Hopefully your dress is coming along and you are enjoying seeing it take shape. This week we will talk about the sleeves. Oh sleeves, my favorite thing! There’s nothing I Iove more, design wise that is, than playing around with the design of a sleeve. In this week’s post, we will talk about the keyhole version that was designed for this pattern and we will also talk about eliminating the keyhole and adding a ruffle that will complement the ruffle that was added to the collar.
Let’s first discuss the construction of the keyhole sleeve.
The pattern includes pattern pieces for the bias trim. In order to make the folds in your bias trim, you will need a bias tape maker. They come in various sizes. I have a collection of every size I could possibly find. They are well worth the investment! Actually, they aren’t at all expensive. For this project you will need a ½” bias tape maker. As you can see from the photograph, all you need to do is push the fabric strip into one end and as it comes out the other end, press the folds in place. Be careful not to burn your fingers!!
Once the bias tape has been made, you will then fold it in half and press. Be very careful to be sure and fold the tape exactly in half. This will insure a nice application of the bias tape to the sleeve.
Make the bias tape for the bottom edge of the sleeve just as you did for the keyhole opening. Fold the sleeve in half as well as the bias tape. Match the center of the bias tape to the underarm seam of the sleeve. Sandwich the edge of the sleeve inside the folded bias tape just as you did for the keyhole opening and then stitch from one end of the folded bias tape to the other. The bottom of your sleeve will be encased inside the bias tape and you will have sewn your ties all at the same time.
To add the ruffle detail, you will need to cut a strip that is 32” long by 2” wide. Press the strip in half and sew in 2 rows of gathering stitches. Gather the strip until it matches the edge of the sleeve. Sew the gathered strip to the bottom of the sleeve. Please note that I have sewn the ruffle to the sleeve as well as the lining. I am treating the fashion fabric and the lining as though it is one piece of fabric.
Since I am treating the lining and the fashion fabric as one, a French seam is in order for the underarm seam. Fold sleeve in half, the right side will be facing out. Begin by sewing a 3/8” seam.
Once the seam has been trimmed, fold the sleeve with right sides together and sew with a ¼” seam allowance. Your French seam is finished!! The inside of the sleeve now looks as pretty as the outside.
The cap of this sleeve is gathered, so be sure to sew in two rows of gathering stitches where specified. Sew the sleeve into the armhole. If you would like, you can serge the raw edge of your sleeve, but since we have bound the neckline seam, it would be nice to bind the armhole seam as well. If you do decide to bind the armhole seam, trim the armhole seam down to ¼” after sewing.
I used the pattern piece that was provided for the sleeve binding to cut a bias strip for my armholes. You will need to cut 2. Simply press and apply the bias tape to the armhole as you did to the keyhole and the edge of the previous sleeve. The inside of the bodice looks beautiful!
Fold the bias strip to the back of the sleeve and fold under the raw edge. Pin in place. From the right side of the sleeve, stitch in the ditch between the ruffle and the bias strip.
Next week our dress will really take shape as we will add the skirt. Along with attaching the skirt, we will talk about sewing in the inseam pockets. Always a great feature in a garment. I will also show you how to easily add the elastic to the waistline.
Be sure to check out the Flickr page and upload your photos. We would love to see your progress!