I'm so excited to be able to share with you my Open Sleeve mod for the Be Dreamy dress! You know, the dress with endless possibilities, that looks so good on every body type! :D
As soon as it came out, I knew I had to have it. And I had the perfect fabric for it.
Except. That I only had 3 yards- just shy of the recommended yardage- and being 5'10”, I was going to need every bit of it.
So what's there to do, but improvise? ;) I knew I still wanted a sleeve that was light and airy and would compliment the style of the dress, but what?
An open sleeve! And since ¾ sleeves are my jam, that's the length I went for. I had never done an open sleeve before, much less without a pattern and no actual sleeve piece to go by, so I decided to give it a try with the sleeve from the Autumn Spice Top(another favorite), as my base. And it worked! It worked perfectly!! And it worked using the smaller scrap pieces I had left over from cutting out the rest of the dress! So without further ado, let me show you how you can recreate the look!
1. I wanted the ¾ sleeve length so that is the cut line I used. You can use this same method for elbow or long sleeve. Using the same size sleeve as your dress size, lay it out on your fabric, following the directions for fold and stretch. EXCEPT- you are going to slide your pattern piece AWAY from the fold 3/8”-the width of the seam allowance we are going to use on the sleeves. Cut 2.
After you cut out your sleeve, keep it folded, and cut along the fold so that you have 2 pieces.
***Don't have wide enough pieces of fabric to cut on the fold? No problem! Cut along your fold line so you have a straight line as a guide, and slide your pattern piece over 3/8” from that edge. Cut 2. Then FLIP your pattern piece OVER and again sliding your pattern over 3/8 from the cut edge, and cut 2 more so that you have a total of 2 mirrored sets.
2. For the Band: It will be 4” high. For the width, measure your arm around where the band will sit, and subtract 1”. For me, that was 10.5”. So after subtracting, my bands are 9.5”x 4” with fabric stretch going the length of the band (going around your arm). Cut 2.
3. Measure from the top your shoulder to where you want your opening to start, taking into account seam allowances. For me, it was 4”. And for closing the opening, it will be 1” from the bottom of the sleeve. Mark those points on your fabric.
4. Using a zig-zag or other stretch stitch, stitch to those points.
5. Next, press open your seam allowance and pin or clip to hold your fabric in place
6. Using a zig-zag or other stretch stitch, you will sew the entire length of the sleeve on both sides of the opening.
7. Now we will add the band. Fold your band pieces wrong sides together like a hot dog, and pin or clip RIGHT sides together to the lower edge of your sleeve. Serge/sew together.
8. Now fold your sleeve in half, wrong sides together and serge/sew the length of the sleeve from the bottom of the armscye to the end of the band.
I forgot to take a pic of this step so I am reusing a pic from earlier to show where you will be stitching. So if you could just pretend the band is attached at the bottom, that'd be great! HaHa! ;)
Now all that's left is attaching it to the bodice of your dress! Are you getting excited yet?! :D
9. Turn your bodice inside out, and slide your sleeve into it so RIGHT SIDES are together, and pin or clip in place, taking care to match the shoulder and side seams with the seams on your sleeve.
10. Sew in place, and turn right side out.
And Done!! Great job! :D You've now got Easy, Breezy, Dreamy Open Sleeves!
I hope this tutorial was easy to understand. (it's my first! Eek!) I'd love to hear if you try it. And if you have any questions, please leave a comment, and I will do my best to answer them for you. :)
P.S.- Not an affiliate, but in case you were wondering- this gorgeous fabric is Cordelia, an ITY from Amelia Lane Designs https://www.amelialanedesigns.com/