Something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time is make a dolman sleeve top. After several false starts, I finished one.I liked it so much, I made a second one. This time with long sleeves and a neck band.I’ve seen tutorials for altered Tee shirts to dolman sleeves and have thought that I ought to try. I even have a Tee to try it with. When it came down to it though, I didn’t like the shoulder line on my Tee and decided against using it. I did have a length of cotton interlock in my stash that would be perfect for testing out a dolman pattern. The tutorials I’ve seen use an existing top, either a dolman sleeve or regular Tee. Since I have a Tee pattern that I like, I used it as my starting point instead.
All I did was line up the top of the sleeve cap seamline with the bodice shoulder seamline. The sleeve can angle down some or it can be a straight extension of the shoulder line. I chose to make it straight with the shoulder because I wanted more range of motion in the sleeve. This of course makes for more excess fabric in the underarm area. It’s a trade off, otherwise known as a design choice.
To make my pattern, I placed the center back seam of the Tee pattern along the edge of some paper. Rather than make a full pattern, this one will have a foldline on the center front and back. The sleeve of the original pattern was folded along the center and lined up at the shoulder seam. Notice how the shoulder seam on the bodice already has a seam allowance and the sleeve portion will need one to be added to it. That’s why they don’t match up exactly. I’ve also drawn a new underarm curve for the dolman seam. I used this same pattern piece for both the front and the back for the first top. That’s it. It’s a simple pattern to sew, too.