September 11, 2018


Pattern Hacks ›



How To Add A Bell Sleeve To Your Favorite Tee


Hello everybody! This week's tutorial is a quick and easy pattern hack to the Liberty Jane T-shirt pattern!

Bell sleeves are all the rage and adding one to your favorite tee is so easy to do! It transforms the look of an everyday classic into a piece with a bit of style and flair! Pretty cool, don't you think?

We are using the LJ T-Shirt Variations pattern for this hack because it includes the 3/4 length sleeve. Although, you could easily extend the lines from the cap sleeve in the free tee to make this shirt too (just measure the added length on the doll's arm and add that to your tiny short sleeve).

It's super easy to do -- all you have to do is add a ruffle to the sleeve hemline, and then continue on with the regular pattern instructions to complete the top. (Click on the image, or the link above, to view this pattern on Pixie Faire...) 


Let's get started:

The first thing is to decide how long you want your entire sleeve, what portion of that sleeve will be the "upper" and "bell" parts, and how full you want the "bell" to be.  The variations for this sleeve design are endless!  For the white top, the rectangle for the bell portion is 2-3/8" x 8-1/2". For the black top, leave the 3/4 length sleeve as is and measure/cut the rectangle for the bell portion 1-3/8 x 8-1/2.

Instructions showing the white top are shown here:

1. Cut out two rectangular pieces of fabric 2 3/8" x 8 1/2" for the "bell" of each sleeve.

2. Use the 3/4 length sleeve and shorten it by 1" from the bottom. (White top only)

3. Sew a line of gathering stitches 1/4" from one 8 1/2" edge of each rectangle, using a long stitch length for gathering ease.

4. Hem the other long 8 1/2" edge of the rectangle:  zigzag over raw edge, fold over 3/8" and press, then topstitch hem 1/4" from the fold. Helpful Tip: Tissue paper makes a great stabilizer!

5. With right sides together, pull up the gathering stitches to fit the rectangle to the lower edge of the upper sleeve and pin to secure.  Sew seam.



After applying ruffle, press seam toward upper sleeve and topstitch sleeve 1/8" from the seam (don't stitch into the gathered bell), catching seam allowance under topstitching (shown on black top).  This will help to keep fingers from getting caught in the seam allowance when putting on the top.

6. Follow the Liberty Jane T-Shirt instructions to complete the shirt, treating the sleeve-and-bell-extension as a single piece when sewing the continuous side seam.  ***Make sure you don't sew a seam allowance greater than 1/4" at the wrist or the finished sleeve will be hard to pull on over the hands!






Congratulations! You've just hacked a pattern successfully!

Thanks for following along, and have fun with this!

For Pixie Faire,


PS. Watch for the Ruffle Dress pattern hack (pictured on the right) - coming soon!



Marge R (mer)
Marge R (mer)

September 26, 2018

Just saw this and your newer Ruffle Dress pattern hack and anxious to find time to try both – sooo CUTE! Longer sleeves will be perfect for new Fall outfits too – thanks, Cinnamon! ;)


September 18, 2018

Such a cute blouse and. Very easy to do if you can see just alittle bit

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