December 14, 2015

Washington Dress sewalong: Sleeves and Side Seams

Welcome back! Today, we’re going to be inserting our sleeves in the “flat” method (so much easier than in the round!) and whizzing through the bodice side seams.

Cashmerette Washington Dress Sewalong

OK, so first up, lay your bodice down with the right side facing up.


Now, take one sleeve piece and lay it on top of the armhole, right sides together. Align the notch at the top of the sleeve with the shoulder seam and pin. Make sure you’re using the correct sleeve! The two notches on the sleeve should be facing the back of the bodice (it often takes me several times to get this right…).


Pin the rest of the sleeve to the armhole, pinning at the notches and the start and end of the armhole. You’ll have to smoosh the bodice up a bit to make it fit, and the sleeve will seem a little longer than the bodice armhole – no worries!

Take this to your sewing machine or serger, and slowly sew the sleeve to the armhole, gently stretching the armhole between the pins as you go so that it matches the length of the sleeve (you’re easing the sleeve in). Make sure your sleeve is facing down when you sew, so the feed dogs will help ease in the excess fabric – you might also want to flip your pins over to the opposite side to make this a bit easier.

And this is what it’ll look like:


And with the sleeve flipped the other way so it’s a bit clearer:


Woop! Now do the other side.

Now, we can do the side seams. Fold the bodice in half with right sides together (so it looks like a little t-shirt), and pin up the side seams and sleeves. (The other side is rolled up in the photo just so I can give you a close-up – you don’t need to do that!)


Now, sew up both sides, starting at the waistband and going through the wrist – we’re doing it this way so that the sleeve armhole seams end up being pushed towards the sleeve, which is the correct direction.


Turn it right sides out, and your bodice is done! Yeah! Wear it as a nifty unhemmed crop top… or come back on Wednesday and we’ll make you a skirt to go with it 🙂


Do you have any questions on today’s adventures?

One thought on “Washington Dress sewalong: Sleeves and Side Seams

  1. SJ Kurtz says:

    One of the atelier in the recent Dior documentary made a similar observation about working flat as long as possible, and I agree with both of you.

Let me know what you think!