Continuing with our guest blogger series, today we are welcoming Erin of @eringrypma, who is here to demonstrate an exciting Ashton Top hack: puffed sleeves! Erin is a fellow resident of Vancouver Island and Ashton Top enthusiast, and we are very excited to welcome her for our first Ashton Sleeve Expansion Pack hack! This handy pack updates the armscyce of the Ashton Top to make it suitable for sleeves, which means there is nothing to stop you from hacking it to create the dramatic sleeves of your dreams! Let’s take a closer look at Erin’s puffy-sleeved Ashton Tops and learn how she did it!
Hi everyone! I’m Erin, a hobbyist sewer from Vancouver Island on the west coast of Canada. I really love creating a sustainable wardrobe and I’m a big Helen’s Closet fan—I’ve even made six Ashton Tops. So when I saw flowy, romantic silhouettes become more popular in clothing this year I wanted to see if I could replicate them with a tried and true pattern I already own.
This puffed-sleeve hack is pretty simple. It requires a little bit of math and tape but comes together quickly!
What you’ll need:
- A large ruler
- A roll of paper (wrapping paper works!)
- A pen
- The Ashton Top pattern, including the Sleeve Expansion Pack (view B)
- Your fabric and matching thread of choice
How to Make a Puffed Sleeve Ashton
First, trace your Ashton straight sleeve pattern piece (view B) onto a spare piece of paper. This step is optional, but it will be helpful if you want to use your original pattern piece again.
Take your newly traced pattern piece and mark:
- The line between the two points that would meet at your armpit. This is often called the crown line, or bicep line.
- The center vertical line of the sleeve, from shoulder to cuff.
Next, measure the vertical midpoint between the horizontal line you’ve drawn and the top of the sleeve (the shoulder). This point is circled in the photo below. Draw a horizontal line, parallel to your crown line. This is where you’ll add height to your sleeve.
Mark two new vertical lines 2.5” (6 cm) from the center line, one on each side. You should have three parallel lines down the sleeve. This will add some billow and room to your sleeve, but feel free to skip this step if you want to keep the width as is.
Once all of your lines are marked, cut each of the vertical lines, and your midpoint horizontal line. This should leave every line cut except for the horizontal crown line.
Lay out all of your pieces onto a new piece of paper.
Measure a 1.5” (4cm) gap between each piece. This will be a 1.5” (4cm) between the crown line and the top of the sleeve horizontally, and three 1.5” (4cm) gaps vertically (a total of 4.5” or 12 cm added to the width). These measurements are all suggestions; you can add more or less width/height depending on your preferences.
Tape the pieces down, and cut around to create your new sleeve pattern.
Cut out your fabric pattern pieces.
Use your preferred gathering method along the top of the sleeve, ending at the crown line on each side.
- For this project I used a long basting stitch, without backstitching on either end.
- Leaving the string tails long I held the stitches on one end and pulled the top string through on the other, creating gathers.
Concentrate the gathers in the center, around the crown or top of the shoulder, and ease through the sides of the sleeve. There should be no gathers near the edges (the armpit area of the sleeve).
Once the gathered sleeve width matches the width of the bodice arm hole, pin or baste the sleeve onto the bodice and try it on. You may want to bring the sleeve in closer to the collar when attaching it to the bodice, to make sure it sits just right.
Sew your sleeve to the bodice according to the Ashton Top instructions. Remove your basting stitches, if visible.
Next you will need to finish the sleeve cuffs. I finished mine by channeling a thin piece of elastic through the hem before closing it up completely, but the options are endless! You can opt for a flowy sleeve hem as usual, or go for a more formal sleeve by adding gathers and attaching a cuff to finish off the look.
Finish the neckline and bottom hem according to the Ashton Top instructions.
There you have it! A flowy spring look that would rival Anne of Green Gables.
- It never hurts to toile! A lot of this process is up to personal preference, so try out a few different sleeve widths and heights to find your perfect fit.
- The stiffer the fabric, the more pronounced the poof!
- This hack will require a little bit more fabric than the Ashton Top recommended amount.