Not too awful, but certainly not the most flattering thing I've ever worn. The sleeve problems just make it look dumpy in my opinion. Anyway, back to the story and I will get to the dumpy sleeves soon, I promise.
I started out with the Renfrew pattern from Sewaholic because it's a good basic design and I've figured out the fit on it pretty well now. Then I started looking for tutorials on how to change the sleeves. Jo's Blog has a great list of resources from various sources around the internet which I highly recommend if you want to do a little t-shirt pattern modification. On the link for gathered sleeves, there is a link to this vintage tutorial which is what I used to draft my new sleeve.
I copied the sleeve to new tissue, then slashed and spread the sleeve cap to give it about 1/2" between each strip at the top of the sleeve. This will give me the puff I wanted, but I also wanted to ruche the center of the sleeve. To figure out how much ruching I wanted, I just stretched out the elastic on the inspiration t-shirt and measured, then added that distance to the center of the sleeve and used a French curve ruler to draw a new hem line. In theory this is still the correct way to accomplish what I wanted. So next I grabbed a thrifted jersey material I didn't mind losing if this didn't work and set to work. I sewed the neckline, but I wanted to add bust ruching as well - I love the Renfrew pattern, but some of the others I've made ended up with an odd-height-neckline. I'm not wanting to flash my cleavage or anything, but there is a certain point that a shirt can end that is flattering and higher than that plane just doesn't look right on me. So, instead of lowering the neckline like I had on other versions, I decided to ruche the center to echo the sleeves. To do this, I used elastic thread in the bobbin of my machine (hand wound so preserve its elasticity) and sewed a simple 2 inch line down the center front. It looked great - just a bit of ruching like I wanted - so I moved on. I sewed the whole body, then did the same elastic-thread-in-the-bobbin trick on the sleeve while it was still a flat piece, then gathered the puff sleeves and sewed them on. I hemmed the sleeves and bottom hem and only then did I try the shirt on.
Fabric: 1 yard thrifted floral print heavy jersey - $0.25
Pattern: Renfrew by Sewaholic, Sleeves altered to be puffed and ruched
Total Cost: $0.25