You can turn puff sleeves into regular sleeves with only a few alterations. Removing some of the excess fabric can deflate the puff sleeve. You will achieve a leaner silhouette that is typical of regular sleeves.
Puff sleeves may be trendy today, but they may go out of fashion in the following months or years to come. It is great knowing that you can easily alter the size and shape of your sleeves according to your choice.
A regular sleeve will not add bulk to your frame, while a puff sleeve can. Sewing puffed sleeves balance is a perfect way to balance wider hips.
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What is a puff sleeve?
A puff sleeve is a type of sleeve with a puffed feature that adds volume and fullness. Puffed sleeves can also be long or short. The puff can be placed anywhere on the sleeve, from the top, middle, or bottom. When the sleeve pulls away from the arm is an indication of a puff sleeve.
Puffed sleeves can give the effect of being subtle, romantic, or whimsical on a particular blouse or dress. You can also find ruffles and tiers on some puff-sleeved clothing.
How do you remove fullness from a sleeve?
To remove fullness from a sleeve, make the curve at the top of the sleeve shorter than the puffy sleeve. Remember that a puff sleeve is just a regular sleeve sliced vertically and spread out.
It would help to keep in mind that the different puff sleeves, puffy sleeves, bell sleeves, etc., are all drawn from a regular sleeve pattern. It is easy to lessen the fullness of a sleeve by removing the extra fabric measurements in a puff sleeve pattern.
How do you alter puff sleeves on a dress?
You can alter the puff sleeves on your dress in three simple steps; removing the puffy sleeves, marking the extra fabric to remove and trimming them, then sewing the new sleeves on the dress.
Knowing how to remove the puff on your dress sleeves when you are not so charmed by the volume of fabric can help you turn it into something you would want to wear again and again.
Below are some steps you can make to alter the puff sleeves on your dress or blouse.
- Flip the dress or blouse inside out and carefully remove the sleeves. Mark the extra puff of fabric to be removed using the armhole as your guide.
- Stitch the new sleeve size following the markings and trim the extra fabric.
- Stitch the new sleeve into the armhole with the right sides facing together. Repeat the same processes on the other sleeve, and you are good to go.
How do you cut puff sleeves?
There are three ways to cut your puff sleeves: puff sleeves with gathering at the top and bottom, gathering at the top, and gathering at the bottom.
Puff sleeves with gathering at the top and bottom
- Get a regular sleeve pattern according to your size. Fold the regular sleeve at the center.
- Get another pattern paper or a newspaper and place the folded regular sleeve pattern over it.
- Follow the curve of the regular pattern and add 1 inch at the top and an inch from the center if you plan on making a small puff. For a bigger puff, you can add up to 6 inches.
- After adding the number of inches and marking them, you can open both the puff sleeve and the regular pattern.
- Use your puff sleeve pattern on your preferred fabric. Cut your puff sleeves.
- Measure your puff sleeve against the armscye of your top or dress. The puff sleeve now has extra fabric at the top of the sleeve to fit into the armscye. The extra fabric is the part that will be gathered and will create the puff.
- Pleat the top of the sleeve. Use some straight pins to keep the pleats in place. You can also gather the fabric at the top of the sleeve to create the puff.
- Make an elastic casing at the hem. You can use a safety pin to insert the elastic inside the case you made.
- Sew the ends of the elastic to the side seam allowance to keep them in place.
- Stitch the sleeves at the armhole using a quarter-inch allowance. Then join the side seam and the sleeve side seam.
Puff sleeves with gathering at the top
A puffed sleeve with fullness at the top is another variation of creating a voluminous sleeve gathering at the sleeve’s head.
- Start with a regular sleeve pattern. Copy it onto a pattern paper or a newspaper.
- Mark the middle third of the sleeve pattern with parallel lines three to four centimeters apart. Cut, then open out the pieces.
- For a fuller or a more voluminous sleeve, spread the parts wider. If you prefer a smaller puff, the pieces should not be too far apart.
- Draw the curves of your puff sleeve pattern with fullness at the top based on the volume of gathering that you want.
