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How to create a short / cap sleeve flounce top

Ann Siegle

Create a short / cap sleeve flounce top by drafting a flounce using around-the-house items!

We're working with a simple, shapely tee shirt using the Travel Trio One Banded Neck Tee. I cut this one 2 sizes up for a slouchy look. This extends the upper shoulder out to a very teeny cap sleeve, but if you want your flounce to sit at the shoulder bone, simply trace off the larger size under the arm to the hem on each side and then cut your usual (if smaller) size around the armsceye and shoulder/neckline. 

  1. Measure around the arm openings from the side seam to the shoulder. Measure both front and back. A tip, turn your tape measure on its side to get an accurate measurement. This is the total circumference of your inner circle on the flounce
  2. I then drafted a flounce using two round plates - a saucer and a salad plate (you could use a saucer and a dinner plate.)  My saucer was 21" around, and my armsceye was 20" so I'll have a 1" overlap at the bottom (or I could choose to cut this off.) 
  3. Trace the larger of the two plates on paper. Then, lay the smaller of the two plates in the center (evenly), and trace that. The distance between inner and outer plates is the width of your flounce, less your seam allowance. 
  4. Cut through one side of your flounce, creating an opening in your circle. Cut the inner circle and the outer one. 
  5. Trace this onto your fabric with marking chalk, soap sliver or kids' chalk. Cut out the loop (looks like a doughnut) with a rotary cutter for a clean edge that won't ravel.
  6. You can choose to open up this flounce and attach it right sides to the armsceye as the pattern directs, treating it as a very tiny sleeve, or you can sew the tee's side and shoulder seams and then apply the flounce, overlapping the bottom edges. If you do this, gently curve the edge to meet the inner flounce, so your overlap is smooth and decorative. 
  7. Serge your flounce on
  8. That's it! 

On this tee, you can choose any neckline finish, including the standard band, a reverse-folded band, or a raw edge band, as I've done on my tee. The raw edge band is simply the standard band turned and stitched with the folded side, leaving the raw edge side up for an edgier look.

Embellish your tee or not! Heat Transfer Vinyl, a reverse applique, fabric paint, shibori or dip-dye, tie-dye or applique, it's up to you!

Here's our how-to video showing how to draw and shape the sleeve flounce:

The pattern we used:

Travel Trio One - 1204
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