La Sylphide Sewalong: Sleeves and Side Seams
All right, Sew-alongers! We've taken it easy the past couple of weeks, but now it's time to really ramp things up!
In this week's post, we will be covering the three S's - sleeves, side seams, and skirt. Let's get started!
To hem your sleeves, cut a strip of interfacing that is 3cm/1.25" wide and the length of your sleeve width. Fuse it on the wrong side, 5mm/1/4" from the raw edge of the bottom of the sleeve.
Now fold that 5mm/1/4" uninterfaced edge toward the interfacing and press.
Stitch a long basting stitch between the notches indicated for gathering, staying exactly 1cm/3/8" away from the edge. Leave long thread tails and do not backstitch either end of the gathering.
Open your bodice with the right side facing up and the shoulder seam in the center. We are going to attach the sleeves flat, which is much easier than setting in the round - especially if you are working with a sheer or lightweight fabric and need to use French seams.
Starting at one end, begin pinning your sleeve to the bodice, right sides together and matching notches (if you are doing French seams, you will want to start attaching these wrong sides together). Be careful to make sure that you are attaching the correct side of the sleeve to the bodice - double notches for the back, single notches for the front. Stop pinning once you get to the gathering.
You'll see that your sleeve cap is quite a bit bigger than the remainder of bodice! That's fine, we are going to gather the sleeve cap so it fits nicely at the shoulder. Pull one long thread tail and gently push the fabric to create gathers.
At this point, I like to wrap my thread tails around my pins (the ones at each end of the gathering line), which keeps the thread from ungathering itself while I'm messing with it.
Keep gathering and distributing ease until the rest of the sleeve fits nicely against the bodice. Remember that the sleeve head is to be slightly gathered, so a little ruffle is ok :) Pin as needed and stitch down exactly along the gathering line. Finish your seams as desired.
Now stick a pin in the underarm seam, matching up both sides, and sew the side seam all the way up the sleeve seam in one go, then finish the edges.
At this point, I like to try on the top and make sure the fit is the way I like it before I continue sewing. This is very easy - just fold the plackets back, slip the bodice on, and pin the fronts together so you can asses the fit. If you need to pinch out any extra ease, you can do so without having to unpick your entire garment at the end.
Now fold the interfaced sleeve hem up to the wrong side and topstitch as close to the inside folded edge as possible.
For the skirt/peplum (and yes, this includes you who are only sewing the skirt), lay the front pieces over the back with the right sides together. Stitch both side seams and finish the edges.
Pin the top of the skirt/peplum to the bottom of the bodice, right sides together (again, wrong sides together if you are French seamin'), being careful to match up the side seams and center front/center back. Pin as necessary and then stitch and finish your seams.
You should end up with this - a peplum'd/skirt'd bodice! Yesss! Starting to look like a real garment now :)
That's enough for today! I'll see y'all next week, where we will conquer those plackets and neck ties and show them who's boss.