The Christmas season is just a prime time for needing to freshen the clothing situation for the family. There’s extra events to attend, Christmas pictures to take, cards to send out, and little people’s growth spurts to contend with. I chose to tackle this problem by delving into my overflowing fabric stash for some quick dresses for the girlies. I used the tunic top for girls tutorial I posted HERE, and simply added to the length.
You can use that tutorial, or a pattern you already have, and simply switch up the look of it by changing the sleeves. I left one dress sleeveless and added a gathered sleeve to the other.
Here’s how I used a regular sleeve pattern to make a gathered sleeve. I laid the pattern on the fold, at a diagonal. I left about an inch and a half gap at the top, and finished off the line with my fabric pencil.
I added a dot on all the layers of fabric where the extra gap began.
Next, I gathered the sleeve between the two dots, so that now the sleeve equals it’s original width.
Insert the sleeve into the dress, just like normal. It should match the arm hole area. If it doesn’t, simply adjust the gathers until it fits.
That’s all there is to that one, pretty easy right?
For the jumper, I lowered the front neckline a bit more than I would normally, and then just continued on as usual. Keep in mind that lowering the neckline will make it spread out on the shoulders more. I forgot that fact, so this one is a tad more gapey than I’d like. It’s an easy fix though, just add a touch more width at the shoulder seam to off set it.
At any rate, you can do this to any pattern, even one for yourself! I made three dresses for the big girl in about 2 hours, each with a different sleeve…no one would notice off hand that they were all the same pattern, unless of course they happen to sew a lot themselves.
These two get a tickle from dressing alike, so a quick sleeve variation is a handy way to keep away the confusion of who’s dress is who’s. I think it’s sweet that they like to match, although the “oh what cute little twins” comments when I let them do it can sometimes make me think I ought to abolish the practice. I suppose they will get big and independent on their own soon enough though. Two more weeks ’till Christmas! The Christmas preparations are getting downright serious around here, I may even wrap a present in a day or two. How are things at your place?
Matthew 7:11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
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