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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Guest Tutorial: Pleated Princess Sleeves

What a beautiful princess! We all know right away which princess she is, and not just because of the apple in her hands.  To me, a princess dress is all about the details.  I love the sleeves on this dress!  I remember when I was young I wondered why her sleeves looked like that. Well now I know -- it's because they're fabulous! And today we are all going to learn how to make them fabulous too.  

Today's guest tutorial comes to us from Aimee Walker of MommaMadeClothing. She put together this amazing princess birthday party for her daughter, and I have to say that her princess is one lucky little girl! (Not to mention her friends!) We have more photos of the party to share at the end of the post, but first let's get down to business with our pleated princess sleeve tutorial:   

First of all, we will be using the peasant sleeves from Marissa's Perfect Peasant Dress, but any peasant dress with a separate skirt portion (to make yellow) would work. 

Now we will do a little math to get the strips just right for the particular size of dress we are making. We will look at the sleeve measurement (length x width) from the pattern and subtract the seam allowance from both sides (width). Then we will divide that number by 4.  Now add the seam allowance back on. This is the width we want to cut for each of our four blue strips.

In our example, we are making a dress with sleeves the width of 15.75". Now we subtract the 3/8" seam allowance from each side, giving us a total of 15".  We will now divide that by 4, which gives us 3.75".  We need to add the 3/8" seam allowance back onto each side, and that gives us the total of 4.5" wide.  We will cut four strips of blue fabric 4.5" wide. Then we will cut three strips of red fabric, each 2" wide and the length of the other sleeve pieces.

We are now ready to sew our sleeve strips together, as shown in the picture above. 

Now we will find the center of each red section and mark it with a pin at the top and the bottom. 

At the top of the sleeve, we will take the edge of the blue section on the right and fold it over on top of the red so that it meets the center pin. 

Now repeat with the left side so that the two blue edges meet in the center. 

We will repeat the pinning steps at the bottom and top of each section until the sleeve looks just like the picture above. 

Now we will sew a basting stitch about 1" from the raw edges of the sleeve to hold the folds in place. Our special pleating technique is finished!

Now we will cut the armhole curves as written in the pattern and proceed with the rest of the dress steps as we always do.

And that's how it's done!  Your princess will be so pleased!  

You may have noticed in the very first picture I posted at the top that the dress also has cuffs on the sleeves. If you are interested in learning that technique as well, you can learn about adding princess cuffs here.  Whether or not you decide to add the cuffs to this dress today, your pleated sleeves are going to be perfect!  Each look is really sweet on its own. 

Now we can enjoy more pictures from the princess party! 

Thank you to Aimee for our guest tutorial today! If you enjoyed it, you can go show her some love at Momma Made Clothing and see more pictures of her dresses in our CKC Patterns Group

Let's Create! ~ Kristen

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