Puff sleeves with gathering at the bottom
With puff sleeves with fullness at the bottom only, the sleeve pattern pieces are spread out at the bottom to create a stretch. The extra fabric designed by the stretch will make the sleeves puffy. The sleeves will look like a balloon with a gathering at the bottom. Without a gathering at the bottom, the sleeve created is bell-shaped and would hang freely.
There are four ways you can finish a puffed sleeve at the bottom only; with a band, with ruffle, using elastic, and with a bias binding.
Are puff sleeves flattering?
Puff sleeves are very flattering, primarily for triangle figures. They add volume to the shoulder area, making the waist area look narrow. But puff sleeves can also be flattering for any body shape and size, depending on the placement of the puff.
The puff sleeves can help accentuate the different places of your body. With the right location, the puff sleeves can either widen or narrow the shoulder area, slim the waist, or make the bust area look more or less full.
Blouses and dresses with puffy sleeves can give a romantic and feminine touch. It almost reminds you of when most women wear these princess-style sleeves.
- Puff sleeves can hide the upper arm if you feel uncomfortable showing them off.
- If you put the puff sleeve at the top of the arm, it will create an illusion of making a person look taller. But putting the sleeves at the end of the sleeve will make someone look smaller.
- For a pear-shaped woman with fuller hips, puff sleeves can take attention from the waist to create the illusion of a tinier waist or an hourglass figure.
- If you want to draw attention to the bust area, you can place the puff sleeves at the top; otherwise, you can put the puff at the bottom.
- Puff sleeves should come with a V-neck or lower neckline for large bust sizes.
- It is best to avoid sewing puff sleeves at the top with a straight neckline. A blouse would look nicer with a straight or high neckline when the puff sleeves are located at the bottom.
- Choose tops or dresses with subtle puff sleeves if you have an inverted triangle body shape. Match them up with loose bottoms like flared trousers.
- If you have a slim neck, you can try all types of puff sleeves. But if not, wear open necklines, V-necks, and strapless versions. Avoid wearing high necklines.
How can you wear puff sleeve dresses?
Puff sleeve dresses are not limiting and can be worn in many ways. You can wear it during the day, but it can also be a perfect outfit for a night out. You can get any look you want with puffed sleeves; formal, romantic, casual, feminine, etc.
Casual Puff Sleeve Dress
You can bring your casual dress to a whole new level with a bit of puff on your shoulder sleeves. Puff sleeves can add a feminine effect to an otherwise common everyday dress. Puff sleeves can surely bring character to your ordinary daily wear.
Puff sleeve Dress for Formal Events
A short sequined or metallic puff sleeve dress can be a statement piece if you attend a party or a formal event. It is eye-catching and will make you the most popular in the crowd. You can wear it long or short-sleeved and try out the collar type that is most flattering to your figure.
Puff sleeves also look lovely on gowns. It can accentuate an evening dress in a vibrant solid color if you prefer a more toned-down outfit than the metallic dress.
Puff Sleeves Dresses for Petites
If you are one petite person, you can still strut in your puffy-sleeved dresses. Make your dress short to counter the amount of extra fabric you get from your puffy sleeves. Make sure to wear only the sleeves with a smaller puff so you will not feel like you are drowning in a sea of sleeves.
Puff Sleeves for Pear and Triangle Body Types
Women with pear and triangle body types usually want more form at the upper body, which the puff sleeves can provide. Oversized puff sleeves can do the trick and complement the waist creating a flattering figure for these body types.
Will puff sleeves go out of style?
The puff sleeve fashion is here to stay. Since the puff-sleeve trend came back in 2018, many variations of this style have been created and worn season after season. The balloon sleeves will continue to be on-trend as they can now be seen in all sorts of outfits like blouses, dresses, and even sweatshirts.
Puff-sleeved blouses and shirts in different colors and prints are perfect outfits in the summer. For a casual look, you can pair your puffy-sleeved blouse with a pair of jeans and pumps. If you are looking for a more elegant look, pair your bouse with a satin skirt and cute heels.
Puffy-sleeved dresses will also not go out of trend, especially those who want a more feminine or romantic look. An old-world charm is what these voluminous sleeves usually evoke whether you wear them in the daytime or at a night out party.
The different variations of the puffed sleeves will leave you wanting more and make this fashion trend stick around for a long time.