Sunday, July 10, 2011

Cap Sleeve Blouse: a tutorial

This top was made using my Make Your Own Pattern Tutorial.  I'm loving how it turned out and it was really easy too!

Once you get all the pieces cut out, it's just a matter of a few seams and some ironing work, before you have your own handmade, beautiful top.


I would recommend choosing a lightweight fabric for this project. Thin cotton, seersucker, knit, and really any kind of apparel fabric would be a great choice. I used Denyse Schmidt's Greenfield Hill Voile in cranberry, purchased here at Pink Chalk Fabrics.  Voile is one of my favorite fabrics to work with and perfect for this project. It kind of feels like a blend of cotton and chiffon. It's also less apt to fray than some fabrics. There's no definitive back or front to voile, making it even easier to sew a garment like this with. 

I used about 1 1/4 yard for this pattern and had a good amount left over for my scrap collection, yes! Always remember to prewash and iron your fabric before starting. 


Using your self made pattern, trace all the pieces onto your fabric and cut out. Go ahead and cut the regular sleeve pattern. I'll show you how to modify it below. 

Place your front and back piece right sides together and pin.

Sew a straight stitch everywhere shown below.

Iron all seams open.

Press the hem at the bottom. I like to purposefully leave my selvage at the bottom so that I can use it as a guide. 

Hem the collar and armholes as well. This takes a little manipulating, and is probably the hardest part of the process. Don't worry about getting it perfect, you just need a guide before you take it to the sewing machine.

Another option would be to sew on a binding. 

Sew in place. 

Now for those cap sleeves. Pinch a section of fabric and bring it over to the center of the sleeve. Press. 

Pinch a section from the opposite side and bring it over to meet the first pleat. Press.

Stitch just over the pleat to keep it in place. 

This part I just eyeballed. I think a good marker is to cut so that the sleeve goes around half the circumference of the armhole. 

Stitch the sleeve in place. The center of the pleat should meet the seam of the arm. 

Bind, hem, or serge the edge of the sleeves. I skipped this step because, I was so antsy to wear my top. I will definitely do it before putting it in the wash though. 

Add any embellishments you like. I added a little lace tape ( See instructions here). 

That wasn't so bad right?! 

I'm loving the retro feel. 

Enjoy and have a lovely day!



Li-Sha said...

love the shirt! you are so talented! thank you for all the wonderful tutorials:)

Happy in red said...

It's so cooooool!! Love it. I should really give this a go sometime, but I need more sewing confidence.

Just Jaime said...

Pretty! You make it look easy!

Unknown said...

Cute cute! Love the cap sleeve and the lace you put on the front. I have come to find I do not like tight fitting shirts during the summer. I think I am going to have to make something like this! Great job!

Kelly Hicks said...

So cute! I love the fabric. You seem like a pro at sewing!

LrSchwtz said...

Great job, this shirt is beautiful. Please stop by and link up to my Share the Wealth Wednesday Link Party! I'm your newest follower!

Anonymous said...

Hi there! I love your idea to make your own top, very cool, and possibly something I might look at doing!! I say "might" as I am still yet to get a sewing machine, and need to remember how to use one once I do!! Am going to save this in my bookmarks as I love it! Great gift idea too, eh? Thanks for the inspiration! Lovely blog!

Misty @Creative Itch said...

Cute shirt!! Thanks for linking @'Sew Cute Tuesday'! I'll be featuring you tomorrow, so be sure to stop by and grab a 'featured' button!

Anne said...

I love this blouse!! I linked to your tutorial on Craft Gossip Sewing:


kiran said...

Really I appreciate your idea. Simply awesome. Your cloth selection was fantastic. I found correct site to what I want exactly. Thanks a lot.

Yebhi Coupons

gml said...

2 questions:

What type of fabric did you use?
How did you cut it (you said you use the selvedge as a hem guide)?

Anonymous said...

I love the lace placket you added to the font. Really makes the blouse!

Anonymous said...

Ooops, "front", not font. That would be something else entirely :)

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