Self Assembly Required

DIY dressmaking + crafts with Emily

It’s all about the sleeve – a Linden sweater hack

Sleeves are just getting bigger and bigger at the moment – both in trend and size! Ruffles, bell sleeves, pleats, gathers, anything to embellish a sleeves is all the rage right now. 

I do love a good sleeve! (Anything to cover up the ol’ bingo wings works for me! šŸ˜‚). With the #sleevefest competition going on over on Instagram, there’s been plenty of inspiration for sleeve hacks and I came up with a fabulous one. Well I think it’s fabulous anyway…

I took inspiration from the DP studio 601 blouse I made last month with its large poofy gathered sleeve and planned a hack of my beloved Linden sweater!

The plan was to keep the body exactly as it is and to create lots of volume in the lower half of the sleeve which would then be gathered into the cuff (AKA a bishop sleeve). 

After much deliberating I ended up with a sleeve pattern that looked like this. 

Left: the new piece. Right: the original pattern piece

I kept the shoulder the same and slashed and spread the lower part of the sleeve to get the volume. The lower edge of the sleeve I made into a sort of S shaped curve – the shorter side of the curve was towards the front sleeve, with the extra fabric towards the back. (Tip: check the shoulder notches to determine which side is the front and which side is the back). The idea here was to create a more billowy look with more volume towards the outside of the sleeve. 

I made my version out of an off white ponte I got from Stoff & Stil. It’s a light to medium sweater weight – ideal for this project as it has some body without being too heavy. 

Sewing up was pretty straightforward. The only difference with this compared to the standard instructions was the gathering of the sleeves prior to adding the cuffs on!

All in all, it was an easy peasy make!

I think I could’ve made the cuffs a little tighter to emphasise the size of the sleeve but I also love pushing my sleeves up to my elbows and I wouldn’t be able to do that if it’s any tighter, so it’s difficult to say what the right decision is here!

About Me

Related Posts


  1. Love your sweatshirt sleeves šŸ™‚ Because of YOU I have been reveling in DP Studio’s patterns and bought the Asymetrical Knit pattern which I’m working on now. You should see these pattern pieces! They are these enormous, wonky looking things I had to go downstairs to my laundry room floor to lay and cut out šŸ™‚ I’m so excited about this pattern though so thank you! Even though they ARE rather frightfully $$$ (never spent so much on a pattern ever) they are so interesting! I’m now eyeing that blouse with the piped gathering across the chest and down the drapey sleeve. I keep thinking about it so you know what that means šŸ˜‰

    1. Lol. I love their stuff! I’ve got another blouse pattern from them that’s next on my list to try! I love how different they are – I always feel like I learn loads about sewing and pattern cutting when I use them. Can’t wait to see your final garment!

  2. I love this, I was just thinking this morning that I need to start making some long sleeve winter shirts and here you show me just what I was thinking would be a great idea. Thank you for confirming my ideas and giving a suggestion on the sleeve that I had not even thought of.

    1. Yes! It means the inside of the sleeve (closest to the body) is shorter than the outside and it makes the sleeve kind of billow out to the side. It’s less obvious here because the whole sleeve is a little long on me though!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.