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Pattern Hack N° 1: The shirt with the gathered sleeves

It’s been some time since I last posted here and in a way a bit disappointed of myself because the shameful truth is that I’ve got carried away by the ease of the new trend of delivering information in small capsules. Yes, I’m talking about reels and Tiktok videos. Well I don’t want to do it like that anymore. I really want to delve into sewing again, I want to create graphics again and get really good and creative at making them.

Don’t worry, I won’t stop making reels and IG videos. I just really want to write more.

All that said, let’s get to what took us here, the shirt with the gathered sleeves. Before I start, I want to tell you the little story behind this shirt. It all started with a client who, at the end of last summer, asked me to make her a shirt exactly like the one in a photograph. What she showed me frightened me a bit. I instantly new I needed to use a technique that has always caught my attention and that I already have explored in different ways, without much success. However, as I am aware of to the potential anyone has, to produce a good idea or even change our perspective about a subject (if one lets them, of course), I started brainstorming with her. I am a fan of Molly Goddard’s work and as I can not buy any of her clothes, I do spend, every now and then, long periods of time daydreaming of how to create some of her pieces for myself. I’ve even been tempted to buy a smocking pleater but I don’t think that would be smart of me because. I’m not planning to compete with Molly, she already does the job brilliantly.

However, all this reverie of mine didn’t help at all because the shirt that my client showed me only had one vertical line of gathering on each sleeve and for that we considered the following techniques:

Using an elastic thread:

This is an interesting solution but it doesn’t gather enough fabric. She wanted a bit of volume but not so much. I wanted an accordion! (I was still dreaming with Molly’s shirts)

Using an elastic:

She came up with this one. I thought this was a good solution – if you stretch the elastic enough until it seems like it’s going to burst (however, it wouldn’t work for this one)


Using a little cord:

This one is my favorite, because it’s the one that gathers the most but it is sort of a jeweler’s job. My client understood that would be way too costly for her.

We went for the elastic technique

How to make the shirt with the gathered sleeves

This tutorial you how to hack your favorite classical shirt pattern so you can pull out a super chic “date night” summer outfit. However, this sewing tutorial is open creative lesson, there are no set guidelines, please feel free to add or remove steps.

The first thing you need is your favorite classic shirt pattern , I used one of the many that Burda has, but here are some nice options:

The N° 859 by Grasser

52-1 Box-cut linen blouse or dress with pointy collar by sisters patterns

Once you have selected the pattern you’d like to use, I recommend making the following modifications to the pattern pieces:

1.- I think this one as “date night” summer piece, I want it to be chic, crisp and sexy. So, as we’re already giving a lot of prominence to the sleeves, we should shorten the length of the shirt (In my case, it works better this way, but its totally up to you). To do this we must find the waist line of the front and back pieces of the shirt’s pattern. We will mark on it, the height that we want to modify.

2.- Fold through the lines as on the following graphic.

3.- Now the sleeves: we’ll tighten the sleeves at the bottom. Classic shirt sleeves usually have a fold at the junction with the cuff, in this case we do not need that width of sleeve because we will not use the cuff.

Tighten it around 1cm to 1,5cm on each side up to the elbow.

4.- Then, lengthen the sleeve a bit, as much as the original cuff of the shirt’s pattern provider suggests. You can also add a bit of length if you want for a more “dramatic” sleeve – I added 7cm to the length. Remember you can always cut.

Cut the pattern pieces

5.- Proceed to cut all the pieces of the shirt following the instructions of your pattern supplier, except for the sleeve pieces.

6.- For the sleeves: cut two rectangles of fabric 1/3 longer than the width and length of the sleeve you just modified:

Cut 2 rectangles, one for each sleeve

Make the shirt with the gathered sleeves

7.-Proceed to make the shirt, following the instructions of your pattern supplier, except for the sleeves.

The sleeves:

8.- Cut two strips of the elastic, slightly longer than the total length of the modified sleeve pattern piece and sew it right in the middle of the longer side of one of the rectangles, pulling the elastic so that the ends of it, touch the top and bottom of the fabric piece. Repeat.

Like this:

Before you continue, cover your sewing table with a tablecloth or a thick piece of fabric.

9.- Proceed to pin the piece to the table, as in the image below:

Don’t pull the elastic, just apply the pins, making sure that the elastic creates a straight line. As on photograph above.

10.- Now pull the sides of the fabric rectangle, creating regular folds. Add pins, like this:

11.- Remove the pins from the middle and press the elastic following the lines of the folds, like this:

12.- Reach for the modified sleeve pattern piece, place it over the rectangle and center it overlapping the top and the base center with the elastic. Trace the pattern, leaving the folds as they are, simply trace by running the marker or chalk over the fabric (as it is).

13.- Now apply pins along the edges of the sleeve to fix the pleats in place. As on photograph below.

14.- Cut the sleeve. Repeat.

Note: don’t forget to turn around the modified sleeve pattern piece, when you trace the second sleeve. Remember they’re opposite.

15. Now that the most critical portion of this tutorial is detailed, continue with the video tutorial below:

This video will walk you through the whole process but you can skip directly to minute 2:00 to get to the exact step that follows.

If you got up to here, reading and following my tutorial…. thank you a thousand times, it really means a lot to me.

If you ever decide to test this pattern hack yourself, please share your Atelier Circulaire sewing project with our community on Instagram @ateliercirculaire by tagging #ACshirthack

Chiquito Bag

Ahh! the Chiquito Bag!

