How to Sew a DIY Puff-Sleeve Top With Dropped Shoulders

9 Materials
4 Hours

This beautiful simple puff sleeve blouse features soft gathers and a dropped shoulder. This puff sleeve long-sleeve top is elegant and can be worn to work or on a special occasion. Use a poplin, cotton, linen, viscose, or even silk to make this long puff sleeve top. Let’s get started sewing this puff sleeve blouse.

Tools and materials:

Folding the fabric

1. Make the pattern

Download and print the pattern. Fold your fabric. Lay the pattern on top and cut out the pieces as directed.

Sewing the bodice with French seams

2. Sew the bodice

Sew the bodice using a French seam for all the seams.

How to sew a blouse

Here’s how to do it. Lay the front and back pieces wrong sides together. Pin around the shoulders and side seams. This keeps the seam allowance on the right side of the fabric, opposite of how you would sew it normally. You can use a zipper foot to help you sew closer to the edge. Press the seam flat.

How to do a French seam

Then turn the bodice inside out so the right sides are together. Fold the fabric along the seam line. Press again to flatten. Sew the second seam as close to the edge as possible to fully enclose the seam. None of your first seam allowance should show. Turn your bodice right side out to show a beautifully sewn bodice.

Sewing the sleeves

3. Sew the sleeves

Sew each sleeve together.

Sewing the sleeves with a French seam

Use a French seam to create a loop.

Sewing two basting stitches

Sew two parallel basting stitches on one side.

Pulling the thread to gather the fabric

Pull on both threads to gather the fabric in. Repeat for the second sleeve.

Attaching the sleeves to the armholes

4. Attach the sleeves

Make sure to match the gathered top to the armhole, adjusting the gathers as needed. Match up the sleeve and shoulder seams.

Pinning to secure the sleeve in place

Pin to secure the sleeve in place.

Sewing each sleeve with a French seam

Sew each sleeve with a French seam.

Making the sleeve casing

5. Make the sleeve casing

At the bottom of the sleeve, fold in ⅛ of an inch. Press to flatten.

How to sew a puff-sleeve top

Fold in an additional 1 ¼ to 1 ½ inches. Pin in place. Sew with a straight stitch as close to the pinned edge as possible. Leave a 1 ½ inch space unsewn.

Adding elastic to the sleeves

Cut a piece of elastic to measure 10 inches. Use a safety pin at one end and place the elastic through the unsewn space. Tunnel the elastic through. Join the two ends of the elastic together. Stitch to secure. Insert the elastic back into the space. Distribute the gathers evenly. Sew the gap closed with a straight stitch.

DIY puff-sleeve top tutorial

Repeat for the other sleeve.

Pinning the shoulder seams

6. Sew the neckline

Match the two shoulder seams to each other. Secure with a pin. Secure the front and back centers with a pin.

Sewing the neckline with bias tape

Lay the bias tape along the pinned neckline to determine the length. Fold your bias tape to match the entire neckline length and cut off any excess. Fold in the bias tape ⅛ of an inch at the top. Then fold in half.

Sew the bias tape along the right side of the fabric, starting at the center back. Then topstitch the bias, making sure to stitch the bias with any excess fabric. Turn the bias to the wrong side of the neckline.

Sewing the neckline

Stitch it down. To see how I do it, watch from 6:50 to 8:05.

Hemming the top

7. Make the hem

Fold in ⅛ of an inch. Press to flatten.

Pressing and hemming the top

Fold an additional 1 ¼ to 1 ½ inches all around. Press. Pin in place. Sew across.

DIY puff-sleeve top

DIY puff-sleeve top

You’ve made this elegant and simple puff sleeve blouse. Please let me know in the comments how easy it was for you and how many compliments you received when wearing it.

Suggested materials:
  • Puff-sleeve top sewing pattern
  • About 1½ yards of fabric
  • 1-inch elastic
See all materials

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