When I started making my Roberts Collection by Marilla Walker jumpsuit, I really wanted to make a cute top to go with it. I’ve been inspired by bell sleeves lately, and I’ve seen a few shirts like this around in a few different places,so I’ve had it on my mind. (I’m learning I have a thing for sleeves!). I love how it gives the shirt a more dramatic yet feminine look.
I used a jersey knit fabric in plum that I had in my stash. I think this top would also be cool in a stripe ponte or maybe even a woven. I love this one I found at J.Crew recently.
To make my pattern, I used the Inari Tee pattern, with a few adjustments in a size 2/34. If you don’t already have this pattern, it’s totally worth getting. I made this really cool Inari Tee Dress a few posts back. There’s lots of possibilities with this pattern.
**Side note, I just want to put in a plug for working with knits. I don’t have a serger. (although, I do want one). Using a ballpoint needle and a zigzag stitch for seams, and a straight stitch for hemlines and neckline edges proves to work just as well for me. Don’t let not having a serger stop you from sewing knits.
Here’s how I did it:
First I added 6″ in length to the hemline of the crop tee pattern.
Second, I made a rectangular shaped pattern for the bell sleeve, mine measured 6 1/2″ long x 18-24″ wide. (pictured above is about 18″, I would go for 24″ next time for a fuller look).
To sew it all together, sew your bell sleeve piece along the side seam, RST. Iron, trim and finish seam allowance. Then, sew your gathering stitches along the top edge at 1/4″ and 1/2″. Pin bell sleeve to sleeve edge RST, matching edges and centers. Pull gathering threads, and evenly spread gathers. Sew at 1/2″, remove any gathering stitches that show on the right side, and trim + finish seam allowance. Hem sleeve. Done!
Follow the pattern directions for assembling the rest of the shirt. This is super easy, and the whole shirt came together pretty quick. Enjoy!