Tulip Sleeve Jacket Tutorial

With sewing, its all in the details. Tulip sleeves can add a beautiful touch of whimsy to any design, and really make an outfit stand out. Bernadette from the Sewing Rabbit Team is here today showing how you can add this fabulous detail to any of your designs, with her tulip sleeve jacket tutorial. I am so in love with this little cover-up, it is perfect for Spring to go over any outfit, dress or shirt! I think you are going to love it too :).

Tulip Sleeve Jacket Tutorial

Tulip Sleeve Jacket Tutorial

Hey, it’s Bernadette again!  Today, I’m going to show you how to make a tulip sleeve from any pattern.  I’ll show you how to make the rest of this cute jacket too while I’m at it.  You can use any pattern in your stash that has a basic bodice and an inset short sleeve.  Go grab your favorite.  I used the bodice and short sleeve from five and ten designs.  I sized up to give it more room so that it can be worn over tops.  If your bodice pattern if pretty fitted, you’ll want to size up as well.

What you’ll need

  • Fabric for outside and lining fabric
  • Basic bodice pattern and sleeve pattern
  • Ruler
  • Paper
  • Pencil, marker or favorite writing utensil
  • Button

Tulip Sleeve Jacket Tutorial

Alright, now that you have your pattern, put it on a piece of paper and trace it.

Tulip Sleeve Jacket Tutorial

Next, flip it over and trace the other side so that you have a whole sleeve traced out.

Tulip Sleeve Jacket Tutorial

Draw a line from the bottom corner to the opposite corner.  This will be a guide for the next step.  I used a lighter color pencil, but you don’t have to.  Use what you have.

Tulip Sleeve Jacket Tutorial

Using the bottom corner line as a guide, draw curved shape from about 1/3 of the way in to the bottom corner.  I cheated and used my french curve ruler, but you can eyeball it just as easily.  Just make it look something like this.  You don’t have to be precise here.  The curve you draw, will be the curve of your tulip overlap on your sleeve.  You want it to be straighter at the bottom and more curved at the top but don’t worry too much.

Tulip Sleeve Jacket Tutorial

Alright!  Now, you cut it out.  It will look like a petal.  The straight side will be cut on the fold of your fabric, so mark it accordingly.  Make sure to mark the size of your new pattern piece too.

Tulip Sleeve Jacket Tutorial

 Now, take your bodice front pattern, trace around it and add 1 inch to the center.

Tulip Sleeve Jacket Tutorial

Decide how wide you want your button overlap to be.  Mine was about 2 inches, so I measured down 2.5 inches (I added .5 inches for seam allowance).  From that point, draw a curve down to the bottom of your pattern piece.  I didn’t like the first curve I draw, so I did a second one.  You can use a french curve ruler or you can eyeball it.  When you’re done, cut out your new pattern piece, marking it correctly so you know what it is later.

Once you have your pattern pieces cut out, take them over to your fabric and cut out all your pieces.  You should have 3 pattern pieces, the 2 you just made and you’ll use an unaltered bodice back piece that was paired with your bodice front from the original pattern.

  • 4 front pieces – 2 outer and 2 lining
  • 2 back pieces – 1 outer and 1 lining
  • 2 sleeves

Tulip Sleeve Jacket Tutorial

Once you cut your pieces, sew your fronts and backs together along the tops and the sides.  You’ll have two unfinished bodices-one in your outer fabric and one in your lining.  Put these two bodices, right sides together and sew them together along the outside leaving the armholes unsewn.  Don’t forget to leave a space in the bottom to turn your pieces.

Okay, turn your pieces and then sew your bottom closed and topstitch the entire thing.  It should look like a sleeveless jacket at this point.  Next up, baste your arms together.

Tulip Sleeve Jacket Tutorial

Hem your sleeves.  Make sure you hem the right end.  The straightest edge is the bottom.

Tulip Sleeve Jacket Tutorial

Fold your sleeve in half, wrong sides together, to find the center.  Place this fold on the seam line of the side of your bodice(right sides together).  This will ensure that both sleeves are positioned the same on your top and look the same once they’re sewn on.  Start pinning.  Go toward the back of your bodice first if you want your tulip in the front.  Go toward the front first if you want the tulip in the back.  Mine was pinned back first, then front.

Tulip Sleeve Jacket Tutorial

Pin all the way around.  You’ll get to a point where your sleeve looks like this.  It’s supposed to.  Don’t panic!  just keep lining up your sleeve, pulling your pins out and repinning all the layers together as you go along (aren’t you glad you basted earlier?!).  Once you have all of your edges lined up and approximately 800 pins in place, take it to your machine and sew that puppy on!!

Turn right side out and check for puckers in your bodice.  Make sure your sleeves look right.  Use your seam ripper if you have any flaws.  Inevitably, I always sew one sleeve on backwards so that I have one overlap at the front and one at the back.  EVERY TIME!

Position your button where you want it and sew on your button hole and DONE!

Dance, holler, and cavort!  Then, go take pictures of your cutie in her jacket.

Tulip Sleeve Jacket Tutorial

Tulip Sleeve Jacket Tutorial

Tulip Sleeve Jacket Tutorial

Tulip Sleeve Jacket Tutorial

Tulip Sleeve Jacket Tutorial

Thanks so much for stopping by, and until next time…

Happy Sewing!