Adding Sleeves to Sleeveless Patterns

What are the main differences between a sleeveless tank top versus a top with sleeves? What do you need to do when you want to add a sleeve to a sleeveless pattern?

1. Sleeveless tops usually have a lower armhole depth between 1/4”-1/2”.
2. The shoulder width, “across front” and “across back” is usually smaller on a sleeveless top.
3. The necklines will vary per style.

If you ever wanted to add a sleeve to a sleeveless top, you would need to raise the armhole and fill in the shoulder area.

To create the sleeve, mark a straight line for the center of the sleeve, mark the bicep width plus ease. Then apply the sleeve cap height/width as in the previous videos.

Ensure the sleeve is 1/4”-3/8” larger than the armhole for woven fabrics. Knit fabrics can be the same between armhole and sleeve measurements.

This information and more can be found in The Fitting Book. Order your book today through the link below.

Learn the 3-Step Fitting Process:

A) Identify the Fitting Issue.

B) Pin, Cut, & Tape the Fitting Sample.

C) Correct the Sewing Pattern.

The Fitting Book Includes:




My Secret in Diagonal Draglines


It’s Time to Sew Clothes You Love that Fit.