MN2102 Banksia / Sewalongs

Banksia Sewalong: Lengthening the sleeve

I really wanted to include this as part of the sewalong as it’s such an easy alteration to the Banksia, and makes such a cute winter top! Remember this pretty blouse from my last collection? Well, this sleeve plus the Banksia pattern will get you there! Let’s chat through how to lengthen the sleeve.

I have to admit, sometimes I like this long-sleeved version of Banksia even more than the original hehe.

Ready to go?

First, we’ll start with the Banksia sleeve in your chosen size. How long you want your sleeve to be will depend on how long your arms are. Basically, you want to figure out the finished length of your long sleeve based on your favourite long-sleeve top. For me that was 23″. I then added 1″ for ‘puffiness’ around the wrist.

The beauty of this sleeve is that we will be finishing the cuff with elastic – how easy is that? I kind of adore it. We’ll be using 1″ wide elastic – so when figuring out the length of the sleeve you’ll need to cut you’ll take your finished sleeve length (24″ for me), add on 5/8″ for the shoulder seam allowance, and then add 2″ for the cuff (I’ll explain how it all works out later). So my sleeve pattern needs to be 26 5/8″ long in total.

how to lengthen the sleeves on the Banksia Blouse // tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design DiaryFirst let’s tape some extra paper to the bottom of the sleeve pattern.

how to lengthen the sleeves on the Banksia Blouse // tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design DiaryNow fold the pattern in half – I do this because it makes it easier to keep everything symmetrical and work from the centre of the sleeve.

how to lengthen the sleeves on the Banksia Blouse // tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design DiaryMeasure down the fold line till you reach the length you need (again, for me it was 26 5/8”). Square across and up to meet the underarm of your original sleeve.

Note that I didn’t taper the sleeve at all – I kept the width of the sleeve wide. We’ll be adding elastic, which results in a really nice gathered puffy sleeve, which is the aim.

how to lengthen the sleeves on the Banksia Blouse // tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design DiaryCut it out and you’re done!

See how to sew up the long sleeve with elastic in a tutorial here.


Some other tutorials you might like to check out:


Haven't got the Banksia Pattern yet?

Order Banksia today in Sizes XS-XL

About Author

Holly writes part time for the Megan Nielsen blog– sewing like crazy, creating tutorials and sewalongs. She has been sewing since she was a little girl, and has her degree in apparel design. Now she’s a stay at home mama, and spends all her free nap times at her sewing machine.

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Mary Sigler
Mary Sigler
11 years ago

I like the long sleeve too. I also like that you used a wide elastic for the cuff. Do you have a close up shot of the cuff?

11 years ago
Reply to  Mary Sigler

Hey Mary!

Ooooo no i don’t have a close up right now – but i will definitely have one when we do the sewing portion for the sleeve. It actually turns out really cute – one of my favourites :)


Lo Hood
11 years ago

I’m really pleased with the way my top is coming along and was actually wondering if you will be showing ways to make the placket smaller only because I have some adorable smaller vintage buttons. Thanks so much for showing us all these adjustments…so great! :)

11 years ago

I love the idea of a long sleeved dress! :D I was wondering, when I set in my sleeve as intended I got a very tight fit at the bottom of the sleeve towards the front. IS there a fitting adjustment i could make?

11 years ago
Reply to  punkmik

Hey hun! It sounds to me like the armsyce might be a bit small for you – you might need to cut a larger sleeve opening.

But if it’s tight anywhere else it might be more of an overall size or bust issue. It’s always so hard to judge whats going on when i can’t’ see – but i hope that helps a little bit!!

11 years ago
Reply to  Meg

Thanks for the reply! I was too impatient and made another very wearable muslin by grading from a bigger size down. And that fits beautifully. :D Now I can start making adjustments to collars and sleeves and maybe even for a dress! Loving your posts so far!
2 cute banskia blouses already done! will get pictures on flickr very soon! :D


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