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How to Sew a Gathered Puff Sleeve

Let's talk sleeves!  The great thing about the Holly and Ivy Party Dress is that it comes with 3 different sleeve styles and 3 different sleeve lengths.  

The sleeveless and long sleeve versions are fairly straight forward, however, the short gathered puff sleeve can be a bit tricky.  Especially for the super small sizes.  

So we thought we'd share a different method on how to sew a gathered puff sleeve.

How to make and sew a gathered puff sleeve

Once you've cut out your sleeve, you'll want to hem your sleeve.  Yep, hem it now.  This will make a casing for your elastic.  

You'll also want to add your gathering stitches across the top of the sleeve (see pattern for details).  Now, thread your elastic on a safety pin.

how to sew a gathered sleeve

Carefully pull your elastic through the casing you make on the sleeve.  Tack down one side of the casing.  Then pull the elastic until you get the desired amount of gathering.

how to sew a gathered sleeve

Tack down the other side of your elastic and cut off any excess elastic.  Repeat with your opposite sleeve.

how to sew a gathered puff sleeve

Find your armhole on your bodice top.  Pull the lining away from the main fabric.  With right sides together, pin the center of your sleeve to the shoulder seam of the bodice.  

Now pin the sleeve around the armhole.  You'll want to pull your gathering stitches so that sleeve will fit nicely in the armhole.  Stitch.

how to sew a gathered puff sleeve
Repeat with the opposite sleeve.  It should look something like the picture below.

how to sew a gathered puff sleeve

Now, place the front bodice and back bodice together at the side seam.  Make sure right sides are together and stitch down the side seam.  

Do the same thing on the opposite side and repeat with the lining pieces as well.

how to sew a gathered sleeve

Place the lining over the bodice and match the lining armhole to the main armhole.  Push the sleeve inside the armhole.  It should look like the image below.  

You can see the raw edges of the armhole matches up.  Carefully tack the lining to the main fabric around the armhole.  

You can try sewing it with a machine or simply hand sew around.  Then finish your seams with a zigzag stitch or overlock.

how to sew a gathered sleeve

There you have it.  You can use the same method to attach the long sleeves as well.  

It can be tricky to sew infant and toddler sleeves because of how small they are.  

how to sew a gathered sleeve

Wasnt't sewing a gathered sleeve simple!  Make sure to join our Facebook group and share your sleeves.

How to make and sew a gathered puff sleeve

This week we are sewing up the Holly and Ivy Party Dress pattern.  See what other steps we've done:

  1. Choosing Your Fabric and Tips for Sewing Special Occasion Fabrics, Cutting Out Your Pattern
  2. Sewing the Bodice (Steps 1-4)
  3.  Inserting Sleeves (Steps 6-13)
  4.  Tips for Sewing a Simple Tulle Underskirt (Steps 14-16)
  5. Making Skirt Gathers and Finishing (Steps 17-21)