The Ultimate Cheat Sheet on Types of Sleeves With Pictures
Sleeves play an essential role in any clothing. It is the first thing anyone will notice in your dress so, they should be stitched in a way to give you more comfort.
Over time, sleeves have evolved in styles and types. At one moment, sleeves disappeared from fashion, but they have come back in the trend with more demand.
Image Source: Pinterest
Sleeves are intended to cover and protect one’s arms and shoulders. It helps in providing the required warmth to the body.
Different types of sleeves added to the dress can create different movements and structures to the entire clothing. Different sleeve styles and patterns can transform your average-looking outfit into a modern dress.
Table of Contents
2 Basic Types of Sleeves on Dresses
Sleeves are an essential part of any garment. Different types of sleeves are stitched to perform a practical function—to cover and protect arms and shoulders. Each type of sleeve on dresses has its unique functionality and beauty.
Adding a piece of cloth can entirely change the overall look of your dress. A true fashionista should understand the basic types of sleeves so that you can make variants based on them. The sleeves can be attached or a separate sew-in sleeve.
The attached sleeves are cut and sewn from a single fabric so that they become easy to set on the clothes. These types of sleeves on dresses are added to the bodice part and joined at the seams. The seams are attached and aim to match up with the armhole to fit in a proper way.
Image Source: Cherry Tree Country Clothing
Make sure to set the patterns in the right way, and it fits your body. These sorts of sleeves give a more fitted look on the armhole than any other type of sleeves.
10 Different Types of Sleeves You Will Find on Every Outfit
Different types of sleeves can be sewed on dresses, and all are worthy (Read best sewing tips and tricks for smooth sleeve stitching). Sometimes different types of sleeve designs are combined with others to create unique sleeve styles.
Sleeves can be made from any type of clothes, and they can be long or short. Here is a simple guide on different types of sleeves that you can consider for your next garment.
Image Source: Pinterest
Angel sleeves look like an angel wing as they are long, wide sleeves. These sleeves reach the wrist with a broader asymmetric pattern. They are suitable for traditional types of wedding dresses and long gowns. Angel Sleeves look best when they are made from lace and sheer sewing fabrics.
As the name suggests, Bell sleeves run down the wrist and create a bell shape or effect. They are also known as Peasant or Trumpet sleeves. Bell sleeves can be either long or short sleeves.
They can give a bohemian vibe (with different types of corsets) and help you create a soft feminine effect on the garment.
Dolman Sleeves (Batwing)
Image Source: Pinterest
Dolman is another type of sleeve that looks like a bat’s wing. It comes with a deep armhole, and it gets narrow at the end of the wrist. These sleeves have become popular in the fashion industry. It is also known as Batwing sleeves because of their look.
Dolman sleeves are the type of attached sleeves that are cut all as a single piece and attached to the bodice. If anyone is looking to stitch this type of sleeve, they will need a lot of sheer fabric and a seam that runs down the center back of the garment.
Cap sleeves are short sleeves that only give coverage to your shoulder and top of the arm. They are fitted and flattering types of the sleeve. Cap sleeves can often be stitched as separate shaped pieces or joined to the bodice to create an attached sleeve.
They can be found in different types of crop tops, Indian or western dresses, and saree blouses.
Cuff sleeves are found in most types of shirts for women. They are the longer version of t-shirt sleeves and are known as rolled-up sleeves. The cuff is placed at the end of the sleeve along with a button to keep the sleeve close and neat. Cuff sleeves are ideal for knit shirts.
Image Source: Clothing Patterns 101
Flutter sleeves are also known as circle sleeves. They give a feminine look with soft flowing fabric such as organza. These types of sleeves are cut in a circle shape and have a lot of flares. The number of flares depends on how much fabric you gather.
Flutter sleeves can be found in different types of sleeve lengths, and they are ideal for some summer dresses. When stitching with the bodice, flutter sleeves can give you a more appealing look.
Image Source: Pinterest
Frill sleeves are sometimes known as flute sleeves as it adds volume and layers. The sleeve’s top part is ruffled or gathered but with less volume to give it a more feminine look. The type of fabric used in making these sleeves determine how much gathering is used on the sleeve.
