Category Archives: FlutterSleeve

Flutter Sleeve Update

I’ve worn my finished Tank Top with Silhouette Flutter Sleeve  for a full day.  I liked the shoulder coverage and, as I wrote previously, there is a certain joie de vivre about the flutter sleeve; but my glances when passing mirrors and windows  were unsettling i.e. not  seeing the look I wanted.

Upon exiting the laundry process, I decided a change was in order.  The zig-zag stitches used to attach the flutter sleeve were ease to remove.

Before......and .....After
Don't I look slimmer in the after?


I did not open the side seams but simply trimmed the sleeve closely on the public side. The underarm is acceptable for summer, but  just a bit lower than I  like. Unfortunately, there’s no disguising my lower right shoulder since there’s no place for a shoulder pad


Before ................After
If anything, the lower shoulder is more obvious without the sleeve

Otherwise I think the back view is much better without the flutter sleeve.  The SAS did release its death grip and I was able to separate all the hem’s layers and curls.  I added 1″ knit interfacing along the hem’s raw edge.  I like to interface a hem.  I think interfacing adds body and definition but I’ve noticed that I stretch knit hems. For that reason  and the fact the hem is stretchier without interfacing, I’ve eliminated hem interfacing in ITY knits.  I wanted control of the  edge curl,  so I fused the interfacing and (did you guess this?)  I stretched the hem:

Some people may not notice but I see that the hem ripples especially in front. I’ve lived with this before and will just ignore it this time too.  At the very least, I have confirmed that my interfacing application contributes to the fluting of knit garments. I hasten to add, this is probably the result of my application procedure NOT a fault of the interfacing or the fabric. After all, no one else on the Internet seems to be complaining; it must be my problem.

Especially considering I disliked this version so much that I removed the flutter sleeve, will I use the Flutter Sleeve again?   Yes, conditionally.  I’m not sure I followed Peggy’s instructions exactly or even close enough. Also, I think that I may have encountered a proportion issue.  The 9″ width Peggy suggests, fell at unflattering point on my arm for my body.  I don’t know what happened with the length I chose.  Instead of terminating at the waist (as measured), my flutter sleeves finished 4″ lower along the side seam.  I mean, I probably did something wrong from the get-go that created a less-than-flattering garment. Also, while watching Connie Crawford’s videos, I was struck by how she (Connie)adjusted the sleeve length for each of her models.  She pointed out, corrected and made it visibly unmistakable that there is a ‘best’  sleeve length for each person and each sleeve length (short, elbow, or full length).  It’s possible the  Flutter Sleeve would be more attractive had I either followed exactly Peggy’s instructions or achieved correct width and length in proportion to my body. However, I don’t plan on working with these possibilities in the near future. I’m attending two weddings and have a vacation to enjoy in the near future. Plus,  I’m excited to have basic blocks that fit with and without sleeves for knits as well as woven fabrics.  I have 4 pants patterns that fit wonderfully.  I’m eager to work on style variations and embellishments on all of these.  Also, I really want to fit both the kimono and raglan sleeve styles.   I love those styles and look forward to including them once again in my wardrobe.  I have some exciting-to-me sewing I’m looking forward to. Flutter sleeves are kind of low on the priority list.




Silhouette Patterns Flutter Sleeve

In mid_March, Peggy Saggers posted an update broadcast with more ideas for adapting Tank tops. Now, of course, Peggy was using her pattern #500 but she said these changes could be made to any tank top.  The point is to start with your fitted tank. Which I did, although mine is developed from Connie Crawfords 1201 basic bodices pattern. I’m quite happy with my sleeveless sloper for moderate-stretch knits; and ever since I saw Peggy’s broadcast had wanted to make the adorable Flutter Sleeve.  I watched the broadcast live in March (1st Viewing). In prep for todays garment, I  watched again about a week ago (2nd Viewing).  Just to be sure I started right, I watched the video a 3rd time the night before.  Let’s just say, either something went missing in the translation or I flat didn’t understand because this turned out to not be one of my favorites.

I developed the sleeve pattern as follows:


Green arrow is the measurement from the waist on my pattern to the shoulder on my pattern.

Orange arrow, the 9″ Peggy specified as the width of the sleeve

Purple arrow joins the 9″ to beginning point on the green arrow.

Peggy instructs adding a seam allowance along the 9″ shoulder edge. Why?  Surely I’m not aligning the shoulders and then stitching through all 4 layers.  Not only would that be bulky but then how do I finish the armscye. So it must be for joining two of the triangles together to form the sleeve. I have more than enough fabric to cut the sleeve as one piece. So I didn’t add the seam allowance but place the “shoulder” along a fold and cut; then repeat; creating my two flutter sleeves vs 4 half flutters that needed to be stitched together.  Voila:

I didn’t like the idea of a sleeve with such a point. So I rounded it:

I really don’t like raw edges and so further smoothed the point at the serger  when I did a 2-thread flat-edge along all edges.

I wanted to make changes to the armscye and neckline of my knit sloper. I didn’t want to permanently change my sloper, but I knew I would want to sew tank tops with a certain style over and over.  So I copied my knit sloper; moved the vertical darts to side seams and center back (again);  moved the armscye dart and added a center back seam.  I’ve done this 3 times so far.   I don’t even need to think about it. The process of cutting a copy and making these changes took 8 minutes — including the time needed to find where I put the original knit sloper.  Then I measured down from the shoulder point 8″ and over 1″.  Got out my curve and drew a new neckline. Finally I made tick marks 1″ deep all around the back and front armscyes and trimmed out both the neckline and new armscyes.  I serged the shoulders together. Finished neckline with a 3/4″ binding. Finished armscyes with a 1″ strip applied as a flat binding.  30 minutes, tops. Like Peggy says, when the fitting is all done changes are fairly easy and sewing is quick.

I struggled, yep struggled with applying the sleeve to the bodice. Most patterns would provide a guide line. Peggy says just to align and stitch. The sides were too long. Instead of ending at my waist, I finally settled them just below my hip bone. I had to pin the flutter sleeves to the bodice using my dress form.   I hate using pins but I was not otherwise getting the sleeves nicely positioned on the bodice and symmetrical.   I’m still not sure they are symmetrically positioned but they are attached with a large zig zag.  If I get up the courage I can remove them, yet again (4th time).

My serger had not liked this ITY after several adjustments I left the stitch length a 3 to create a nice edge. When I zig zagged to attach the sleeve, that nice edge is rumpled and ugly-looking.

There is also a lump on each side seam.

Peggy says to attach in the side seam. My side seam is 1/2″. I serge finish the edges and then baste the side seam at 1/2″ before checking fit. When I’m satisfied with fit, I stitch the side seams permanently. My way, 1/2″ seam allowances, gives me flexibility to adjust fit if the next knit doesn’t have as much stretch.  But it also meant stitching over a much wider part of the Flutter Sleeves’ points; and thus the lump in the side seams.

…And for some reason my SAS decided to roll and stick to itself instead of my ITY fabric. I have not finished the hem because it too is lumpy.

Perhaps a time or two through the wash cycle will loosen the entire hem and I can try again. (I’m thinking that the increased humidity may have caused the SAS to soften.)


Will I attempt this flutter sleeve again?  Doubtful.  It does have a certain  joie de vivre, but it’s very distinctive.

And while Peggys version was adorable mine is not.   Mine is just, Okay. It maybe the choice of fabric, print or just that I didn’t get the instructions right.

I do like the neckline and armscye changes I made. Although you can’t see the armscyes, they are now typical Tank Top. Neckline could be a little lower, but is definitely modest while still allowing for some air flow.