Balloon Sleeve Dress
I’ve made a bunch of shift dresses including this balloon sleeve dress which I will post over the next few weeks. They are beyond easy to make as I use no closures i.e. zips or button holes. The difference between a normal shift dress and this one is I made the sleeves a touch longer and wider, then inserted elastic into the hem of the sleeve. Since statement sleeves are a thing at the moment it gave this shift dress a slightly modern edge.
You need: –
- a shift dress to make a pattern
- large piece of paper
- paper scissors
- matching colour thread
- elastic threader
- sewing machine
- sewing scissors
You do: –
First up you need to make a pattern for this dress. To do this, take a shift dress that fits you. Fold it in half. Fold your piece of paper in half. The fold is the centre back and centre front of your dress. Pin the dress to the paper with the folds lying on top of each other. Trace around your shift dress allowing at least 1.5 centimetres for seams. You need to make the sleeves longer and wider than your shift dress to get the balloon sleeve effect of this dress.
Use the curve of the neck at the back of your shift dress for your pattern. You will cut the front a bit deeper later. Also, add a bit extra at the bottom of your pattern for a hem. Now cut out your pattern with paper scissors. That’s the pattern done.
Place your pattern on your fabric taking care to that it sits vertically in line with the grain of the fabric. Cut two pieces exactly the same.
To make the neck of the front slightly lower, cut away 2 – 4 centimetres. See picture above.
First you need to make sure your head is going to fit through the neck of this dress. Pin the front and back of your dress together and slip it over your head. If it fits, all good. Now is the time to adjust if you want a lower front neckline.
Using the actual dress, cut a front and a back facing. Pin the facing pieces together and sew them. Sew the sides and shoulders of your dress together.
Take some time out here to press all your seams flat and open. Sew your facing to the neckline. Snip in as per the above picture so it splays open. Press flat with an iron.
Now measure around your upper arm. Using that measurement cut 2 x pieces of elastic. I chose a wide non-bendable elastic. Your hem at the sleeve must be wide enough for your elastic to fit so pin the hem in place and check before sewing. Sew sleeve hem leaving a small gap for the elastic to slide in.
Using either an elastic threader or a jumbo safety pin, feed elastic into sleeve hem and sew the two ends together. Sew the gap closed.
Try your dress on and check where you would like the hem to sit. Pin in place. And sew your hem. That’s your dress done. Easy peasy.
Have a great green week.