There are few variants of these types of sleeves (learn more about easy beginner sewing projects). It can be big and bold or billowy and soft. In this sleeve type, a frill can be added in three-quarters to give you extra glamour.
Kimono sleeves are another types of sleeves that were inspired by the traditional dresses of Japan. They are wide long sleeves that have loose-fitting. It is made from one piece and attached with the garment’s bodice, and not sewn on a separate basis.
The garment will have an oversized armhole since the width of the sleeves is bigger. Kimono sleeves are comfortable types of sleeves on tops, dresses, blouses, and robes. These sleeves give a sense of style and tradition to your outfit.
Image Source: PatternLab
The Lantern sleeves are another set-in type of sleeves. They are often created on an outfit with a drop shoulder. These sleeves can be sewn in long or short length, or some dresses also come with 3/4th length.
Lantern sleeves are pretty opposite of Julian sleeves. They are flared out from the top and then go down below the elbow. The bottom section gathered again into a cuff/seam at the wrist.
These types of sleeves have more volume at the top part and give your arm a slimmer look. If you have narrow types of necklines and shoulders, you can opt for lantern sleeves. They can give you a bulkier look. These sleeves are often found in jackets and some types of sweaters.
Raglan sleeves are the most common types of sleeves that are extended from the neckline instead of the shoulder. It has a seam that runs diagonally from the shoulder to the armhole.
Raglan sleeves are comfortable sleeves that can be fitted on any body type. They are found in types of t-shirts, tops, and fitted dresses.
Types of Long Sleeves – Try These Super Trendy Seven Styles
Long sleeves have become popular with formal and professional wear. They are intended to give a smart look that cannot be achieved from any other sleeves. You can wear them full-length in winters or simply roll them up in summers. They give a dignified appearance to both men and women.
There are different types of long sleeves designers opt to upscale the entire look of the outfit. They also keep hand tags to personalize it. Here they are.
Image Source: Pinterest
Long-fitted sleeves are back in demand. Fashion enthusiasts have got crazy about these types of long sleeves. These sleeves are often loose around the armhole and reach up to the wrist with tight-fitting.
Long-fitted sleeves look stylish and trendy, so everyone is looking to have a stylish dress with these types of sleeves. If you want a more vibrant look, then go for this sleeve. Consider long, nice fitted sleeves for a cocktail dress, party dress, or clubbing dress.
Bishop sleeves are another long-length sleeve that you would love to have in your wardrobe. This sleeve comes with a fitted elbow and a wide opening at the wrist. The sleeves are gathered near the wrist part and have the support of a cuff, button, or facing.
Wearing a satin or velvet outfit with bishop sleeves can give you a more classy look. They are ideal for any holiday occasion. One can customize these long-length sleeves as per your specific needs.
Image Source: Fashion Sizzle
Similar to raglan, peasant sleeves are full-length sleeves that add another level to your simple outfit. These are fitted sleeves that come with a shoulder puff. They are gathered around the wrist using elastic.
They are seen in many cultures such as Russian, Hungarian, Roma, Mexican, Greek, etc. It gives you a vintage and rustic appearance along with a bohemian vibe.
Flounce sleeves are popular in the fashion industry, and if you’re the one who keeps trendy clothes, a top with flounce sleeves should be found in your wardrobe. Flounce sleeves are the best combination of the 3/4th sleeves and circle-shaped fabric.
They look like a circular sleeve, enhancing the beauty of your arms, and upscaling the entire look. Flounce sleeves are ideal for a dinner party, small outing, or casual party.
Pick the right color of dress for this sleeve type, and you’re ready to catch more eyeballs on the next occasion.
Long Bell Sleeves
Image Source: Her Style Code
Long bell sleeves came to France in 1500, and since then, they became popular in the late 19s. They were warmly welcomed by many Bollywood celebrities. Over time, long bell types of sleeves have evolved, and designers have come up with better styles and designs to give a beautiful look to outfits.
