There are three main types of puffed sleeves that are very simple to draft from the basic sleeve pattern. The idea is to create enough extra fabric for gathering, which means to “stretch” the pattern in places were the ruffling will accrue. The “stretching” can be done along the head and hem of a sleeve, but never in the underarm area.
The process itself is not complicated. Start with a paper pattern of a sleeve. Mark the middle third of your pattern with parallel lines 3-4cm apart, cut and open out the pieces. The fuller the sleeve you are after the further you spread the parts. Traditionally it cannot be made more then 5cm. For fuller sleeve cut the strips narrower. In some old pattern making books you can find the pictures of a puffed sleeve draft looking like a fan with the strips cut as narrow as 1cm.
Depending on the shape of a sleeve you are after the gathering can be paced on the bottom or top of the sleeve, or both.
Puffed sleeves drafting process:
- Puffed sleeve with gathering at the head.
The line of the new sleeve does not go parallel to the original pattern all the way, it extends out in places of a “stretch”. The extra fabric is needed to create a volume.
- Puffed sleeve with the gathering at the bottom.
The bell-shaped sleeve is drafted exactly the same way. Without agathering the bottom of the sleeve hangs freely, creating soft folds.
- Puffed sleeve gathered both at the top and at the bottom.
Four common ways to finish a puffed sleeve:
- with a band
- with ruffle
- using elastic
- faced with bias binding
Puffed sleeve with gathering at the top and straight bottom can be self faced and hemmed, no additional steps required.