Wide Neck Dolman Top Tutorial

Make a dolman sleeve top from a basic shirt pattern

Make a dolman sleeve top from a basic shirt pattern

I decided to split up the tutorial for this shirt and the one for the lace yoke dolman sleeve sweatshirt. I’ll post the lace yoke sweatshirt tutorial immediately after this one.

To make this top, you will need a basic shirt pattern. If you don’t have one, please see this post for how-to instructions. Grab some tracing paper, a pencil, a fashion ruler, and an angle.

The first step is to trace your basic shirt pattern, both the front and the back.

Adjust the neckline however you'd like. I made my neckline wider.

Adjust the neckline however you’d like. I made my neckline wider.

Below is a diagram that I made for you to reference while performing the steps that follow.

Please note that this drawing is just to use as a reference for each of the steps. The lines and angles shown here are not exact. Yours will likely look different.

Please note that this drawing is just to use as a reference for each of the steps. The lines and angles shown here are not exact. Yours will likely look different.

Start with your back pattern piece, and follow the picture tutorial below.

A2B

Mark a point, B, 1/4″ up from the shoulder armhole point, A.

Here's a close-up of the A and B markings.

Here’s a close-up of the A and B markings.

Mark C at the neckline-shoulder point, and connect C to B. Extend out 5" from B to mark point D.

Mark C at the neckline-shoulder point, and connect C to B. Extend out 5″ from B to mark point D.

Mark point E 3/4" straight out from B.

Mark point E 3/4″ straight out from B.

Use your angle to draw a right angle from D 3/4" down to mark F.

Use your angle to draw a right angle from D 3/4″ down to mark F.

Connect E to F and continue the line to mark G. The line from E to G should be equal to your desired sleeve length.

Connect E to F and continue the line to mark G. The line from E to G should be equal to your desired sleeve length.

 

Draw a right angle down from G to H. The G to H line should be 1/2 your sleeve opening plus seam allowance.

Draw a right angle down from G to H. The G to H line should be 1/2 your sleeve opening plus seam allowance.

Mark I at the armhole/side seam junction. Measure 1.5" down, along the side seam, to mark J.

Mark I at the armhole/side seam junction. Measure 1.5″ down, along the side seam, to mark J.

Use your ruler to connect H to J

Use your ruler to connect H to J

Add an even underarm curve from the sleeve to the side seam.

Add an even underarm curve from the sleeve to the side seam.

For the front piece, simply follow the same steps above. Then, adjust the underarm seams so they’re the same length as on the back pattern piece.

Once you’ve completed the pattern pieces, line them up with each other and add placement markings (like the notches on commercial patterns) where necessary. It may also be helpful to add a grain line parallel to the middle front and back.

Cut out the neckline band, hem band and sleeve bands according to the same formula I’ve provided in the previous two tutorials.

Use the finished sleeve opening measurement to determine the length of your sleeve band. Typically, I cut my sleeve bands so that the finished band measurement is 1-2″ smaller than the sleeve opening measurement. This will vary depending on the stretchiness of your material. I think I made mine 1.5″ smaller than the opening. Don’t forget to add seam allowance to both ends of the band because you’re going to stitch the ends together before folding the band under and sewing it to the sleeve opening.

Next, figure out how wide you’d like your sleeve bands to be. Add seam allowance and double that measurement (because you’ll fold the sleeve band before stitching it to the sleeve).

Now, just cut out two bands according to the length and width measurements.

For the hem band and neck band, follow the same guidelines as for the sleeve bands. Sew and finish the band seams, fold them so that the wrong sides are together with raw edges lined up. Press all the bands.

Now, cut your front and back pieces out.

If your material has stripes, make sure to line it up very carefully before cutting.

If your material has stripes, make sure to line it up very carefully before cutting.

Sewing the top together is very simple. Pin your front and back pieces right sides together. Sew and finish the side-sleeve seams and shoulder-sleeve seams. Press all the finished seam allowances toward the back.

Now pin and sew your bands evenly to their corresponding openings, right sides together, stretching to fit. Finish the seam allowances and press the seam allowances away from the bands. Give everything one more nice press, and enjoy your new top.

Copy for sale

Copy for sale

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back

back

Next up, adding a lace yoke to the basic dolman top.

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