or tracing it onto another piece of paper.   

The sleeve has a front and back vs being cut on the fold so I made sure to mark those on my duplicate pattern piece.  This tutorial will also work on sleeves that are cut on the fold.  

Original sleeve pattern piece

I then divided the pattern piece into sections.  Either end is 3 inches and the middle sections are 1.5 inches.  Based on the size made, your sections may be a little wider or narrower than this. 

TNT flutter all sections marked

Grab a pair of scissors (not the same ones for cutting fabric) and cut along the lines you just drew.  Do not cut all the way through the sleeve cap so the pieces remain connected.

close up of cut section

Now let's evenly spread the sections.  The wider your sections, the more flutter your sleeve will have.  Just keep in mind the drape very much depends on the fabric used.  I ended up spreading my pieces about 1.25 inches apart.  I found it easiest to start with a middle section and work my way out.

spread sections

Once I was happy with the spacing, I taped the new flutter sleeve to another piece of paper...

New sleeve taped

...and traced to make it easier to cut. 

You can certainly lay your pattern piece on top of the larger uncut sheet prior to spreading the pieces.

traced flutter sleeve

That's it! 

Yes I'm serious, you don't need to make any other changes.  Although the bottom of your sleeve is now much wider than the original, we didn't alter the sleeve cap at all so it will still fit the original bodice.