Handmade and Fabulous: Nautical Dolman Top

Well, I guess it’s time to accept reality – my arms will never be as slim as they were 12 years ago. Especially when a certain 12-year-old treats them like pendulums every chance he gets. I used to do the same with my lola’s arms when I was little. It was funny when I was doing the playing, not so much when mine are being played with.

Thank goodness, then, for dolman sleeves. Dolman sleeves, better known as batwing sleeves, mimic the shape of a bat’s wing- loose at the armhole, tapered at the wrist. They are very forgiving, not just to the arms, but also to the tummy. Loose armholes mean looser bodice means fewer hold-your-breath-and-suck-your-stomach-in episodes. Dolman-sleeved tops are very chic and can be subtly sexy, too. They go well skinnies, wide-legged trousers AND shorts, depending on their length. And the best thing about these dolman tops? They’re very easy to whip up.

Here is one I made in an afternoon. The fabric is red-and-white stripes spandex with medium stretch. To introduce a nautical spin, I used navy blue linen as neckline piping and cuffs.

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Nautical-inspired top with dolman sleeves,  banded hem, navy blue linen neckline piping, and cuffs
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Side View
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Linen piping
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Linen cuffs

Here it is paired with wide-legged trousers made using this tutorial.

And here is a peek at the batwing-like sleeve.

This top is quite long but the thick band at the hem hugs the waist tightly, preventing the top from riding down my hips. But, if I so wish, I can let it ride down my hips and wear it as a dress- albeit a very short one.

If batwing is your thing, do come back in a few days for the tutorial.

Update:

Here are two more dolman tops to inspire you. Yes, I’ve gone dolman-mad 🙂

Solid Dolman top in Salmon. The plain colour is a perfect backdrop for chunky accessories.
Solid Dolman top in Salmon. The plain colour is a perfect backdrop for chunky accessories.
Here's a two-toned, short-sleeved version. Gray front...
Here’s a two-toned, short-sleeved version. Gray front…
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…and canary yellow back.

How will you make yours?

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3 thoughts on “Handmade and Fabulous: Nautical Dolman Top

    1. Thank you for dropping by, Stephanie. Don’t you worry, there are a hundred ways to camouflage our ‘mummy arms’ and dolman tops are just one of them 🙂

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