Adobe Illustrator displaying the drafting process for a bishop sleeve pattern.

Drafting a Bishop Sleeve in Adobe Illustrator

Pattern Making in Adobe Illustrator 

Want to learn how to transform a sleeve basic block into a bishop sleeve pattern? It’s a stylish sleeve detail that adds elegance to any blouse or dress. This Bishop sleeve pattern making project is designed to do just that. It’s for anyone interested in pattern making using Adobe Illustrator, whether you’re a beginner or have some experience. We’ll begin with a bodice basic block—the foundation of your pattern. This is just the starting point for transforming a simple sleeve into the flowing bishop style.

Creating the Cuff: First, we’ll show you how to draw the cuff that will sit neatly at the wrist. It’s a simple yet crucial element that will give the bishop sleeve its characteristic look.

Drafting the Sleeve: Next, we’ll take the original sleeve pattern and cut it into six parts. We’ll spread these parts out to make the sleeve wider at the bottom, which gives it a lovely, dramatic flare.

Redrawing and Refining: After spreading the pieces, it’s time to redraw the sleeve, following the newly created shape. This is where Adobe Illustrator’s tools make the process easy and precise.

Adding the Finishing Touches: To finish off, we’ll add a seam allowance, which is important for when you sew the sleeve together. We’ll guide you through how much to add and where to add it.

By the end of this project, you’ll have a beautiful bishop sleeve pattern ready for your next sewing project.

New to pattern making in Adobe Illustrator? Learn the fundamental pattern making techniques with our comprehensive online course. Read more…

Essentials for Following Along

Before we dive in, you’ll need a bodice basic block to keep up with this pattern-making project. We offer two types of basic blocks for your selection. Standardized basic blocks are ready for immediate use, allowing you to start drafting right away, though they might not match your measurements perfectly. On the other hand, a bespoke basic block, tailored to your specific measurements, offers a precise fit but requires time to create, as we’ll need 28 of your body measurements. Choose the one that best suits your needs!

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Standardized Basic Block

Start pattern making immediately

Visit our partner site, DesignLab.London, for a variety of bodice basic blocks available in multiple sizes. These serve as an ideal starting point or base pattern for your pattern-making project. Explore the collection, select your preferred style and size, and download it to proceed with your project.

Master Digital Pattern Making in Adobe Illustrator with our Free course Adapt basic blocks into finished patterns

Bespoke Basic Blocks

Craft a personalized basic block designed for your unique measurements

Looking for a tailor-made basic block for this project? You’re in the right place. Construct your personalised basic block in the Lab by providing your measurements. Simply create a profile, input your measurements, and utilise this profile to design a range of basic block styles. You’ll need the bodice basic block for this project.

What’s Next?

You’re not done there though! If you want to share it online or print it off at home, you’ll need to add seam allowance and transform it into a PDF sewing pattern. Check out the projects below to find out how.

Screenshot of Adobe Illustrator showing the 'Offset Path' function being used to add seam allowance to a basic block of a halter-neck swimsuit pattern.

Learn How to Add Seam Allowance to Your Patterns

Learn how to add seam allowance, to your basic blocks and finished patterns, in Adobe Illustrator, using our simple pattern making tutorial.

Computer screen with a digital pattern making program, Adobe Illustrator open, showing a dress basic block pattern, on a desk with modern design tools.

Master Pattern Making Techniques in Adobe Illustrator

Transform Basic Blocks into Precision Finished Patterns

Learn the fundamental techiques of pattern making with our Free comprehensive pattern making in Adobe Illustrator course

Screenshot of a dress basic block layout in Adobe Illustrator, showcasing the process to create PDF sewing patterns.

Learn How to Create PDF Sewing Patterns

Transform your finished patterns into multi-page PDF sewing patterns in a range of paper sizes. Then save, print from home, or share and sell your PDF sewing patterns online.


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