These weeks are flying by — somehow it’s time for another round of DIY Friday! Lulu*s sent me this dress a few months ago, and although I totally loved it, I don’t wear sleeveless tops, so it was super annoying to have to wear a jacket or a sweater over it all the time. We’ve been having a crazy heat wave here as well, so layers were completely out of the question.

In an amazing stroke of good luck, I found a similar printed chiffon fabric at the LA fabric district, so I brought it home, lined it with some lightweight white cotton, and whipped up some sleeves for this dress. Now it’s the perfect dress — this silhouette is maybe my favorite ever for my body.

So today I want to show you have to make a simple sleeve to add to a sleeveless dress — it’s so easy! Keep reading to find the tutorial!

lulu*s dress, c/o (no longer available — similar here, here, and here
similar bag
chinese laundry heels
michael kors watch

Find the full tutorial after the jump!


sleeveless dress
matching or similar fabric (or contrasting fabric would be fun too!)
matching thread

1. Find a shirt in your closet with a similar arm hole size as your sleeveless dress, and then use it as a pattern. Lay it flat on the floor on top of pattern paper (you can use parchment paper, medical paper, or just regular paper instead) and cut around the sleeve. 
2. Lay your pattern piece along the folded edge of your fabric and cut around it, adding a 1/2 inch seam allowance. Cut two of these sleeves. 
3. Open the sleeve up and fold the bottom edge over twice and hem. Repeat for the second sleeve. 
4. With right sides together, fold the sleeves in half and sew up the inseam with a straight stitch, as shown. 
5. Turn your dress inside out, and slip the sleeve into the arm hole (right side out), matching up the seams at the armpit. Pin in place. 
6. With the sleeve tucked inside the dress and pinned into place, sew around the arm hole. Repeat steps 5 and 6 for the second sleeve. 
7. Trim and finish your seams (with a zigzag or serged stitch), and press, and you’re done!
*Note: This Lulu*s dress has an irregular arm hole, with the little notch at the collar bone.  I added a point along the curved edge (as shown below) to make it work. Also, because of this, I had to make the sleeve extra wide so it didn’t have any weird bunching or pulling, and then after the sleeves were both attached, I went back and took in the sides and sleeves, as shown in step 2. 
  • Shannon

    I love this so much! As a fellow non-sleeveless dress wearer, I really appreciate the simple tutorial. It was exactly what I needed for a festive Christmas dress I got for a work party that sadly had no sleeves. Also, I like your after dress better than the before! They should really consider adding your version to their shop.