Tuesday, 25 September 2012

How to Ruche a Sleeve


Ruching partway up a sleeve is a detail I love in some of my shop-bought clothing. So I decided to add this feature to my pussy bow blouse. It's very easy to do and can turn a boring sleeve into something a little prettier. Here's what I did...

You will need:
- Elastic (I used 4mm thick stuff)
- Unstitched sleeve pieces
- Thread in the colour of your fabric


1. The easiest stage to attach the elastic is after you've added any gather stitches to the sleeve caps but before you've stitched the underarm seams and sleeve hems.


2. Draw a line in chalk or washable pen vertically up the centre of your sleeve, marking the points where you want the gathering to start and end (I also marked these points with tailor's tacks). The starting point should fall at a point that will be enclosed inside the sleeve hem to keep things nice and neat. I started mine 1/2" up from the raw hem and ended 4 1/2" above this point.


3. Cut your elastic. Elastics vary in how much they stretch, so test it out before cutting - pinning between the start and end points of the gathering and scrunching up the fabric in between so it lies flat will give you a rough idea of how much the fabric will gather and how much the hem will rise. Once you've decided on the length, mark the end point on your elastic, then cut about 1" longer than this so you've got something to hold onto while you're sewing.


4. Start sewing! You can use either a straight stitch or zigzag stitch. Begin at the hem, securing the end with a stitch and backstitch. Then sew carefully in a straight line while stretching the elastic up to the end point of your gathering. Secure at the top with a backstitch, then snip the threads and the extra elastic.


Et voilà! You can now stitch the underarm seam and hem and attach the sleeve to your garment.

24 comments:

  1. Oh so simple and so clever! I do love a nice detail like this, I'll have to try it some day. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. Wow! It´s an effect that I love and I didn´t know how to sew it. Thanks for sharing!

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  3. So glad you posted on this! My daughter loves sleeves gathered like this, so now I can make them for her.

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  4. What a cute and simple detail, thanks for the tutorial

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  5. I was just thinking how simple yet clever, and see that joellestlaurent said exactly the same thing! The devil really is in the detail. Wonderful, Tilly!

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  6. wow - that's so easy, and a great look. thanks for sharing!

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  7. Simple and awesome. Love it!

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  8. Short and sweet...that's my ideal tutorial! Thanks for sharing Tilly!

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  9. Thanks for the simple tutorial! I wanna make one and give to a friend. :)

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  10. I REALLY love your blouse! brown is my favorite color! I am wondering if it might be possible if you post a tutorial about the collar?

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  11. Great tutorial, thank you! I can't wait to try this.

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  12. Love it. Since I hardly every make clothing for myself, I can see one of my dollies getting a nice new dress with some ruched sleeves. Thanks for sharing this idea.

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  13. Super cool!!!!! I want to try this.
    This blouse is so gorgeous on you, you are so pretty :D

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  14. Great idea, I'm going to put this on my to-attempt list ;)

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  15. What have I been afraid of? I've been wanting to try it but was thinking it was more complicated than that. Wow, great!

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  16. I love your blog, everytiem i read it, i just feel so inspired to give sewing a go! LOVE the "Things I've Made" section. swoon! :o)

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    1. Aw thanks Zinnia - that's really nice.

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  17. This is a fantastic tutorial, Tilly! Thanks so much.

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  18. Très gentil de votre part de expliquer votre façon de travailler et vos tutos - merci-

    J'aime ,j'aime Amitiés

    Marie-Laure

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  19. Marie-Laure signée croixcroisette ,je fais du point compté petites croix sur lin (charentes -maritimes). J 'aime votre gentillesse ,votre blog et votre simplicité et surtout ce que vous faîtes c'est joli et très chic ***

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  20. Lovely! I've attempted this technique before, but my elastic ended up staying in the permanently stretched out position after I sewed it in, so it didn't look gathered. What am I doing wrong? :(

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