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Thursday, March 24, 2016

How to Add Double-Flutter Style Sleeves

Did you know that you can easily add sleeves to most, if not all, of our sleeveless dresses? Yup, you sure can!  In the past we have shown you how to do it using Sally's sleeves. And today I thought it would be fun to take it one step further and show you how to create an all new sleeve to use!

To follow this tutorial, you can choose ANY sleeved or sleeveless dress that has constructed armholes. I'm going to be using Tween Cassie's, by request of my daughter. She had to have this dress for Easter, and she specifically requested that we make this style of sleeves again, from when I made them last year. You may remember this blog post on how to add an overlay:

 These sleeves are super cute on  fancy dresses when you want the short sleeve length with a little extra something. She wanted them again because she loved them so much, and now they can be one of your girl's favorites too!  Here's how. 

First, decide which dress you want to use. Print the pieces, cut the fabric, and construct the bodice up to the point where you have raw armholes that are still open at the sides. 

Then you will take a sleeve pattern piece from any pattern. I highly recommend Nicole's sleeve piece, because it is already wide and intended to be a flutter-style sleeve. Print the sleeve piece and cut it out. 

Place the pattern piece on the fabric fold and cut out 2 sleeves from the main fabric.  
(Do not cut sleeve lining pieces, even though the pattern piece says to.) 

You should now have two sleeve pieces. 

Now you are going to cut about 1.5" to 2" off the bottom of the sleeve's paper piece, keeping the slight curve of the original piece.  See the photo above. 

Discard the section you trimmed off. Place the now-smaller pattern piece on the fold as you did before, and again cut 2 sleeve pieces from the main fabric.  

Again, you do not need to cut any lining sleeves. 

You should now have four sleeve pieces -- two big ones and two small ones, all of the main fabric. 

On the bottom edge of each sleeve piece, make a rolled hem or narrow folded hem. I folded 1/4" to the wrong side and stitched down the center, then folded another 1/4" to the wrong side and stitched in place. A rolled hem on a serger would work great too. 

Do this to the remaining sleeve pieces, checking to make sure you are hemming only the bottom edge of each sleeve. 

Now take one of the small sleeve pieces and lay it on top of a large sleeve piece, matching up the top raw edges. Both pieces should have their right sides facing up. Center the small sleeve on the large sleeve and then pin (or clip) their raw edges in place. 

Sew along the pinned edge 1/4" from the edge, attaching the sleeve layers together, as shown above.  Then I like to go back and zigzag the entire upper curve of the sleeve, just to prevent fraying in the next steps. 

Repeat this step to construct the second double-sleeve. 

You are now ready to attach the sleeve as described in the sleeve pattern you used!

 In the case of Nicole's sleeve, you will sew a gathering stitch along the top raw edge of the sleeve and then gather it to fit the armhole edge.  Match the center of the sleeve with the shoulder seam, with right sides together, and pin in place.  Pin the side ends of the sleeve in place 3/8" from the armhole end on each side. Then gather the sleeve as necessary until the full edge is pinned in place, as shown above.  Stitch the sleeve in place using the 3/8" seam allowance, and then continue on with the construction of the bodice!  

If the dress has somewhat wide shoulders like Nicole's, you can sandwich the sleeves between the layers as written in the pattern. But in the case of Cassie's I made today, I decided to simply attach the sleeves to the raw edges without sandwiching. Either way is fine as long as you finish all raw edges with a zigzag or serger when you're done.  

Viola!  You now have double-flutter style short sleeves!  I love how they look with the layers of the skirt, and I can't wait to see what YOU decide to pair them with!  I think this would look super cute with Primrose's, Penelope's, and even Elora's. Whatever you make, please come share your photos with us in our patterns group

Stay tuned because tomorrow we have a "matching" tutorial coming for those dressy CKC BOYS in your house.  

Let's Create! ~ Kristen 

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