Let's talk sleeves! The great thing about the Holly and Ivy Party Dress is that it comes with 3 different sleeve styles and 3 different sleeve lengths. The sleeveless and long sleeve versions are fairly straight forward, however, the short gathered sleeve can be a bit tricky. Especially for the super small sizes. So we thought we'd share a different method on how to sew a gathered sleeve.
Once you've cut out your sleeve, you'll want to hem your sleeve. Yep, hem it now. This will make a casing for your elastic. You'll also want to add your gathering stitches across the top of the sleeve (see pattern for details). Now, thread your elastic on a safety pin.
Carefully pull your elastic through the casing you make on the sleeve. Tack down one side of the casing. Then pull the elastic until you get the desired amount of gathering.
Tack down the other side of your elastic and cut off any excess elastic. Repeat with your opposite sleeve.
Find your armhole on your bodice top. Pull the lining away from the main fabric. With right sides together, pin the center of your sleeve to the shoulder seam of the bodice. Now pin the sleeve around the armhole. You'll want to pull your gathering stitches so that sleeve will fit nicely in the armhole. Stitch.
Repeat with the opposite sleeve. It should look something like the picture below.
Now, place the front bodice and back bodice together at the side seam. Make sure right sides are together and stitch down the side seam. Do the same thing on the opposite side and repeat with the lining pieces as well.
Place the lining over the bodice and match the lining armhole to the main armhole. Push the sleeve inside the armhole. It should look like the image below. You can see the raw edges of the armhole matches up. Carefully tack the lining to the main fabric around the armhole. You can try sewing it with a machine or simply hand sew around. Then finish your seams with a zigzag stitch or overlock.
There you have it. You can use the same method to attach the long sleeves as well. It can be tricky to sew infant and toddler sleeves because of how small they are.
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Here is what we have covered so far:
Monday - Choosing Your Fabric and Tips for Sewing Special Occasion Fabrics, Cutting Out Your Pattern
Tuesday - Sewing the Bodice
Wednesday - How to Make Gathered Sleeves
Thursday - Tips for Sewing a Simple Tulle Underskirt
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