Puff sleeves are a huge trend right now. It’s not hard to see why. They’re dramatic. They’re feminine. Hey…Even Anne Shirley knew they make a statement.
Now, a designer puff sleeve shirt miiiight not be in your desired price range.
This one by Alexander McQueen is gorgeous, but it comes at a cost.
Stuad’s version is considerably less expensive, but I think we can do better, don’t you? 😉
Aren’t you lucky there are TONS of old ’80s dresses sitting on the clearance rack of your local thrift store to play with?
The dress I used to make my DIY Puff Sleeve shirt set me back ONE DOLLAR!
As I said, this is a verrrry puff-sleeved dress from the ’80s.
I chose it for this Refashion not only for the sleeves, but also because I feel like black is a great starter color for experimenting with a bold trend that might otherwise make you a bit nervous.
As-is, it’s looking a little sad and dour though. It doesn’t fit me and it looks a tad funeral-ish as a dress.
That collar was in pretty bad shape too. The black from the dress bled into it when I washed it. I ignored the “Dry Clean Only” label since I knew I’d be removing this part and therefore wasn’t worried about color bleed.
You can see it’s also badly worn and frayed.
Let’s make a DIY Puff Sleeve Shirt!
I started by ripping out the shoulder pads.
Don’t worry! My sleeves are still going to be plllllenty puffy, especially with the help of these!
I cut a chunk off the bottom.
I left it a little longer than I thought I’d want it to be in the end as I knew I’d be taking it in later which would make it shorter. Cutting some off first at this point is just to make this piece easier to work with.
The cutting didn’t stop there!
Let’s tackle that collar!
There are a couple of ways I could handle the collar.
I could have used my seam ripper to open the collar and take it out.
Instead, I opted for just cutting it off.
I thought this would give the collar a sort of interfacing for support. It was also much easier and less time consuming than pick-pick-picking it out with my seam ripper.
I was happy to bid it adieu!
Then, I pinned the pinked edge under.
Time to run it under the needle!
The collar under layer made the neckline fairly thick, so I put my machine in turtle mode (unofficial term) and stitched it down slowly and carefully so as to not break my needle.
Take a peek at the label! Hee hee!
I plopped my top on my dress form inside-out and started pinning!
I opted to take my top in from the back, as I didn’t want to lose any volume from the sleeves by taking it in from the sides.
The sleeves have a connected (shorter) under layer of fabric that gives them that puffiness at the bottom. Yes, I could have removed the sleeves, taken in the top, and then reattached them, but I didn’t that was necessary to get the look I wanted.
It’s okay to take the easy way out sometimes, friends. We don’t have to be Coco Chanel every time.
When I was done pinning, I stitched it down, using the same slow & steady technique from the collar. The layers of fabric were quite thick at the top!
After the back was sewn, I snipped off the excess fabric and tried my top on.
I pinned where I wanted to the length to be and chopped a little more off the bottom.
I pinned my bottom hem…
…and stitched it down!
We’re almost done!
To make the bottom of the sleeves puffier (and a little more fitted), I folded them over at the top and pinned them like so:
Next, I stitched them down!
After pressing everything, I was done!
I think my newly Refashioned Puff Sleeve Top looks quite posh!
And here’s the back! It’s not perfect, but I think it turned out just fine!
And yes…that’s another one of my wigs! Her name is Amy.
I think my top is perfect for work, as well as dinner and drinks afterward!