I have found myself purchasing everything from hoodies, to big slouchy sweatshirts reminiscent of my youth, to fun and flirty sweatshirts that I can wear on date night. It must be a season of comfort for me, because I find myself simply wanting to snuggle up inside of something warm with a cup of tea and a good book. And the great thing about sweatshirts this Season, is that you can do exactly that – and still look fabulous! Stores everywhere are putting their twist on this comfy wardrobe staple, and I am loving it.
I recently stumbled across a gathered sleeve sweatshirt, and decided to take this fun idea and make it my own.
Reverse Juliet Sleeve Top
A gathered or balloon sleeve sweatshirt DIY
Q: What is a reverse sleeve Juliet top?
A: The answer is, I don’t really know. When researching for what I should call this top, the closest sleeve I could come up to was the Juliet sleeve. The Juliet sleeve is really more of a puffed short sleeve, with a tight fitting sleeve extending beyond the gathered band. Also known as a leg of mutton sleeve. The sleeve I came up with in these photos reminded me of a Juliet sleeve, in reverse. Other names that I tossed about included a gathered sleeve band, balloon band sleeve, and puffed sleeve band. Take your pick for whatever name works for you! Lol
HOW TO SEW A REVERSE JULIET SLEEVE TOP
- Skill level: Advanced Beginner
- Time needed: 3 – 4 hours
- Loose T-shirt or Sweatshirt sloper with sleeve
- Sweatshirt or sweater fabric
- Coordinating thread
- Universal ball point sewing needle
- Fabric scissors / rotary cutter
- Tracing paper
- Iron / ironing board
- Sewing machine
- Serger, optional (see note below)
*Please note – In the photos of my finished product, you see exposed seams. I liked the fun contrast effect this gave to the top. The tutorial below will walk you through how to make this sweater / sweatshirt without the exposed seams. If you want the same exposed seam effect, you will need to have a serger / overlock machine to finish all raw seams. And follow every sewing step listed, with finishing the seam and sewing the seam down to flatten.
Pattern Drafting Instructions:
- Using your pattern sloper, trace your desired hem line. I find the most flattering hemlines are ones that curve down in the front and back, and arch up at the sides.
- If using a curved hemline like mine, I find the best way to hem your curved fabrics are by using a hem facing. To make a hem facing, trace around your new hemline to create the upper curve, and extend the length 3″ for width along the entire curve. Cut (4) of the hem facing, and (1) Front and (1) Back sweatshirt pattern on the fold.
- Divide your sleeve into 3 separate parts:
- Upper short sleeve – the upper short sleeve remains the same, outside of adding seam allowance to the bottom cut edge.
- Gathered middle band – the gathered band section becomes one large rectangle of fabric, double or triple the actual width of you sleeve (depending on how many gathers you want on the puff). The length is the same as your actual middle sleeve section, with added seam allowance to the upper and lower edge.
- Sleeve cuff – Double the length of your lowest sleeve section, and add 1″ to this. Cut a rectangle of fabric this new length measurement x the same width of your original sleeve hem.
- Cut (2) mirror image pattern pieces for each new sleeve pattern.
- Cut a 2″ wide strip of fabric on the bias tape for the neckline.
- Sew a line of gathering stitches along the upper and lower edge of the Gathered middle sleeve band. Gently pull the upper edge bobbin thread until the width is the same as the upper sleeve hem, making sure that the gathers are nice and even. Pull the lower edge bobbin thread until it is the same width as the sleeve cuff.
- Place the upper edge of the gathered middle sleeve band right sides together (RST) with the sleeve hem, matching up all raw edges. Pin and sew. Press seam up.
- Fold the sleeve cuff in half, matching up the upper and lower raw edges wrong sides together. Press.
- Place the lower edge of the gathered middle sleeve band RST with the sleeve cuff, matching up all raw edges. Pin and sew. Press seam down. Repeat for both sleeves. Finish seams and sew in place if desired.
- Place 2 hem facing pattern pieces RST. Pin around the side and bottom edge and sew. Clip curved edges and corners, and turn right side out. Press. Repeat for other 2 hem facing pattern pieces.
- Match up the hem facing with the bottom hem of your shirt. Pin the upper edge of the hem facing RST with the bottom hem of your shirt. Sew, press seam up and edge stitch. Repeat for both Front and Back.
- Place front and back shirt pattern pieces RST, matching up shoulder seams. Pin and sew. Finish seam and press.
- Match the upper sleeve curve with the armsyce, RST. Pin in place and sew. Finish seam, press and sew seam down if desired. Repeat for both sleeves.
- Fold sweatshirt in half RST, matching up all side seams. Pin and sew, stopping at the bottom of the side hem and not extending to the hem facing. This will create a small side vent. Finish seams and sew down. Repeat for both sides.
- Measure around your sweatshirt neckline and subtract 1.5″. This will be the length of bias fabric that you need. Fold neckline in half, right sides together, matching up the short outer edges. Pin, sew, and press seam open. Fold the circle of bias fabric in half, wrong sides together, matching up the long outer edge. Press. Slip bias fabric circle over the neckline, RST, matching up all raw edges and the bias seam with the back center of your sweatshirt. Pin around, gently stretching your bias fabric as you pin. Sew using a stretch friendly stitch. Finish seam and press down. Edge stitch to secure in place.
And you are finished!
Thanks so much for stopping by, and until next time…