Contrasting “Ruffled” Sleeve Tutorial

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Ok, so the title of this post stinks, but I hope you get the idea. I had so much fun coming up with this sleeve detail on the Roxy dresses I made here and here that I thought I would share the process. It’s not rocket science or anything, but I thought a quick tutorial might help someone else out there. This is certainly not the only way to achieve the look, but it’s my way. See the striped fabric “ruffle” on the end of the dotted sleeve. That’s what I’m going to show you how to put together.


First, cut out your sleeve pattern pieces. I’m using the Roxy pattern from Farbenmix here, but you can use any pattern with an elastic band at the hem of the sleeve. I also cut a 1.75” strip of fabric the entire width of the fabric (1.75”x42”). This strip is folded in half in the picture.


Next, finish the hem of one side of the strip. I used a rolled hem on my serger. If you don’t have a serger, you can fold over a hem, but keep in mind you may want to add to the width of your strip to accommodate the extra seam allowance needed.


Cut your long strip to fit the bottom edge of the sleeve and pin in place.


Sew your seam with a 5/8” seam allowance. Then, finish the edge of the seam allowance with a serger or a zig-zag stitch. We are creating a casing here, so you need to have at least a 1/4” space between your seam and your seam finish.


Now, press you seam allowance toward the sleeve (dotted fabric), and topstitch at the edge of your seam finish. Again, maintain at least 1/4” casing next to your seam. You can see the two rows of navy thread in my photo below.


Here’s how it should look like from the top side at this point.


Cut your piece of elastic and use safety pins to feed it through the casing. I measure my model’s arm and add 1/2” to determine the length of the elastic.


Once you have fed the elastic through the casing, stitch down each end to secure it in place.


Now, you have the ruffled look at the edge of your sleeve piece from the elastic.


Follow the rest of your pattern instructions for sewing the sleeve in place and closing it off.


I hope this comes across as a simple technique with a cute effect. Feel free to email me or post a comment with any questions. This technique is adorable on the Roxy, but would be great on peasant dresses like these too.

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