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DIY Bell Sleeve Tie Front Top

DIY Fashion Aug 8, 2017

DIY Bell Sleeve Tie Front Top

Got the feeling everyone you know is on holidays in Europe? Yeah me too. But don’t let it get you down…

Make something instead! If you tuned in for yesterday’s reveal of my collaboration with Oroton, you’ll know that I’m feeling all things nautical, so when we got our hands on this blue and white striped cotton, I knew it was time to show you guys how to make a sleeve with a little drama, of the high seas kind! Full disclosure, the top is basically the same as the DIY polka dot tie front top we made, only the time we created a bell sleeve. It’s super easy but just looks so so good…

DIY Bell Sleeve Tie Front Top

Pattern Pieces

To cut out your fabric you should use a pattern piece of your bodice, to create this you should use a loose fitting top as a guide to give you the bodice section on the left in the first image below. This is the base you will modify to get the top to fit you right.

I wanted my top to be tied under my bust, so we made the back shorter than the top I copied the pattern from. Also, we extended the ties out the front so they are long enough to tie up. For the new sleeves, starting from the top of the side seam, extend a perpendicular line out, its length being your desired sleeve length (these are 25cm /10 inches).  Basically this will be a kimono shape with some triangular ties in the front section, and sleeves gathered with the cuffs to create the bell shape.


Your resulting pieces should look like the below. You should end up with two mirrored front panels, and one complete back panel, as well as two sleeves and cuffs.

How to


Cut your your fabric as per the above instructions. Since we wanted the stripes on the bodice and the sleeves to go in a different direction, we cut them to suit this.



Cut your cuffs, making sure to cut double the width you need. Ie if you want your cuffs to be 4cm long, you will have to cut 8cm for the fabric piece plus allowance, since it will be folded in half during the sewing process.



Match the front and back pieces right-sides-together first, then pin and sew the shoulder seams on the bodice.



Then, matching the mid point of your sleeve to the shoulder seam, pin the sleeve to the bodice pieces right-sides-together, and sew. We rolled up the sleeve here so you can see the placements.


We're going to then gather the cuff of the sleeve. Using the longest stitch and lowest tension setting on your machine, sew a straight line in the cuff seam allowance without doing any backstitches. Then pull to gather along this stitch.


Gather your cuff and even out the gathers until the new width matches that of your cuff piece. Then tie a knot on the thread on both ends of the gathered cuff, and snip off any excess thread ends.



Pin your gathered cuff to the cuff piece right-sides-together, and sew.


Flip your cuff piece back out, and this is what your sleeve should look like at this point.


Then you're going to fold your cuff piece in half down the middle, and fold it towards the wrong side of the sleeve. Pin along the indent.



Make sure the pins catch the folded cuff piece at the back. Folding the seam allowances in will result in a neater finish. This technique is the same as sewing a waistband.


Now to close the sleeve and bodice. Pin down the sleeve seam to the cuff and sew. Make sure the edges of the cuff match up or you'll end up with uneven cuff edges. Then pin down the side seam of the bodice and sew it shut as well.



To finish the neckline, we did a collar facing. You can do this, or just do a normal folded over hem.




Like this DIY project? Pin it!

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