How to Make a Bell Sleeve Top From Scratch in 6 Simple Steps

8 Materials
4 Hours

Today, I'll show you how to make a bell sleeve top. Sweater season is upon us, and while I may not like the cold season, I sure do love a lovely oversized and comfy sweater!

Lately, I have seen these beautiful DIY bell sleeve tops, and I decided to jump on the bandwagon and see how to make a bell sleeve top myself. Let’s get started! Join me and see how easy this bell sleeve tutorial is.

Tools and materials:

  • Sweatshirt as a guide
  • Fabric
  • Pins
  • Chalk
  • Measuring tape
  • Matching thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Scissors
Thrifted top used for the sweater pattern

1. Make the DIY bell sleeve pattern

Use an oversized sweater as your pattern. Here, I picked this thrifted sweater as I really like the fit.

I like the style of the slouchy shoulder and it's also going to be easier to sew because there's no armhole; it's just one whole bodice-and-sleeve piece.

Cutting out the bell sleeve sweater pattern

Fold your fabric in half and place your top (folded) by the fold. Be sure to leave a ½-inch seam allowance when cutting out the perimeter. 

Cutting the sleeves shorter than the pattern

Do not follow the whole length of the sleeve as we will be making bell sleeves later on. 

Front piece for the bell sleeve top

Here’s how the front piece looks. 

DIY bell sleeve top front and back pieces

Next, repeat the above step for the back piece.

Pinning the side and shoulder seams

2. Pin the bodice

Once you have both pieces, lay them on top of each other, right sides facing. Then, pin the sides and shoulder sections (except for the armholes). 

How to make a bell sleeve pattern

3. Make the bell sleeves

Using another piece of fabric, make the bell sleeve and pin both sides. The shape should really widen towards the bottom. 

DIY bell sleeve top tutorial

Lay down the end of the bodice sleeve for reference.

How to make bell sleeves

Now, measure your desired sleeve length and cut out two pieces according to the length. Make sure to widen the sleeve as you get to the bottom.  

Cutting on side of the DIY bell sleeves

Cut one side. 

Cutting the other side symmetrically

Fold in half and cut the other side; this will ensure both sides are symmetrical. 

Attaching the bell sleevesto the top

4. Assemble the DIY bell sleeve top

Stich each side of the top sleeve section to each side of the bell sleeves (right sides facing). 

How to sew bell sleeves

This is what it should look like. 

Bell sleeve sewing tutorial

Next, stitch all the pinned seams except for the top of the shoulder seams as you may need to amend the neckline. 

Marking the neckline with chalk

5. Modify the neckline

Now, wear your top and with a piece of chalk, draw a line where you’d like the neckline to be. 

Cutting out the new neckline

Cut out the new neckline. 

Folding the bell sleeves up

6. Make the rolled-up sleeves

Fold up your sleeves to your desired length.

Tacking the sleeve cuff

Then, tack it up with spaced-out short stitches. 

Sewing the folded up bell sleeve

This is how it should look. 

Trimming the excess fabric

Mark the excess with chalk and trim off the sides. 

Trimming the excess seam allowance

Also, while you’re at it, trim off the excess seam allowance. 

Adding a tag to the back neckline

This is optional, but if you want to leave a personal touch, you can add a tag by cutting a square from your excess fabric and sewing it on the back neckline. 

How to make a bell sleeve top

DIY bell sleeves

How to make a DIY bell sleeve top

How to make a bell sleeve top tutorial

There you have it, a beautiful DIY bell sleeve top! I actually like this fabric because you don’t need to hem it, so that’s a big bonus. So, this is how you make a bell sleeve top seamlessly!

The bell sleeve pattern is easy, you just need a guide, and voilà, you’re done! Thanks for joining me, and I’ll see you again next time!

Suggested materials:
  • Sweatshirt as a guide
  • Fabric
  • Pins
See all materials

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