Over the past few months, I’ve seen slouchy tops popping up everywhere. Most of the tops in my closet are slim fitting, so to add a little variety to the mix I took a shot at making this blue slouchy dolman sleeved shirt.
I loved how it turned out, so I made another.
- 1 1/2 yards of knit/stretchy fabric (slightly more or less depending on your size)
- thread in a coordinating color
Step 1. With a measuring tape, measure the length from elbow to elbow, with the measuring tape going behind your head across your neck. Next, measure the distance around your hips and divide that number in half. Lastly, measure the length from the top of your shoulder to your waistband (wherever you want the hem of your top to hit — I made mine a little long so it would bunch at the bottom). Now add one inch to each of those measurements for your seam allowance. (My measurements were 34″ x 18″ x 29″).
Once they’re cut, they should look like this:
Step 3. Now it’s time to cut the neckline. Fold your fabric in half, and cut out a scoop (see photo below). I wanted a boatneck, so my cut was 4 1/2″ across and 2 1/2″ down. You can adjust to your liking. Just keep your seam allowance in mind — your neckline will be roughly 1/4″ bigger than what you cut.
Next, with right sides together, sew up your shoulder seams. (You can choose to do this straight across or at an angle (as shown below with a dotted line). I chose to do an angled seam only so there would be less fabric under my arms when the shirt was complete. It’s up to you.) Trim the extra seam allowance fabric and zigzag the raw edge.*
* I’ve heard many people say they have no desire to sew because they
don’t have a serger, and feel like their clothes will look “homemade”
without one. Yes, a serger will do wonders for your sewing and will make
all your edges look professional, but I do not own a serger (and
probably won’t for many years), and I feel like my handmade clothes can
still look professional. For all my regular seams, I do a straight
stitch, trim the extra seam allowance fabric, and then zigzag the edges.
The look is similar to a serger, and just as effective. Try it.
Step 4. Now it’s time to tackle the neckline. This gets a little lengthy, but is pretty straight forward. Along a folded edge, cut a rectangle that is wide enough to cover your neck hole. (Mine was roughly 11″x 4″).
Now, with right sides together, pin the rectangle to your top, matching up the neck holes. Sew a straight seam (with a 1/4″ s.a.) around the entire hole:
Turn the shirt right side out and press. Then re-pin the neckline and do another 1/4″ straight seam around the entire neckline to hold the lining rectangle in place. Use a slightly longer stitch for this seam, as a shorter stitch will create bunching.
Trim the extra fabric and re-press. Now your top should look like this:
Step 5. Now it’s time for the side seams. (I ended up re-sewing these three or four times until they were exactly to my liking. This orange fabric is a fairly heavy knit, so it didn’t hang as nicely as the blue knit I used for my original dolman shirt. Depending on your fabric, you might have to do some adjusting too. Try it on after each adjustment until you’re happy with it). With right sides together, sew a straight stitch seam from the arm hole to the hemline. Or if you want it more fitted around the middle (like mine), angle your seam for the top half of your seam, then straighten out for the bottom half (as seen below).
Trim your extra seam allowance fabric and zigzag the raw edge. Turn right side out and press.
Step 6. Time for the armbands. Measure the distance around your upper arm where the armband will sit. Then decide how thick you want the armbands (mine were about 3″). Add an inch to each measurement for your seam allowance. On the fabric fold, cut two rectangles with the dimensions you just measured. Mine was 10″x4″.
With right sides together, sew a straight seam along the short side, then trim the excess fabric and zigzag the edges. Turn right side out and press. Your band should look like this:
With right sides together, slip your armband inside of your arm hole, with all the raw edges facing out. Pin together, sew a 1/4″ straight seam, trim the edges, and zigzag. (I left my arm hole slightly (about one inch) bigger than my arm band, and sewed over a few tucks while doing this seam. This creates a little volume in the sleeve. I did not do this on the blue top — you can tell the difference in the two photos at the top of this post).
Turn your top right side out and press. It should now look like this:
Step 7. Try your top on and pin the hemline to your desired length. Hem using a slightly longer stitch than normal to avoid bunching. Press.
Voila! Your new favorite top!
If you have any questions regarding this tutorial, please email me. And if you make this top, email me a photo — I’d love to see! Happy sewing!