DIY Puff Sleeve Off-the-Shoulder Top Out of Pillow Cases (Easy Sewing!)
Updated: May 28, 2020
I've been feeling extra crafty and up for new challenges lately, so when I came across these pillow cases that no longer match my bedroom decor, I thought they'd be fun for a DIY. Here's how to transform pillow cases (yes, pillow cases!) into this puff sleeve, off-the-shoulder top with some simple sewing!
Step 1: Gather Materials
What you'll need:
Elastic (I ended up using thinner elastic than the elastic pictured above)
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Step 2: Crop First Pillow Case
Cut the first pillow case across the bottom to your desired length. Keep in mind that elastic will be added later, so it will ultimately be a couple inches shorter than what you cut.
Step 3: Fold & Clip/Pin
Now it's time to create the folds and openings where the elastic will be inserted later on. Fold the top edge over about an inch or two and clip in place. Cut a small slit at the side of the fold so you can insert the elastic later.
Then cut a strip that's about one inch wide from the excess fabric you previously cut from the bottom of the pillow case, and slip it around the top. Pin it all the way around the middle. Create a small hole or slit for the elastic.
Fold the bottom edge up about an inch and clip in place. Again, cut a slit for the elastic. Note that this is inside out so none of this will be visible once the top is complete.
Step 4: Cut Sleeves
Now take the second pillow case and cut it right up the middle lengthwise to create the two sleeve pieces. Then cut the tops open to create the openings for your arms.
Step 5: Fold & Clip/Pin
Fold the top edges over an inch or two and pin in place to create an opening for elastic. Then cut a few inches up from the bottom diagonally to make the sleeves narrower at the wrist area.
Finally, since the bottom of the pillow case was already folded (two layers), I pinned the center to mark where to sew to create the opening for the wrist elastic. I did this about an inch up from the bottom so the fabric could flare out at the wrist.Again, note that the sleeves are currently inside out.
Step 6: Sew Top
Sew along all clipped, folded edges and both edges of the center strip. Remember to leave enough space for the elastic to fit through!
Step 7: Insert Elastic
Measure strips of elastic that fit around your body at these three points; under your armpits, under your boobs, and around your waist.
Attach a bobby pin, safety pin or paper clip to the end of the first piece of elastic and work it all the way through the top opening and out at the other side. Tie the ends of the elastic in a knot and scrunch the fabric around to hide the knot inside.
Repeat this process to add the elastic to the middle opening and the bottom opening. Then flip the shirt back to the right side and the base of the top is complete!
Step 8: Sew Sleeves
Sew along the top folded edge of each sleeve, remembering to leave enough space for the elastic. Then sew along the side edges. Finally, sew along the pinned areas at the wrist, leaving enough space for elastic.
Step 9: Insert Sleeve Elastic
Measure pieces of elastic that comfortably fit around your upper arms and your wrists (not too tight!). Then insert the elastic into the top opening and bottom opening of each sleeve. Flip it to the right side and your sleeves are now ready!
Step 10: Attach Sleeves
Place the top of the seamed side of each sleeve to the top of the armpit area of the shirt (right sides together) and sew to attach. That's it!
Step 11: Create Matching Choker Necklace (Optional)
If you have enough excess fabric and would like a matching accessory, make a simple choker by cutting a strip that's one or two inches wide and long enough to fit comfortable around your neck. Fold the edges inward and sew along the edge. Then attach velcro dots to the ends.
Step 12: All Done!
You've now successfully created a beautiful puff sleeve, off-the-shoulder top that your friends won't believe used to be pillow cases! Thanks so much for checking out this transformation tutorial. :)
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