La Bella Donna Hacking Cuffs to Sleeves

I've recently discovered the Love Notions La Bella Donna dolman. I like the overall shape of this dolman top and that it includes a plain neckline, cowl or hood. It also has a shirt or tunic length, optional pockets and 3 hem finishes of straight, curved or banded. Basically it's a pattern that has the options I prefer, meaning it's an easy base to hack. 

Remember, anytime you shop Love Notions Patterns, receive an extra 10% off when you use code KATIEK10. This code applies to regular and sale price patterns. 

I've taken the LBD and added the Arlington mock turtleneck to it. I blogged about that make hereToday, I'm changing the long cuffs into long sleeves. While the long cuffs are quick and unique to this pattern, sometimes I just want a regular sleeve. This is a quick and simple hack but don't worry, I'll walk you through all the steps. 

What you need

You need the pattern, tracing paper and fabric of your choice. I'm using the Super Soft Southwest Style Hacci from Mily Mae Fabrics for this hack. This is the same fabric base I used for mock turtleneck LBD I made. It's so soft and cozy I wanted to use another print for this one since it's a different style. 


Since I used the projector file of the LBD, I'll trace the long cuff onto tracing paper to make a new long sleeve pattern piece. This piece is "cut on fold" which you can keep. 

Next, fold your pattern piece in half. You could just use this to cut a new sleeve but your sleeve would end up short. You need to add in a hem allowance! Since the hem of the LBD uses a 1/2" hem allowance, I find it easiest to keep that consistent. Add a 1/2" to the smallest end of the sleeve. Cut your new pattern piece out. 

Cut your front and back bodice as well as the cowl, hood or neckline facing. Sew along the shoulder seams on both sides. 

Cut 2 new sleeves on the fold. Clip or mark the center of the curved edge of the new sleeve. Match this clipped center of the sleeve to the seam of the shoulder. Stitch/serge using 3/8" seam allowance. 

Open up the now stitched sleeve. Fold the bodices and sleeves RST matching up the new sleeve seams. Sew starting at the sleeve hem along the curve to the shirt hem. 

Hem the sleeves using a 1/2" hem allowance. Finish the neckline following the tutorial for your choice of neckline. Hem the bottom or add a band. 

For this LBD, I opted for a lined hood (in the same fabric) and curved hem. I prefer the lined hem if I have enough fabric since it has a bit more heft. Also, it's nice to not have visible seams. 

Want to get the La Bella Donna? I've included my affiliate link in this post. You can also use the code KATIEK10 for an extra 10% off any Love Notions Patterns purchase. 

My posts may feature affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase from these links, I receive a small percentage in compensation at no cost to you. I may have received patterns or products to test or review but the opinions I voice are my own. 


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