Today I am going to go over the instructions for the Shelby pattern puff sleeve add on. Before continuing, you will need the Shelby pattern (which you can purchase in my shop as either a pdf or paper pattern) and the free Puff sleeve pattern piece. You can get this as a pdf download by signing up for my newsletter here.
You will cut out all of your Shelby pattern pieces as instructed in the original pattern except, omit the sleeve pattern pieces and cut out the puff sleeve instead. You will need 3/8″ elastic for this hack, as well as a safety pin to insert your elastic into the sleeves.
You will sew up your Shelby according to the original instructions for Steps 1 – 24. The following instructions replace steps 25 – 30 of the original Shelby instructions.
The first thing we need to do is add gathering stitches to the top of your sleeve. A gathering stitch is a long straight stitch length of between 4.0mm and 5.0mm depending on your machine.
Without backstitching at either end, stitch a gathering stitch from the first armhole notch, stitching past the shoulder notch, and ending at the other armhole notch. You will do two lines of gathering stitches. One at 3/8″ seam allowance and another at 5/8″ seam allowance. Leave the thread ends long.
With wrong sides touching, fold the bottom of the sleeve up by 1/4″ and then again by 1/2″.
Because of the curve of the hem, you will need to ease in the fold when pressing. Don’t worry too much about this as you won’t see any pinches or gathers once the elastic is inserted.
Unfold the hem. With right sides touching, stitch up the inner sleeve seam at the normal 1/2″ seam allowance.
Finish the seam allowances in your desired manner.
Press seam allowances open or towards the back. Fold the hem back up along the original press lines.
Stitch close to the inside fold, leaving an approximate inch opening to insert the elastic.
Now we are going to insert the sleeve into it’s coordinating armhole on the dress or romper. Start by gently pulling on the basting threads to gather the top of your sleeve. We will adjust the basting more once in the armhole.
With the sleeve turned right side out, and the dress or romper inside out, slip the sleeve into the armhole and line up the armhole openings. Match up the underarm seam with the side seam, and the shoulder (middle) notch at the shoulder seam. Align the outer notches, and gently pull on the basting thread tails to gather the fullness of the sleeve cap into the armhole of the garment.
Use your fingertips to even out the gathers and pin in place.
Take the ends of the basting stitches and figure 8 them around the pins at the notches to secure the gathering stitches.
Stitch the armhole using that normal 1/2″ seam allowance and a regular stitch length. Trim and finish seam allowances.
Press seam allowances towards the sleeve.
Take your 3/8″ elastic and wrap it around the widest part of your bicep without stretching. Add an inch to that measurement (1/2″ for ease and 1/2″ for overlap seam allowance) and cut two at that length.
Attach a safety pin to one end of one piece of elastic and string it through the casing you created at the hem of your sleeve.
Bring it out the other end, making sure it is not twisted at all.
Overlap the two ends of the elastic by 1/2″ and stitch it flat.
Tuck the elastic back in the casing and sew up the opening.
Give your sleeve a final press and you are done. Repeat all steps for the other sleeve. Continue with step 31 of the original Shelby instructions to finish your garment.
I hope this was helpful and a fun and easy way to get more mileage out of your pattern. If you still need to purchase the Shelby pattern you can do so here.