Flounce sleeve : 3 main types

Information about the different types of flounce sleeves, and how to sew them easily and incorporate them into different outfits.

Why should you be behind when everyone is wearing one exaggerated sleeve after the other? And if you have a flounce sleeve on your dress, you have one, and a pretty one at that, without the extra fullness of the usual eye-catching sleeves. 

flounce sleeve

What is a flounce sleeve?

A flounce sleeve is a very feminine and cute sleeve with a flounce at the end of the sleeve edge. It is a fitted sleeve with a circular ruffle at the hem of the sleeve.

There are many types of flounce sleeves. 

  1. A full very flared, flounce sleeve
  2. Gathered flounce sleeve
  3. A less flared flounce sleeve.
  4.  Another type of flounce sleeve is made fully out of flounces – the flounces are used to make specially shaped exaggerated sleeves. Rose shaped flounce sleeves are the most popular.

This is a popular sleeve on casual tops and also on dresses, both for kids and adults.

The reason that I love a flounce sleeve is that it can make the rest of my arm look thinner. It is a flattering sleeve style in my opinion (maybe not for those with a prominent belly as the sleeve may give a feeling of width there). And gives a slightly more dramatic effect than the regular sleeve, along with a feminine vibe to the plainest of clothes. 

How to sew a flounce sleeve

The flared flounce sleeve

This is assuming that you already have the sleeve cut and sewn. If you want a pattern for a sleeve check this post.

Measure the edge of the sleeve hem – this will be used to cut out the flounce.

sleeve edge.

Cut out one 16 inch square fabric piece. This has given me a 7 inch long flounce. 

16 inch square fabric for the floince sleeve.

Fold the fabric for the flounce by the middle.

Fold the fabric for the sleeve by the middle

Fold the fabric again by the middle.

Mark the following measurements on the folded fabric.

Divide the sleeve edge measurement by 6. From this, minus 1/4″ . Mark this as A-B from the corner of the folded fabric. 

Mark the length of the flounce at B-C. Cut the flounce out. 

Open up the fabric piece to get this donut shape.

flounce sleeve

This is the flounce that you will be sewing on to the edge of the sleeve.

Place the sleeve right side out in front of you. Now, Keep the flounce and the sleeve edge rightsides together. Sew the edges together with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

When you turn the flounce, this is how it will look. A very good flared flounce sleeve.

flounce sleeve with very good flare.

A frilly flounce sleeve

This can be made by increasing the width of the inner circle of the flounce. For making this sleeve you have take the sleeve edge measurement plus a few inches extra. This will make sure that the inner edge of the flounce fabric is wider than the sleeve edge.

When you take measurement like that, the inner edge of the flounce will be wider than the sleeve edge.

Now, you will have to gather the edge to make it fit the sleeve edge. Use a hand sewing  needle and thread to make running stitches along the edge to gather to fit.


Now stitch it to the sleeve edge.

The sleeve will look like this.

Regular flounce sleeve

For a subtle flounce sleeve you will have to follow a different set of instructions. 

Cut out 2 square fabric pieces of measurement equalling the length of the sleeve plus 1/4 of the sleeve edge.

From the corner mark A- B = 1/4 of the sleeve edge plus 1″. B-C = the length of the flounce plus 1/2 inch extra. 

You get two pieces like this.


Join the sides of the flounce pieces.

Sew this to the sleeve edge.

Fabric for flounce sleeve

Even if the sleeve is made of a stiff or thick fabric, the flounce attached to the sleeve should be drapey for it to look good. Flounces are best made in a flowy fabric like chiffon, crepe, soft silks or even light organza. If your top or dress is to be made of lace, the same lace can be used to make the flouncy sleeve. 

Photo of author
Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.

1 thought on “Flounce sleeve : 3 main types”

Your opinion is important. Leave a comment