How to Make a T-shirt With Puffy Sleeve

Have you ever found the cutest top in a store or on-line and either it wasn't a price you were willing to spend, or not the right color, and maybe the wrong size? Me too! I saw the cutest t-shirt top that had puffy cotton fabric sleeves. My first thought was “Hey I can make that”.

I searched through my vast collection of shirt patterns and could not come up with one that had puffy sleeves, let alone one that was t-shirt/cotton combo. I ended up with a favorite t-shirt pattern and a dress that had the sleeve option for the look I wanted.

mccalls and vogue sewing patterns

I combined the two sewing patterns to make my stylish and trendy top. It's easy to combine patterns just be prepared to make a few adjustments in gathers or seams to make things work out. But really pretty much any sleeve could be attached to any top or dress bodice. 

puffy sleeve top

I marked the top dot of the sleeve pieces and marked the two small dots just for reference for the gathers. I still placed the large dot at the shoulder seam and just worked the gathers evenly to fit. There may need to be some adjusting at the underarm seam, but I found by using the same size for the top and sleeve they fit together pretty well. Plus, the shirt being knit helped a little with easing the sleeve into the armhole.

Sleeve and bodice pattern pieces for a shirt


I made the front and back from black t-shirt knit found in my stash and the sleeves from Art Gallery Fabrics Eye See You LUL-28505 

I may try this same idea but with a  ready made t-shirt, maybe white shirt with black and white polka dot sleeves! 

I have several shirt and dress patterns that have standard sleeves, love the dress but want fuller sleeves. So, I will use this technique again and again.

I love this top!     Puffy sleeve top

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1 comment

Too cute! Thank you for explaining how to match up two different patterns to change out a sleeve! I will be more brave and try it in the future.


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