Learn how to sew a circle sleeve – this ruffled look is flirty and feminine.
Hey y’all, ever since I posted the look below on Instagram I’ve been getting requests for a tutorial, so today I’m sharing how easy it is to add circle sleeves to a top.
This top is the Blanc T-shirt but you can do this method on any shirt. I love how the ruffle adds a little flirty and romantic feel to an otherwise very basic t-shirt. This one is sewn in a drapey rayon blend knit.
I also added circle ruffles to the sleeves of a stretch velvet Shoreline Boatneck for the holidays and beyond. At the ends of elbow length sleeves, these circles give the otherwise minimal lines of the shirt a little bit of a dramatic flair.
Really, this is just a variation on how you sew a circle skirt, and you could do this finish on a knit or woven top. Since the Shoreline Boatneck works in woven fabrics, that might be a good one to use – maybe in a rayon challis?
I made a video tutorial of sewing the velvet version of this top, which you can watch below or on YouTube here. I’ve also got a written summary of the steps below the video.
How to Sew a Circle Sleeve
- Determine the circumference of your sleeve edge where you want to attach the ruffle by measuring.
- Divide your sleeve circumference by 6.28 to get measurement A
- Rotate a ruler from the corner of the paper measuring out your circumference/6.28 in an arc
- Determine your desired ruffle length. On the blue Blanc shirt I used 3 inches, on the velvet Shoreline I did 5 inches. Measure that down from the arc you marked.
- Add seam allowances and cut out your pattern
- Fold your fabric once on the grainline and once on the crossgrain, so you have 4 layers of fabric. Line up your pattern so both straight edges are on folds with the folded corner aligned in the “donut hole” you’re going to cut out.
- Cut fabric. Hem sleeve ruffles – see the video for tips.
- Attach ruffle to end of sleeve and finish seam if necessary.