Tutorial: How to sew crochet doily sleeves

Posted by Administrator on 8/12/2013 to Tutorials / Craft ideas

Pretty crochet-sleeved tops are a favourite with my customers, both young and old. I can't crochet to save myself so thankfully it is as easy as cutting a large round doily in half and sewing in place.

This tutorial requires an overlocker (aka 'serger') but I will add another method for those of you without one.

I have used one of out Little Tee Tee 'large round doilies' which are approx 20" in diametre. I use this size from toddler through to adults.
  • Start by folding your doily in half and making sure you crease the centre.
  • Open the doily and cut down your crease lin.
  • Don't despair if the two halves look a little uneven ... they always seem to do so!

Head to your overlocker/serger and sew along the cut edge of both halves. Be careful not to stretch the doily. You may need to gently push it through as you go.
Note: you only need to use a three thread machine for this, even though my example shows four (I was too lazy to change my machine!)

  • Once both halves have been overlocked, fold your doily in half and line up with centre of one strap. Make sure the doily is facing out to fall over the shoulder and not inwards towards the neck!
  • Place the first pin in the centre fold of the doily and the strap. Without stretching the doily, pin the rest of the two layers.
  • Tip: place your pins all facing the one direction so they're easy to pull out as you sew. Sew towards the pointy end of the pin so you have the pin head to grip as you pull out.

  • On your sewing machine, select your zig zag stitch. This not only gives you a higher chance of catching all the crochet edges but is also the ideal stitch for stretchy fabrics. You can reduce the width of your stitch if need be.
  • Always start and finish your sewing with a few back stitches to fasten the ends of the thread.
  • Be sure to tuck your shirt under your machine so you don't sew the strap to your shirt ... believe me, it happens!

  • Check that the edges have been caught in the zig zag stitch all the way around.
  • Trim loose threads and then repeat the steps for the other sleeve.And 'hey presto', you have made yourself a gorgeous new top!

I choose to add our 'cotton ribbon trio appliqué' to the singlet but we have plenty of other styles available to achieve the look you are after.


If you have a suggestion/request for my next tutorials please let me know!