Rowan Tee Hacks Series: Flutter Sleeves Tutorial

June 21, 2018

Today we are kicking off a series of 5 different hacks for the Rowan Tee. There will be a tutorial a week for the next 5 weeks, all with free pattern pieces. After the final tutorial you will have a week to sew up a Rowan Tee and share it in the Titchy Threads Facebook group. I will then be choosing a winner for some great prizes, including 2 yards of Art Gallery knit fabric and a $40 voucher to Titchy Threads patterns.

All of the fabric used for this series has been provided by Art Gallery, and I thoroughly recommend their fabrics. They have so many beautiful collections, and the knit especially has such a lovely weight and is really easy to sew with. The T-shirt in these photos was made using the Pile Ebon print, which was part of the Lagom collection. A quick search shows that this print is currently available from HabbyDays and Minerva Crafts in the UK and in the United States. The bloomers were made with an Art Gallery quilting cotton called Speck Stardust. This is from the incredible Observer collection designed by April Rhodes.

You can see details of all of the hacks below.

So for the next 5 weeks we will have tutorials for the following hacks.

  • Hack 1: Flutter Sleeves
  • Hack 2: Gathered Dress
  • Hack 3: Thumbhole Cuffs
  • Hack 4: Hi lo hem with side vents
  • Hack 5: Henley Placket

The first couple are more girly but the last three will be suitable for everyone. You can also combine a few different hacks in one T-shirt. Today we are kicking off with the flutter sleeve.

I think the first person to make this hack was Rita from Conversas de Hermanas, way back in 2014. Rita has been such a huge support to me and many others for a number of years, and also has an amazing style. Several people were inspired by her and you’ll find several flutter sleeve hacks already on Instagram, with the hashtag #rufflealltherowans. I loved the look so decided to share some free pattern pieces so now you can all add flutter sleeves easily. Let’s begin!

You will need:

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Note that an updated version of the Rowan Tee pattern was released earlier this year. This version has new colours for the pattern pieces, which match those in the free flutter sleeve pattern pieces. If you have already purchased the pattern it will be available automatically in the ‘Downloads’ section of the website.


Choose your Rowan Tee pattern options and cut your pattern pieces as normal. Note that the flutter sleeve is compatible with the regular shoulder and shoulder stripe options (views A and B), but not with the full arm stripe option (view C) of the Rowan Tee.

While cutting your t-shirt pattern pieces you will also need to cut 2 flutter sleeve pieces. Mark the notches with a fabric marker or by clipping within the seam allowance.

Follow the regular Rowan Tee instructions up to the end of page 21, so the shoulders are sewn together.

1. Take your two flutter sleeve pieces and fold them in half, with wrong sides together. Press the fold well.

2. Sew two rows of gathering stitches around the curve of the flutter sleeves. The first row should be 6.5mm (1/4″) from the edge and the second row should be 12.5mm (1/2″) from the edge.


  • To set a gathering stitch use the longest stitch on you machine.
  • Leave long threads and do not backstitch at the ends.
  • Use contrasting thread to make the threads more visible. It helps even more if the top thread and bobbin thread do not match.

3. Place a flutter sleeve on one shoulder, aligning the centre notch with the shoulder seam and the end notches with the armscye notches.

4. Pull the threads to gather so that the flutter sleeve fits the armscye. Make sure to arrange the gathers evenly.

OPTIONAL: Press well to reinforce the gathers before sewing.

5. Baste the flutter sleeve in place using a scant 1cm (3/8″) seam allowance. When sewing have the flutter sleeve on top so you can make any adjustments if necessary. I like to push the gathers lightly with my finger to keep them even and in place.

Titchy Threads Rowan Tee Flutter Sleeve Hack tutorial - step 5

6. Before continuing, flip the flutter sleeve up and check you are happy with how it looks.

Titchy Threads Rowan Tee Flutter Sleeve Hack tutorial - step 6

7. Sew the sleeves on as normal, following the instructions in the pattern on page 22. Remove all the basting stitches from the flutter sleeves.

Titchy Threads Rowan Tee Flutter Sleeve Hack tutorial - step 7

OPTIONAL: depending on the knit fabric you are using, your flutter sleeves can cause your arm seam to stretch and look wavy. To help this add a strip of interfacing around the armhole, on the wrong side of the fabric. Do this before sewing up the side seams.

Return to the instructions at page 24 to finish the rest of your Rowan Tee.

I’ll be back next week with hack 2, the Gathered Dress. If you want to try this one then I recommend getting hold of some 6.5mm (1/4″) or 1cm (3/8″) wide clear elastic.

In the meantime, if you sew up a version with the flutter sleeves, don’t forget to share it in our Facebook group, or tag @titchythreads on Instagram and use the hashtag #rufflealltherowans.




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