Saturday, March 9, 2013

Putting Sleeves into a Sleeveless Dress

A friend of mine needed sleeves added to a dress she was wearing to wedding.  This was the right color, just no sleeves.  I hunted all the local fabric resources and found some fabric that was the same color at JoAnn Fabrics.  It was knit, so I was happy because that's what I work with mostly right now with my nursing shawl business.

First we determined how far down from the top of the armhole we needed to make the sleeve.
 Then I measured the total circumference/length of the armhole.  I always like to add extra length to allow for 'just in case'.   I made a rectangle with those two measurements plus seam allowances.  Then I put the dress on a dress form and pinned the 'sleeve' into the dress.  I had her try it on and then sewed it on top of an existing stitch line.  It was pretty simple.

Then for the center, I added a square of fabric sewn on one side and a snap on the other (so she could pull it on unsnapped.)

Before sleeves
This is the mother of the bride's dress which also needed sleeves.
With sleeves
 I added pleats to the sleeves to echo the design of the skirt.

This is the rectangle sleeve with pleats sewn after being pinned.  I trimmed off excess with pinking shears.

The sleeve pinned into the dress.  Notice the simple pleat.

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