Scalloped Sleeves \\ Pattern + Tutorial


Since we got married at a winery an hour south of St. Louis, we hosted a dinner in St. Louis the Friday evening before our wedding. It was the more casual event of our wedding weekend, but I still had a very specific vision for the dress I wanted to wear.

After a few months of casually looking for the dress, I realized I wasn’t going to be able to just buy exactly what I was looking for. Hello, Miss I'm Picky About My Clothes, right?

I wanted a white shift dress with scalloped sleeves.

Shift dresses are so easy (you can download our free shift dress pattern here), but this was my first time doing a scalloped hem. I spent so much time thinking about it and strategizing but it's actually so easy! The outcome was even better than I had envisioned.

Keys to success with scalloped hems:

  1. Scallop pattern (you can download mine here or create your own). To create your own just measure the length of your garment and divide it by the number of scallops you want. Personally I like the bigger dramatic ones (for reference mine were 2.8 inches in diameter). Watch the video for more instructions on this.
  2. Boxy sleeves (by boxy I mean you don’t want the typically angled sleeves and if you have those adjust the pattern to angle back out at the fold line since you'll be folding the material over). 


  • Fold the bottom of the hem to the proper length (my fold depth was 2.5 inches because I like the bigger dramatic scallops but I recommend doing at least 2 inches) – pin and iron the hem so it stays folded.
  • Trace the scallop pattern on the folded hem (I used a pen (shame on me) but you should use a fabric pen or chalk).
  • Sew along the scallop outline removing pins as you go. Go slow and lift the pressure foot (the metal thing that surrounds the needle on your sewing machine) at the end of each point to properly adjust the fabric. It will make a world of difference on how symmetrical the scallops are.
  • Trim the seam to minimize the leftover seam allowance. Get as close as you can without cutting the stitching line (I recommend only having about .20 inches leftover). Make sure to cut right up to the stitching line at each point.
  • Turn the hem inside out and push the scallops out. They’re going to look far from perfect at this point, but stay with me.
  • Use an iron to press each scallop as you push it out.
  • Hand stitch or sew along the top to ensure a clean finish.

And boom. You're done!