These types of bell sleeves are set-in types of sleeves that are airy and breathable. They are comfortable sleeve types and ideal for some casual programs. You can have these sleeves in your collection without spending much money.
Leg-O-Mutton is also known as gigot sleeves. These sleeves were introduced in the 1820s and became popular for their unique design. Leg-O-mutton sleeves are made from a gathering of lots of cloth at the top of the arm area to give it an ample look.
It further becomes tighter from the arm and reaches to the wrist, making a triangular appearance. Even though the sleeves are puffed from the shoulder, it is fitted at the wrist area and gives a sexy look to your outfit.
Image Source: Kresent
Virago sleeves were famous in Western Europe at the beginning of the 1700s. They are more of a vintage style, and if you’re someone who loves a vintage look, they should have a top with virago sleeves in your closet.
They are a set-in sleeve stitched with a couple of cloth strips and puffs gathered by ribbons. Different types of puffed sleeves are placed around the elbow to give your arm a nice, fluffy look. You can also get embroidered style strips in virago sleeves.
6 Types of Short Sleeves That Are Always in Trends
Short sleeves are often known as regular sleeves. Different types of short sleeves are designed to enhance the look of the outfit. Short sleeves are the types of shirt sleeves that can be used in t-shirts, shirts, and tops. Here is a short guide on types of sleeves images that you can use to upscale your look.
Plain Short Sleeves
Image Source: Pinterest
These short sleeves can be stitched as per your taste in fabric and style. Plain sleeves are typical set-in sleeves designed for saree blouses. They do not have any puff effect at the top edge or lower. One can create multiple variants of plain short sleeves and can customize it as per the need.
Different plain sleeves are used in the market, so make sure you consider the outfit with the most comfortable short sleeves.
Petal Sleeves or Lapped Sleeves
Different types of short sleeves are available in the industry, but petal sleeves have a different style. The name of the sleeve derives from the look it creates. They looks like the Tulips petals.
Petal sleeves are another types of set-in sleeves that are made from a single seam design. They are used in Indian dresses and blouses. These short sleeves were first introduced in the late 40s to give an eye-rolling glamour to outfits. Some advanced sewing techniques are required to make petal sleeves.
Image Source: Vogue
Puff sleeves are short sleeves that are gathered to style like a puff of fabric. They offer a traditional yet modern look that can increase the beauty of any outfit. Puff sleeves are another great addition to your wardrobe as they are comfortable to wear.
It is designed by gathering fabrics on the top and bottom part but has a puff effect on the middle area to give it a fluffy look. These types of short sleeves are found in girl dresses.
Roll-up sleeves are a common type of sleeve. They are designed in a way that forms a rolled-up short sleeve, so you don’t need to roll up it. Any dress that has to roll up sleeves offers a unique, smart look. They can be found in saree blouses and dresses.
Adding rolled-up short sleeves to your casual wear is another excellent option. Customize roll-up sleeves (you can also use woven labels and care labels) as per your needs and wear them at dinner parties, club parties, etc.
Image Source: Peppermint Magazine
If you’re looking to add volume and layers to the sleeve extension and shoulder area, look no further than ruffled sleeves. A tiny fabric is placed on the edge and extended to the outfit to give a ruffled look.
The type of fabric used to design these short sleeves shows the amount of gathering used in the sleeve. A lightweight type of fabric is utilized to design ruffle sleeve outfits. Turn your regular t-shirt into a trendy outfit by adding a ruffled sleeve.
Image Source: Pinterest
Cape sleeves are a common type of short sleeves used in jumpsuits. They are set-in, short sleeves that hang on your shoulder’s edge and allow your arms to get proper air. These sleeves are added in dresses, blouses, etc. since they are comfortable.
You can also customize the sleeve design according to your unique needs. The entire look will be much more beautiful than you can ever imagine.
5 Latest Types of Blouse Sleeves to Upscale Your Traditional Look
Saree is the best traditional attire that suits any woman. When you think of a saree, the first thing that comes to mind is the blouse. A well-designed and stitched blouse upscales your saree look and attracts more eyeballs.
