top of page

Hack: Adding an envelope cold shoulder to ANY dolman


Getting started:

The first thing you will need to do is grab your favorite dolman pattern. You will also need the fabric required by the pattern plus some additional fabric for making binding for the cold shoulder opening. Binding fabric should have at least 50% 4 way stretch and good recovery. I used this Allen khaki french terry as my main fabric and black double brushed poly for my binding and bands. Both are from Amelia Lane Designs.


Making your hacked pattern piece:

Once you have picked fabric and a pattern to work with you can start editing your pattern to make an envelope sleeve. My original pattern is on a clear shower curtain and the envelope shoulder hack is one parchment paper. You can edit your pattern directly if you choose or just make a copy of the shoulder area and attach it to your pattern like I did.

I traced the front piece shoulder area plus about 3 or 4 inches down the arm or neck.


Next, you are going to draw a line one inch above the shoulder line.

Then you need to decide about how wide you want to make your cold shoulder i just wanted to make a small opening so I just scooped out one inch. you can choose to make this bigger if you like. to do this I made another line one inch under the original shoulder line.


Now you will choose where you want the placement of the opening on the shoulder. I decided to go with 3 inches away from the neck so that there would be enough coverage to wear a regular bra with the shirt and just .5 inch away from where the rest of the arm or armband is attached. (Again you can choose to modify this as you see fit) Mark these two spots on the original shoulder line. Then find the center between these 2 points and mark this spot on the bottom line.

Using these lines draw your new shoulder piece. Start from the top line by the neck. Cross through the line you marked on the original pattern line, and down to bottom line in the center of you cold shoulder cut. Then back up through the other point you drew, all the way up to the top on the end where the arm connects. Make sure to make this round and as even as possible. It should look something like this.


You can now cut this out and attach it to the shoulder of your pattern. it should work for both the back and front pieces. I folded my original pattern down past the bottom of the opening and pinned my cold shoulder hack piece on.

Using this piece both on the front and back, cut out your pattern pieces.

(Note: To make your binding pieces, measure the curved line you created. Multiply this measurement by .8. This is your binding length. The width should be 1.5 inches. Cut 4. )


Mark your cut pieces on the spot where the shoulder would have originally met. This will be the original cut line plus seam allowance . ( Here I only marked the original shoulder but I went back and added another mark for the added seam allowance) This will be where your pieces meet when they are overlapped. Do this both on the neck and sleeve ends.


Attaching your binding:

Right sides facing each other, pin your binding. You will need to stretch it evenly, just like you would neckband. Sew these together using a stretch stitch and 1/4 inch seam allowance.

Now fold the binding over the top edge. (you can press here if you like but I didn't) Pin or clip and top stitch.

Stitch on the binding close to the edge. I chose to do a small zig zag, but you can do whatever stretchy stitch works for you.


Carefully trim the excess fabric from the back and clip off the end pieces.


Finishing your cold shoulder:

Now overlap and pin your back and front pieces so that they meet on the spot where you marked on your pieces.

You will need to pick which direction you want your pieces to lay. I chose to have mine with the binding pieces by the neck coming to the front and the binding pieces by the arm going to the back . I feel like this makes for a more interesting look but you can choose to have both ends coming forward or both ends going back. However you like.


Baste together and double check that the pieces are laying in the direction you want.


Finish your garment:

Attach your sleeve or sleeve cuffs and neckband as directed by pattern and finish the rest of the garment as directed by pattern.


Fin - The end

Now you are done. Share your creation. We want to see all the envelope cold shoulders you create! ❤😍😊

I hope this was clear and helpful.

116 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page