Alright team. We’re almost there. Have you made it through unscathed yet?
Today is the day we tackle those sleeves and make those edges classy. You could finish the edges using a simple hem, but come on guys, we can be classier than that, right? Let’s use facings. We’ve already met them before.
Be sure to use iron-on interfacing. Trust me. it is your friend.
p.s. please forgive the sketchy photos. My poor camera’s packing up (sad times). If you have a favourite camera you can’t be parted from let me know in the comments!
Want to learn more about making your own delicious DIY dress? Check out the whole of the series: Choosing the right fabric The perfect DIY dress pattern (with only 3 measurements) DIY dress sewing success Getting the perfect finish The easiest elastic waist ever Finishing the sleeves (like a pro) 3 steps to a brilliant hem
How to finish the sleeves of a dress with facings
You will need:
fabric – cut the same length as your arm holes (plus 1 cm or 3/8″) by 4 cm or 1 1/2 inches
lightweight iron-on interfacing – cut the same as your fabric
sewing machine, thread
1. Prepare your fabric and interfacing – they should measure the length of your dress’ arm hole all the way around (plus 1 cm or 3/8″) and be 4 cm or 1 1/2 inches wide.
2. Iron the interfacing onto the fabric. The rough side of the interfacing is the part that sticks to the fabric, so make sure you have that side facing the wrong side of your fabric.
3. Trim away any excess interfacing (this happens a lot if you don’t measure – like me!)
4. Take one strip. Overlap the two ends, right sides together. Sew together using a 0.5 cm or 1/8″ seam allowance. Repeat for the other strip. you should now have two loops.
5. Turn your dress inside out. There should be a section under the armhole where the seam allowance continues from the waist into the arm. Cut a small notch into the seam allowance. You’re separating the arm of the dress from the waist.
6. Turn the dress back right side facing out. Slip the loop over the armhole, right sides together. Match the raw edges and pin in place. Sew using a 1.5 cm or 5/8″ seam allowance. Press like crazy.
7. You’re facing is now all done and attached, but it’s pretty floppy right? Lay the facing out flat so you have the seam allowance and facing under the sewing foot. Stitch as close as possible to the shoulder seam you just made. This is called under-sewing and it helps keeps the facing down.
8. You may want to put in a few invisible stitches around through the facing and arm hole to keep the facing from flopping out.