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Different Types of Sleeves For Women Dresses

Updated on March 28, 2016

Bell Sleeves


Sleeves For Women Dresses

Sleeves are part of fashion styles or a part of designs on clothes in which a garment or a piece of fabric covers the arms. Or simply put, sleeves are fabric holes that make it possible for arms to pass through them.

There are many types of sleeves as well as there are sleeve lengths. The type of sleeve designs differentiate it from another sleeve to give it a unique sleeve name.

Sleeves length are also used to know the type of sleeve a woman wears, for example, 3/4 length sleeves are sleeves that is mid way from the shoulder to elbow and the wrist. 1/4 length sleeves are the type of sleeve that has a length that is mid way from the shoulder down to the biceps and triceps part.

These are some of the different types of women sleeves you can find in any fashion outlets. There are so many types of sleeves. I will briefly highlight just a few of them.

There are puff sleeve, raglan sleeve, set-in sleeve, bishop sleeve, dolman sleeve, cap sleeve, kimono sleeve, bell sleeve, leg of mutton or gigot sleeve among others. Some styles of sleeves are use as part of fashion trends for women's clothes.

Women Fashion Sleeve Styles

Puff Sleeves :

These are sleeves you will notice on many children's dresses, evening dress or wedding garments. Puff sleeves can be short ( 3/4 ) length or long sleeve. These type of sleeve style are normally designed as a gather at the top or bottom of the sleeve.

If you are a dressmaker, puff sleeve is very easy to insert, because the spare fabrics are used to create a love gather at the top of the sleeve joining the armhole.

Raglan Sleeves:

This type of sleeves extend from the arm to the neckline. The raglan sleeves are designed in such a way that it can be a one-piece or a two-piece sleeves. raglan sleeves are made to run diagonally from the armhole seam to the neckline. This is one of my favorite sleeves i love constructing. It looks really pretty and posh on any woman. The type of sleeve you can see on any sport tops or jersey.

Set-in Sleeves:

This sleeve has no puff or gather at the top of the sleeve. It is just a smooth sleeve that is attached to the armhole. For a dressmaker to insert this sleeve will be a bit difficult as there is always spare fabrics left at the top.

Bishop Sleeves:

These are sleeves that are long and are fuller at the bottom of the sleeve than at the top. The bishop sleeves are normally gathered into a neat cuff.

Dolman Sleeves:

Dolman sleeves are long and a bit narrow at the wrist and wide at the top joining the armhole. Dressmakers always do cut dolman sleeve as an extension of the garment and not as a separate sleeve to insert. Dolman sleeves are not sewn to the garment, rather the fabric is cut in such a way that the sleeves are part of the garment.

Cap Sleeves:

Cap sleeves do not go below the armpit level as they are short sleeves. This type of sleeve only cover the shoulder area. This is another sleeve type that i love so much. If sewn rpoperly is very appealing and attractive.

Bell Sleeves:

Bell sleeves do not have any ruffle, but is a flare from elbow to the bottom as the photo above.

Bishop Sleeve

Bishop sleeve is a sleeve that looks full and long as it can be sewn on dresses and blouses. The bishop sleeve is best used with sheer fabrics. The making of these sleeves is not as complicated as the sleeve looks.

Shirt Sleeve

Like all other sleeve type, you will usually find these sleeves on frocks in light weight and blouse. Shirt sleeve is full sleeve and looks simple with long sleeve or short sleeve.

Sleeves Ideas For Dressmakers / Fashion Designers

Sleeves are very important part in any fashion design for clothing styles. A dressmaker should learn a proper way of designing and attaching any sleeve to the armhole. A sleeve should be able to hang properly without any tight pull or wrinkle.

Whatever type of sleeves you decide to design, be sure to insert the sleeve in such a way that the sleeve is facing where you are sitting as you insert it, rather than the armhole facing you and the sleeve facing out. This is a proper way and makes it easy for the dressmaker to sew the sleeve to the armhole.


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    • aslaught profile image

      aslaught 6 years ago from Alabama

      Wow! I wish I had read this article when I was a clothing seller on Ebay! Descriptions in any Ebay ad is so important and I struggled with those descriptions, and clothing sleeves were tough. If I ever go back to selling again, I will definitely refer to this article.