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Off the Shoulder Flutter Sleeve Sewing Pattern (for ladies, sz s- xl)

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I hope you’ll love this Off The Shoulder Top sewing pattern for Women as much as I do!  

With the flowy fit and pretty little flutter sleeves, the top is so perfect for summer.  The PDF pattern is free for you and available for download in Ladies sizes-small, medium, large, and extra-large.

Off The Shoulder Top Sewing Pattern for Women. This free pdf pattern come in sizes Small through Extra Large.

Cold shoulder / off the shoulder tops

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m loving the cold shoulder and off the shoulder trend right now.  

I have several styles of these tops in my closet right now and have been wanting to try my hand at sewing one. Some are the tops are more of a blouse-style with slits down the sleeve or raglan t-shirt style with the top half of the shoulders cut off and others are peasant style, with shirring around the neck, so the top can be worn on or off the shoulder.

I was shopping online and came across this bandeau style off the shoulder top. It looked so cute on the model and was very inexpensive, so I had to order it. The top came and I liked the idea of it, but the fit was terrible and the fabric was not great either.  

The design of the top was so simple, I knew I could adapt the idea and design it to fit better.

So I did!

Off The Shoulder Top Sewing Pattern for Women. This free pdf pattern come in sizes Small through Extra Large.

What I love most about his pattern.

  • I love that you get the look of ruffles, without adding a big bulky ruffle right across the chest. (I’ve tried on so many ruffle tops like that and I still have not found one that is flattering, lol)
  • I drafted a pattern for women in sizes small through xl.  I had a hard time calculating the elastic cut sizes, especially for the arms.  We’re all so different and everyone carries their weight in different areas, so I decided to leave out the elastic measurements and included instructions for taking your own arm and chest measurements for a custom fit on the elastic.  (So whether your upper arm is fit and trim or a bit flabby, you can customize the fit of the sleeve for your most flattering look!)
  • The style of this top is very easy, but I would consider the skill level needed more of an advanced beginner, only because it can be tricky applying the elastic to the sleeves and bodice.

FYI, I am wearing a medium.

Off The Shoulder Top Sewing Pattern for Women. This free pdf pattern come in sizes Small through Extra Large.

Fabric Suggestions:

While working on the pattern, I made this top from a few different kinds of fabrics.  The first was a slinky, stretchy knit (I do love how this one looked on me) but the slippery stretch knit was difficult to work with.  The second top was made with a gauze fabric, which also worked well for the pattern and was a snap to sew.  (I took a couple of quick phone pictures of how my two samples looked.  They are test versions and are unfinished/unhemmed, but I uploaded a photo for you to see here.  The gauze was the purple/turquoise.)

The fabric used in the top I’m showcasing in this post is a lightweight faux-polyester silk.  The fabric is flowy and has a bit of body; I think it complements the style well and a bonus feature of the fabric is that it holds a press.  (The fabric came from the seasonal section at hobby lobby and I could not find a link for it.)

Ready to sew this top?

Get the pattern here scroll down for the sewing instructions.

Off The Shoulder Top Sewing Pattern for Women. This free pdf pattern come in sizes Small through Extra Large.

(The cat is saying “pet me!”)  I can’t wait to make a version for little girls! So stay tuned for that tutorial…  (Update: See the girl’s version here.)

Products used and Recommended:

  1. My favorite fabric shop for knits:  Funkalicious Fabrics and Girl Charlee. My favorite shop for cottons and other fabrics: Fabric.com.
  2. My Sewing Machine: SINGER 9960 Quantum Stylist, my coverstitch: Janome Cover Pro 1000cpx
  3. My Serger: Brother 1034D 3 or 4 Thread Serger or you can just use Pinking Shears
  4. Rotary Cutter
  5. I love my large ruler and large cutting mat, but you may prefer to start off with a smaller Cutting set
  6. Dritz Dual Purpose Marking Pen and Fray Check
  7. Wonder clips (I didn’t use these in the post, but they are just awesome!

Materials needed:

  • fabric (up t0 1 3/4 yard for the xl on a 44 inch wide fabric )
  • pattern
  • 1/2 inch elastic
  • iron
  • binder clip or wonder clips
  • basic sewing supplies

Pattern Tips:

  • 3/8 inch seam allowance
  • Light, flowy fabrics recommended (rayon, knits, voile, polyester/silk type fabrics)
  • Top is designed to hit at the hip.  To shorten or lengthen, cut pattern at waist level and redraw side seam.

Fit Chart:

Off the Shoulder Flutter Sleeve Top Pattern Sewing Instructions

Step 1. Print pattern, tape together and cut out size needed.

Step 2.  Cut pattern pieces from fabric

Fold fabric in half and cut two sleeves and a front and back bodice piece.

Step 3.  Measure for elastic.

Measure around your chest, just under armpits.  Multiply the chest measurement by .875 and add 1 inch to that number.

