Today we are sharing with you a double hack of the Sheona top. We are going to draft bishop sleeves and change the straight hem to a curved hem. Are you ready?
Here’s what you’ll need:
-your Sheona top pattern
-a large piece of paper
-a straight ruler
-a pen or a pencil and a pair of scissors
-a sewing machine and/or overlocker and your basic sewing tools
We are going to start with the sleeve. Trace your sleeve piece to a new piece of paper in order to not ruin the original. In this tutorial we are using the full length sleeve for the Sheona top, you can follow the same steps for the 3/4 length or the short sleeve as well. Make sure you transfer all the markings. Then you are going to remove the seam allowance at the top of the sleeve. Draw the 1 cm (3/8″) seam allowance, copy the notches and cut it out -don’t worry, we will add it back later on.
Now go ahead and split the sleeve into 5 equal pieces (draw 4 lines in equal distance from each other).
Then, we are going to slash and spread the sleeve (like we showed you in the flutter sleeves tutorial). Cut out along these lines, leaving tiny hinges at the top to be able to spread the pieces on the next step.
Take a new large piece of paper and place it underneath the sleeve piece. You are going to spread the pieces as much as you want (the more you spread them, the fuller your sleeve will be). We went for 10 cm (4″). When you are done, we recommend sticking the pieces down with scotch tape or use pattern weights to prevent them from moving. Then, go ahead and draw around the edges to create your new sleeve piece. Remove the original sleeve piece and add 1 cm (3/8″) seam allowance to the sleeve head. Make sure you also transfer all the notches. Cut around it and ta-dah! Your new sleeve is ready!
Next up you will have to draft a cuff piece. The hem of your sleeve is going to be gathered and attached to this cuff to create the bishop style. We used the same cuff piece we add to all my Sheona tops, you can check out this tutorial to see how to draft it.
Last but not least, we are going to play around with the hem. Trace both the front and back top pieces on a new piece of paper. We wanted this top to be slightly longer this time. So, on the traced front pattern piece, we measured the desired length, taking into account the hem allowance and then we angled the side seam slightly towards the outside. This is a personal preference, because we wanted to create a more A-line shaped top. The next step it to curve the hem. We recommend using a French curve for this step if you can, as it will make your life easier. If you don’t have one, don’t worry, you’ll have to draw the curve by hand, which is totally fine. Just try to be as smooth as possible. Our tip for this kind of hem is to start from the side seam and make a straight line first, about 2-3 cm (1,5″) and then start drawing the curve. This will make the top easier to hem.
Now that we are done with all the drafting, go ahead and cut out your pattern pieces. For the sleeves, you are going to cut out 2 and you’ll also need 2 cuffs.
Sew the Sheona top following the steps in your instructions booklet. The sleeve is attached on the flat, as usual. When you reach the final step, where you have to hem every raw edge, here’s what you’ll do:
Create the cuffs by folding them in half, right sides together and stitching up the side. Fold them in half lengthwise, wrong sides together.
On your sewing machine, select the widest stitch length (ours goes up to 6) and sew a line of gathering stitches at the sleeve hem, staying inside the 1 cm (3/8″) seam allowance. Leave long tails at the beginning and end and gather the sleeve hem by pulling the bobbin thread. Go slowly in order to not break the thread and gather it until the sleeve is as wide as the cuff.
With your Sheona top right side out, slip the cuff over the sleeve, right sides together and matching the raw edges. Make sure that the seam on your cuff matches the seam of your sleeve, adjust the gathers as needed and pin all around, slightly stretching the cuff around the sleeve hem. Stitch with a zigzag stitch or your overlocker.
Give it a good press and your bishop style sleeve is ready!
To hem the top, press the curved hem upwards by 1 cm (3/8″) and pin, while smoothing out the curves as much as you can. Stitch with a wider zigzag stitch, press and you are done!
This hack is one of our favorites so far! It may require a little bit of drafting, but we think it’s totally worth it. For the tutorial we used a gorgeous viscose jersey by Lady McElroy that we got from Lamazi Fabrics. It is a very high quality fabric with a stunning print and easy to work with. Make sure you check out their beautiful selection of jerseys, you will not be disappointed.