The Chiquito Bag is my first published Pdf pattern, and I already owe it so much. I’ll just let my clients talk about it themselves:

Loved it! Fun sewing, cute pattern and great instructions. I had a question about the zipper insertion and they responded super quickly on instagram with how to do it. I added a lining so that the ironed on interfacing wouldn’t be visible and it was also very easy. Going to make another one for my mom and then ill insert the zip the right way!!

Charlotte, Etsy client

Great pattern! very easy to follow, bag turned out very nice,I fully recommended 👍

Sirikanda, Etsy client

Or maybe some #chiquitohandbags favorites:

Here’s a little gallery of some of the features of the Chiquito Bag:

Chiquito Bag

PDF Sewing Pattern

The Chiquito Bag is a versatile and functional piece that has a pocket on both fronts and a closure zip on the top. Two handles and a removable shoulder strap.
Approx. Size
8.5″W x 4.5″D x 7.5″H [22cm x 12cm x 19cm]

The Chiquito Bag will look its best in a medium to heavy weight fabrics such as linen, canvas, linen-wool blends, velvet, denim or wool.

Fabric usage: To make this style you’ll need 0,70 cm or enough fabric to cut all the pieces

After purchasing, you’ll be able to download 4 files: PDF sewing guide, pattern in A4 size, letter size 8.5″ x 11″ or A3 size.

Beginner friendly

Hey! thank you for taking the time to read!

BTW, if you ever decide to make a Chiquito Bag for yourself, please share your Atelier Circulaire sewing project with our community on Instagram @ateliercirculaire by tagging #ChiquitoHandBag

(sort of ) How to make a knitted/crocheted Tote Bag

So I finally finished this cutie. I say finally because this little nut was tough to crack. I actually didn’t do a tutorial for you because it was me who needed some help. I’m a self-taught seamstress, knitter and crocheter. Therefore, I’m always learning new stuff too. So when I need help, I look for it. Today, instead of giving you a step by step guide, I’m going to narrate the process of making this crocheted Tote Bag. I hope you like it as much as I do.

Although, like I said, it wasn’t easy to assemble this knitted/crocheted tote bag, knitting the pieces that compose it was a little walk in the park (I really love knitting) ー Finishing details were the hard tasks. But hey, let’s do this!


Phil Creativ’ in noir and sable, from Phildar

Here in Versallles the shops opened Saturday before May 11. When I found out I (almost) ran to the Phildar store because I had this project in mind for a few days already. I was hoping to find the right yarn for it. Luckily I did. I bought the Phil Creativ’. I wanted to use this yarn not only because it is beautiful but also for practical purposes, it is thick, therefore it is faster to knit. When the knit is tight it creates sort of a chunky structured weave perfect for a pouch like this.

When knitting with Phil Creativ’ you’re supposed to use 10mm needles, but I chose to use 7mm needles as, like I said, I wanted to obtain a thick and firm weave with almost no visible gaps.

Note: Phildar states in the product description “This thread comes from the recycling of T-shirts. They are collected and cut into strips and then put into balls. ” I do not think this is totally true because the yarn is quite even, but they speak of rolls of discarded T-shirt fabric, I hope.

Knitted pieces

Bottom and sides piece: one-piece woven in two colors knitting a garter stitch.

Construction: Start by casting 24 stitches, desired width 22cm ( 8 1/2″). Knit first 20cm (8″) in sable, then 13cm (5 1/2″) in noir then again 20cm (8″) in sable.

Bag front pieces: knit a moss stitch

Construction: Start by casting 18 stitches, desired width 20cm ( 8″). Knit up to 20cm (8″) then add a single crochet border on both sides and bottom of the piece

bottom and sides piece
bag front piece

Bag handles: to creates the bag’s handles you crochet a simple cord a.k.a. romanian cord. make them 40cm (16″) long


Instead of assembling pieces edge to edge, assemble one over the other.

Use the space between each point of the single border to make the stitches.

Once you have assembled every piece together add the bag handles. Grab one of the cord you made and:

a.) Tuck it into the fabric, at an equidistant point near one of the corners of the front of the bag. Make several stitches inside, to fix the piece.

b.) Then make a few stitches on the inside, to fix the handle to the front of the bag

Repeat with the three other ends of the crocheted handle

You may line the bag with a super cute fabric, I haven’t done it, but I will.

Thank you for following along!

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For other tutorials visit my blog.

How to make your summer sandals (video)

I’ve been planning to make this project for a while now. To tell you the truth, I postponed it a long time. I think I was afraid I had idealized too much (I think I’ve said this before) , as if I made it, it might not be as good as I thought it would. Well, I was wrong.

I think my #memade summer sandals look fantastic and I also think they look super sexy ー when it comes to shoes, for me, the “sexy” adjective should always be applicable

This last statement about shoes’ sexiness brings me back to the beginning of this project because, making this sandals, did take me a bit of iteration before arriving to the final result. I’ll let some of my Instagram highlights speak for me first:

Since I had espadrilles soles, I did try to make the classic espadrilles, but gladly, I didn’t find a solution because to be honest, I’m not a fan.

Then I tried to make a sort of ballerinas, like those beautiful shoes Japanese ladies show of in their beautiful IG accounts…. well that went really wrong. My soles were a bit bigger than my feet and they didn’t stay in place.

So I finally decided to get real and put functionality into play. What better way to make something stay in place than to tie it or to use some kind of piece, like a button? ー I decided to go for the tie it option, clean and simple

Thenceforward, it all went swell so I’ll let my sewing video speak the rest for me:

I adapted the Prym espadrilles pattern for you work on. You can download the printable pattern here:

Did you make this sandals? Tag @ateliercirculaire on Instagram and hashtag it #ateliercirculaireproject so we can see all the beauty