This is a little experiment I did to see how it might be to add sleeves to a shirred top. I challenged myself after many of you have emailed asking if I made the top up there in the banner. Unfortunately, I didn’t. That is a wonderful shirt I had bought from Anthropologie a while ago. Here are a few more pictures of the top of it up close so you can see the construction of it better.
I wanted to do it a bit different, so I made it so both sides were shirred unlike how the Anthro is only shirred in the front. I also just wanted it come to the same place on the front and back so it would be easier to make.
To begin, I cut four pieces out of fabric. Two for the top and two for the sleeves. For the top, I made each piece (1/2 chest measurement x 2) for the width and then choose the length I wanted it to be. I kind of guessed with the sleeves, but you need to make sure that when folded in half, they are tall enough to go over the shoulder bringing the shirt at the place where you want it.
Then I made the exact same arm hole cuts on the folded sleeves.
Then folded it down 1/4″ again, ironed, and sewed across.
I forgot a pic, but then I shirred across the top of each piece.
Then I matched up the sleeves to the top, making sure the right side were facing.
This is what it looked like pinned on both body pieces.
A pic from the other side. See how there is a part of the sleeve that doesn’t touch the body pieces? That is the part that will go over the shoulder. If it’s too short, then the shirt won’t fit. If it’s too long, you can probably fix it later by pulling it down underneath the body piece and sewing in place.
Then I sewed them together.
Then on both sides, I turned in the middle non sewed sleeve part a little bit.
Then I turned it in again and sewed it.
Then I pinned the sides together, right sides facing, and sewed down the sides underneath the arm pit. I also made sure to sew some of sleeve part as well. Just a little bit.
Then I turned the sleeves edges under a bit and ironed……
then I tried to turn it under again to conceal the raw edges, but it was giving me trouble. So I cut more fabric off. I got it to work, but it was still a mess. It’s because of the curve at the top. The straighter the sleeve edge is, the easier it will be to turn under. Now, since I have a serger, I could just serge the edge, but I wanted to just use a regular sewing machine to share this.
Then I hemmed the bottom and that’s it. It was a learning experience for sure I’m just glad it came out okay and wasn’t a fail! I encourage you to try things out and experiment. You will grow and learn a lot from it, even if it might not turn out quite right.