This is the length of elastic needed for the top of bodice. Cut one piece of elastic to that measurement and then cut the elastic into two equal pieces.  (You are cutting the elastic into two pieces because we apply it to the front and back separately.)

Measure around the top of the bicep.  (Not too loose/not too tightly.)  If you have a squishy upper arm like me, add .25 inches to your arm measurement for comfort and a more flattering fit.

This number is your arm elastic measurement.  Cut two pieces of elastic to your measurement (one for each sleeve.)

Step 4.  Hem the Sleeves.

Hem the bottom of the sleeves, by folding over 1/4 inch, pressing with the iron, folding over another 1/4th inch, press again and stitch.

Step 5.  Adding elastic to sleeves.

If working with fabric that frays, you will need to “finish” the top edge of the sleeve.  You can finish the edge with a serger, zig zag stitch or fold the edge over 1/4 inch and press with iron.  (If your fabric has difficulty holding a pressed edge, using fabric starch will help.)

Divide inner/top side of the sleeve into four equal sections, mark the sections with fabric marker or pins.

Divide sleeve elastic into four equal sections and mark them.  Pin the elastic and top edge of the sleeve together at the marks.

Stitch the elastic to the sleeve with a long wide zig-zag stitch, stretching as you go.

Change the machine stitch to a long straight stitch.  Fold elastic edge over and carefully sew along the edge of the elastic, stretching the elastic as you go. (You will be sewing through the elastic.)

(Note: I forgot to hem the sleeve before adding the elastic, I quickly realized it would have been easier to hem first, so don’t forget!)

Step 6: Adding elastic to front and back bodice.

Follow the exact same steps as above for the front and back bodice piece.  (Finish the top edge, divide elastic and fabric in fourths, attach elastic with zig zag, fold elastic over and sew elastic down with a long straight stitch.)

Step 7: Assembling bodice and sleeves.

Line up sides of bodice top and bottom, right sides together.

Fold sleeve in half wrong sides together.

Insert sleeve in between bodice top and bottom.

We want to baste a sleeve edge to the front bodice and the other sleeve edge to the back bodice.

Pin sleeve and bodice together and sew a basting stitch through the elastic, down to the bottom of the sleeve, 1/4 inch from the edge.

Use a binder clip or a wonder clip to hold all four layers in place.  Sew bodice together at sides, from top to bottom with a 3/8 inch seam allowance.  Go slowly through the elastic to keep layers from shifting.

Trim any ragged edges

Finish the side seam with a serger or zig-zag stitch on your sewing machine.

Repeat for opposite side.

Step 8. Hem the bodice.

Hem the bottom of the bodice by folding over 1/4 inch, pressing with iron, folding over another 1/4th inch, press again and stitch.

You are done!  Time to show off your work.

Off The Shoulder Top Sewing Pattern for Women. This free pdf pattern come in sizes Small through Extra Large.

Don’t forget, if you end up sewing one of these tops, please come back and share a photo of your finished project on my Facebook page or tag me on Instagram (@scatteredmom) with #scatteredmompatterns!

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  1. Carole Halé says:

    Am I the only person in the world who doesn’t understand this pattern? After sewing the elastic on to the front and back the the two sleeves I just don’t understand the instructions. I keep looking at the relevant photos and still don’t get it.

  2. I have a question, when you print the pattern, will your whole A4 paper be covered from edge to edge with the pattern or is there a border left on the paper?
    Somehow because I have a very new printer, I am not allowed to print pdf directly from adobe acrobat reader and need another app for this. So now I am wondering if my printer printed the pattern correctly

    1. Jamie Sanders says:

      Hi, does that pattern have a 1-inch measurement box? ( I don’t have the pattern in front of me and a few of my older patterns don’t have that measurement.) If it does and the Box measures 1 inch. You are good to go. Also the pattern diagram on each page is surrounded by a gray outline. That Gray Box is equal to 7 and 1/2 by 10 inches.

  3. Love this. It’s my favorite shirt. Gonna make more

  4. Brenda Douglas says:

    I have just finished my second raglan sleeve t-shirt. Love it, and other than an expansion ? and lengthening it to go with leggings, It fits great. Tried to show a picture but have no idea how. Thanks for your patterns. My grand daughter was thrilled with her dress as well.
    Great patterns.

  5. Chelle Chapman says:

    Lordy Jamie, If I was built like you I’d wear that outfit EVERY day!!! I love this top but SEW wish my bottom looked more like yours!!!! Thank you SEW much for the tute!!!

    1. Thank you! It’s funny, I used to hate my legs, (I was a major athlete til my early 20’s and they were bulky and full of muscle.) They’ve slimmed down over the years and now, paired with heels, they’re my favorite feature.

  6. The top is really beautiful, I should try it out! I love your tote bag too 🙂