Blouses designed with different types of sleeves for dresses are trending among women. Gone are the days when women styled blouses with the typical sleeve design. An extra effort put into designing the eye-catching sleeves can add a wow factor to your overall appearance.
Here are the five latest blouse sleeves that you should ask your tailor to sew for you.
Simple 3/4th Sleeve Blouse
Image Source: Weddingsonly
3/4th sleeve with a boat neck creates a classy and elegant look. They give an illusion of a lean figure. That’s why most women opt for this sleeve type. The elegant and sexy look you get from simple 3/4th sleeves can enhance your overall look.
Make sure you style it with the right embroidery or choose a patch border to give it a more sexy look. Steal the limelight with quarter sleeves.
Raglan Plain Sleeves Blouse
If you want to continue your desi swag, then choose raglan plain sleeves for the blouse. These types of blouse sleeves are ideal for a woman with a broad shoulder. This unique arm pattern will help you grab attention from the crowd.
Choose beautiful oxidized jewelry and pair it with stylish accessories to enhance your look.
Full Sleeves With Embroidery blouse
Image Source: Keep Me Stylish
Full sleeves are ideal for a petite and plump look. These blouse sleeves are stunning. There are fewer variants of these types of women’s sleeves, but women with dignity and high intellect always go for full-sleeve blouses.
These beautiful embroidery-styled blouses protect your arm from sunlight. Get trendy and fashionable sleeves and say no to summer tan.
Sassy Cape Style
A unique blouse style flaunted by many celebrities can be yours now. Sassy Cape sleeve blouses have an extra layer of fabric that starts from your shoulder and ends around the elbow area.
Make sure you have an experienced tailor to stitch these types of sleeves in your blouse. Get ready to flaunt your beautiful features just like Bollywood divas do.
Full Sleeve with Slit
Are you looking for something more stylish in your blouse? Opt for stylish full-sleeves with a slit. The sleeves are cut at the center ranging from shoulder to your wrist area in these types of blouse sleeves.
These celebrity-inspired blouse sleeves are back in trend, so try it and grab many eyeballs at the party.
3 Types of Puff Sleeves
The puffed sleeves have their own old charm, and they look adorable. They are another type of short sleeves that have added fullness to the sleeve area. Different types of puff sleeves are designed to bring a perfect balance to your broad hips and body shape. The three popular puff sleeves are as follows:
Image Source: Helen near sydney
Puff Sleeves With the Fullness at the Top and Bottom
To know how to sew these types of puffy sleeve, you need a normal sleeve pattern as per your needs. Fold it from the center and keep it under a bigger pattern by folding it in a half measure. Add a paper or newspaper to support the pattern.
Add the inches you require and draw one side of the pattern and then open up the paper. Now, draw the other side of the pattern. In the end, you will have extra fabric with you which you can use to fit into the armscye. Now, fold the hem at the other side of the sleeve for the elastic casing.
Puff Sleeves With Fullness at the Top
In this type of puff sleeve, the new sleeve line doesn’t go parallel with the original pattern. It extends to the “stretch” area, and the extra fabric can be used to create more volume.
Puff Sleeves With Fullness at the Bottom
Image Source: Puffed Sleeves
Bell-shaped sleeves are sewn in a similar way. This sleeve creates a comfortable position as it hangs freely and has soft folds.
The sky is the limit when it comes to talking about the different types of sleeves. A well-stitched outfit will also fail if it doesn’t have appealing sleeve styles. The above-listed types of sleeves women can adopt to transform your simple-looking dress into an eye-appealing, modern outfit.
One can learn to sew these basic patterns and then add your own thoughts into it and make it a different, unique sleeve type for your garment (Check these 35 intermediate sewing projects for more inspiration).
You don’t have to be an expert to make different sleeve types. Just keep some sewing techniques in mind and start your work. Choose the best fabric, sewing threads (Read more about the best sewing threads types and tricks), match the ideal sleeve type, and start creating the best outfit for your next occasion.
Choose fashion types of sleeves according to the dress style you’re looking to create. Some sleeves suit on western dresses, while others are best suited on traditional outfits. Start adding fun to your regular boring outfit.