Sunday, August 25, 2019

How to create Butterfly sleeves for doll dresses

How to create Butterfly sleeves for doll clothes patterns

One of the reasons I keep getting behind on the pattern instructions is that I love to experiment with pattern pieces instead of making the one dress and writing up the pattern.

Last year I had a go at making a ruffle sleeve based on what I had seen for ruffles in other patterns, not particularly butterfly sleeve patterns. This time I just used sleeve patterns and cut off the bottom part. I can't believe I didn't think of doing that before.

This was my first attempt:

A few weeks ago I found a dress on pinterest that I just loved. It had sort of arm hugging butterfly sleeves. My first thought to recreate them was to use the blouse sleeve from my 1806 blouse. I knew it had a bit of gathering on the sleeve head but was fairly fitted down the arm.

This is how I adjusted it tp make it flutter just a bit.


I thought it turned out great. This is one of the Pattern Club patterns for September 2019. It will also turn up in my Etsy shop around October 2019.


Armed with lots of confidence I decided to make it flutter a bit more.

I used the basic puffed sleeve that I have used in several of my early patterns. It is the puffed sleeve that normally has a sleeve band.

Here is how I adjusted it:

The deeper curved hemline is the one I have tried in this floral dress.


I have just finished the bodice so that is all you see of this one.
Now I think it looks OK and I will probably use this pattern again for various garments but I thought it was just a tad overwhelming on this delicate looking doll. It does look a bit better on one of the other dolls.

Anyway, I have made another adjustment to the puffed sleeve so the flutter is quite as broad.
You can see that when I drew the lines for the new cutting lines I in the armhole part of the sleeve at the point that i thought looked about halfway down the armhole from the shoulder. Don't forget you have to take into account that the sleeve head has to be gathered quite a lot so it is not halfway between the centre of the sleeve and the underarm.

  • Once you have hemmed the bottom edge and added trim you gather the sleeve head.
  • Place the gathered edge right sides together with the main bodice armhole and baste in place. 
  • I put dots on my bodice pieces so I could tell where the pointy part had to go.
  • Place the bodice lining right sides together with the main lining to enclose the sleeves. Stitch around the armholes and down the back edges. Leave the neck edge open and bind it after turning your bodice.


I hope these guidelines will encourage you to customise lots of the patterns you already own. I'm sure you will be able to find a couple of suitable sleeves to use.
Just incase you don't have any you can find the blouse pattern HERE and the puffed sleeve on this dress HERE or HERE.