Wide, flared and ruffled sleeves have been one of 2018's hottest trends, especially elbow-length versions like this – which are super flattering, easy to move in and fun to wear! You can further customise Julia Claridge's no-pattern make by increasing or decreasing the extra gathering width on the ruffle to make this style work for you.
- *Quantity depends on size. A size 10 (87cm bust) used 1m of fabric (140cm wide)
- 12mm single-fold bias binding, 70cm
- Note: start by taking your bust, waist and hip measurements. The largest of these will be measurement A Front/back panel: cut two (divide measurement A in four, add 4.75cm = width) x (desired length* plus
- 3.5cm) on the fold
- Sleeve: cut two (armhole width** plus 1.5cm) x 16cm^ on the fold
- Ruffle: cut two (armhole width plus 12cm) x 19cm on the fold
- *Side of neck to hem length
- ** See step 3
- ^ Sleeve length
- 1.5cm seam allowance used unless otherwise stated.
1 Cut all of the pieces as indicated in the cutting guide. Fold the back in half lengthways, right sides together. Measure 11cm from the fold on the upper edge and mark. From the top unfolded corner at the selvedge, measure down 3cm and mark. Draw a line between these points and cut to shape the shoulder. Repeat with the front piece.
2 On the back piece, folded in half, measure down 1.5cm along the folded edge and draw a slightly curved line to the first mark you made on the top edge (11cm in). Repeat on the front piece, beginning the curved line 10cm down from the folded edge to form the neckline.
3 Pin the sleeves right sides together and fold in half so the short edges meet. Measure 3cm down along the unfolded short edge, then draw a slightly curved line from this point to the centre of the short top edge (see diagram). Cut to form the sleeve head. Measure the width of your sleeve piece (armhole width plus 1.5cm) down from each top corner of the front piece and mark.
4 Pin the front and back pieces right sides together, sew the shoulder seams and press them open. Press in 1cm around the neckline, then unfold. Open out bias binding and pin it slightly above the crease, right sides together. Stitch around, then fold the top 1cm and binding over to the inside of the top. Edgestitch along the bottom of the tape.
5 Make two parallel rows of long gathering stitches within the seam allowance along a long edge of a sleeve ruffle. Gently pull the threads until the ruffle width matches that of the straight long edge of the sleeves, evenly distributing the gathers. Pin to the upper sleeve, right sides together, and stitch in place. Press the seam upwards.
6 Lay the sleeve piece on top of the main body piece, matching the centre of the sleeve head to the shoulder seam, right sides together. Pin, then sew in place. Match the front and back pieces, right sides together. Pin the underarm and side seams, then stitch along both in one continuous line. Clip the curved seam at the underarm. Turn a double 5mm seam at the sleeve hems and a double 1cm seam along the bottom hemline, then stitch both.