Clara Dress Sew-Along Week 4 – Sleeves

photo 171 Clara Dress Sew Along Week 4   SleevesThe Sew Liberated Clara Dress Sew Along Week 4

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.

photo 18 Clara Dress Sew Along Week 4   SleevesThe keyhole version is bound with bias trim. You can either match the fabric of the dress, or you can let your imagination go wild. How about a black dress with an animal print trim!!!

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!! photo 22 Clara Dress Sew Along Week 4   Sleeves

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.

photo 32 Clara Dress Sew Along Week 4   Sleeves Once the bias tape has been pressed in half, sandwich the raw edge of the keyhole inside the fold. Edge stitch through all layers.photo 42 Clara Dress Sew Along Week 4   Sleeves

The finished keyhole opening. photo 51 Clara Dress Sew Along Week 4   Sleeves

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.

photo 61 Clara Dress Sew Along Week 4   Sleeves Now for the version without the keyhole. If you would like to eliminate the keyhole, simply cut the sleeve and ignore the opening.

photo 71 Clara Dress Sew Along Week 4   SleevesIf you would like to line your sleeve, cut the lining the same as the sleeve.photo 81 Clara Dress Sew Along Week 4   Sleeves

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. photo 91 Clara Dress Sew Along Week 4   Sleeves

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.

photo 101 Clara Dress Sew Along Week 4   Sleeves Trim the seam once it is sewn.

photo 111 Clara Dress Sew Along Week 4   Sleeves

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.

photo 121 Clara Dress Sew Along Week 4   Sleeves

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. photo 131 Clara Dress Sew Along Week 4   Sleeves

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!

photo 132 Clara Dress Sew Along Week 4   Sleevesphoto 141 Clara Dress Sew Along Week 4   Sleeves To finish the lower edge of the sleeve, cut a bias strip that is 2” wide and long enough to go around the bottom of the sleeve.

photo 151 Clara Dress Sew Along Week 4   SleevesSew one side of the bias strip to the edge of the sleeve being careful to stitch directly on top of the stitches that were made when you attached the ruffle to the sleeve.

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.

photo 161 Clara Dress Sew Along Week 4   SleevesThe sleeve will have a lovely finished edge and the sleeves coordinate beautifully with the collar.

photo 172 Clara Dress Sew Along Week 4   Sleeves

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!

https://www.flickr.com/groups/sn_sewalong2/

Happy sewing!!

Rhonda

Rhonda’s Creative Life.com

 

About Jill

I write for the Sew News and Creative Machine Embroidery blogs. I love sewing, vintage and would love to get a comment from you!
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3 Responses to Clara Dress Sew-Along Week 4 – Sleeves

  1. Ruth says:

    I just received week 4 on Facebook. I would like weeks 1,2,and3. Is it on a site somewhere? Love Facebook edit.

  2. Jill says:

    Or you can find them on the blog if you put in Clara Dress in the search bar. I also sent you all the links directly, so check your inbox!

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