1000 Things to Do with a Sewing Machine, DESIGNIN' DECEMBER, Sewing, Sewing Challenges, sewing patterns, Tops

One sleeve done!

I have started my DESIGNIN’ DECEMBER outfit.  I want to COPY this top by Ellery Neu.  I love the bell shaped sleeves.  Quite popular this season, I think!

Ellery Neu

I browsed through a few patterns in my stash until I settled on view “E” of McCall’s M6896.  Everything about this pattern is almost right.  It definitely needs bell sleeves.


This is what the pattern sleeve looks like…


So I traced it – straightening out the sides of the pattern piece.


Adding in seven slits from where I want the “bell” shape to begin.


I spread the slits an inch apart filling the gaps with more tracing paper …


and cutting out my fashion fabric.  I also added an extra inch on to the hem of the bell sleeve, just to make sure I had the sleeve length I liked.


Here are the changes I made from the original pattern piece.



I basted my sleeve together and checked it out.  And we have a winner!

Next to sew the seam up using a French seam.  I don’t want a messy seam showing at the bottom of the bell.  I put the WRONG sides together and sewed a 1 cm seam allowance.


I trimmed close to my sewing.


Then I turned my sleeve inside out (or is it outside in?) and sewed the seam again, another 1 cm seam allowance.


Finished!  The French seam from the outside.


And if the inside of the bell sleeve happens to show, the French seam is neat and tidy.


One sleeve done!

Have you found your Designer Original to COPY yet?  I love looking through Instagram, Pinterest, etc. for Designer Original ideas, like this beautiful Chanel …


Or another favourite designer of mine, Katherine Tessier …

Katherine Tessier

Then there is this lovely by Guy Laroche.  Is it a dress? Top and shorts? Jumpsuit?  OH!  She has pockets!  I have fabric in my stash very similar to this – all black with white abstract lines.  It’s just waiting patiently to become a COPY of this Designer Original!

Guy Laroche


“Why buy when you can make it yourself – better and for less money?” If you want a designer garment too, join the DESIGNIN’ DECEMBER Challenge!


  • On your blog post a photo of your Designer Original and YOUR COPY of your Designer Original, mentioning DESIGNIN’ DECEMBER in your post with a link back to here so other’s can join in.
  • Grab a DESIGNIN’ DECEMBER button. The code on my side bar can be copied and pasted into a Text Widget on WordPress, or download the image and then upload it onto your blog.
  • Leave a comment here on my blog and I’ll post your Designer Original and YOUR COPY for you on my blog in DESIGNIN’ DECEMBER, with a link back to you – whether you have made it already, are in the process of making it, or plan on making it… let me know!
  • Don’t forget to share a comment or few with your other DESIGNIN’ DECEMBER cohorts. Everyone loves comments!

Other ways to participate:

  • Send your email address to me at imadeit362436 (at) gmail (dot) com and I’ll send you an invite to join the “DESIGNIN’ DECEMBER” Pinterest board so you can add your Designer Original and YOUR COPY to the board.
  • Post your Designer Original and YOUR COPY on Twitter or Instagram, using the hashtag #DESIGNINDECEMBER.

Don’t forget to “grab” a DESIGNIN’ DECEMBER button on your way out!

Happy Sewing!

32 thoughts on “One sleeve done!”

      1. Thanks! I like the flared variety like yours, rather than those that have the gathered attachment (if that makes sense). Also, mine will be 3/4 as I HATE HATE HATE having my sleeves dragging in food or dish water 😉

  1. You started early!! I’m making something with bell shaped sleeves but the bell is attached to the sleeve, fingers crossed I will have this and the coat finished on time! I look forward to seeing the finished top! Love the colour!

    1. Yes I think this year I’m going to do a bit at a time – I’m not going to reveal the finished outfit until DESIGNIN’ DECEMBER though! I have found there are lots of way to do a sewing technique. I’m looking forward to seeing how your’s is different!

  2. I agree with Susan on the Soapbox, you have lots of patience. It looks cool seeing the slits in the sleeve and the added pieces of tissue. The sleeve looks good. Great colour.

  3. Even when I was at my best, my sewing skills were limited to the pattern. The only alterations I could manage were to follow the size on the pattern to allow for body adjustments. Way to go, Linda. I can hardly wait to see the outfit when it is finished.

  4. Love your top and your designer inspiration! The sleeves look fun to construct. I’ve only made the ‘gathered and attached’ kind of bell shape, so it’s inspiring to see a new way to construct. Yes, the down side of those sleeves is that they love to stand alone..it’s so hard to get them into a sleeve coat or sweater. But They look so great, they’re worth a bit of discomfort :).

  5. Looking good! I often wear shortened sleeves, or I end up pushing them up anyway?
    Ivery changed my mind about 3 times for my designin december, but I’ll make a decision soon 🙂

  6. Great sleeve. The top will look fabulous, I’m sure.
    I’m still thinking about a designer garment to copy. I’ll get a button once I’m sure what I’m doing 😃

  7. ooh my you are on a roll Linda. I have been researching..lol I think there is a piece i have settled on to make. so I am in!!! 🙂 when is the deadline? lol

    Off to get that button. 🙂 🙂

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