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MN2004 Sudley / Sewalongs

Sudley Sewalong: How to sew sleeves & side seams

Sudley sewalong sleeves and side seams

Ok, we’re getting closer to the finish line with our Sudley! Especially if you’re making an unlined blouse – you’re almost there! Next up we just have to attach the sleeves and sew up the side seams, so that’s what we will go over today.

Attaching the sleeve is the same no matter what version of sleeve you choose – short sleeve, elbow length, or long sleeve with elastic casing. I’ll just be showing you a short sleeve today for simplicity and minimal fabric. Also another note – if you’re making a lining, you will want to get this step of the sleeves and side seams done first before attaching the lining! Does that all make sense? Then let’s get to it…

how to sew the sleeves and side seams on the Sudley blouse and dress by Megan Nielsen PatternsMake sure you have transferred the markings along the sleeve cap from the pattern piece to the fabric.

Now set your sewing machine to the longest stitch length, and sew a line of basting stitches between the notches, 5/8″ from the raw edge.

Do not backstitch, and leave the threads slightly long and loose.

how to sew the sleeves and side seams on the Sudley blouse and dress by Megan Nielsen PatternsNow lay your bodice down in front of you, open, with the right side of the fabric facing up.

how to sew the sleeves and side seams on the Sudley blouse and dress by Megan Nielsen PatternsPlace your sleeve down on top of the bodice, with right sides of the fabric together. Start by matching up the centre notch on the sleeve cap with the shoulder seam, and pin in place.

how to sew the sleeves and side seams on the Sudley blouse and dress by Megan Nielsen PatternsThen match up the very edge of the sleeves with the ends of the armscye. Pin in place from the ends to the other notches, leaving the space between the notches and side seam open, as shown above.

how to sew the sleeves and side seams on the Sudley blouse and dress by Megan Nielsen Patternshow to sew the sleeves and side seams on the Sudley blouse and dress by Megan Nielsen PatternsNow gently pull on those loose thread tails to ease the rest of the sleeve cap into the armscye. You don’t want to pull on them so much that you create gathers, only just a bit to create ease and allow the sleeve cap to line up with the armhole.

how to sew the sleeves and side seams on the Sudley blouse and dress by Megan Nielsen PatternsOnce you have it eased in and all lined up, finish pinning the rest together.

how to sew the sleeves and side seams on the Sudley blouse and dress by Megan Nielsen PatternsSew around the sleeve seam 5/8″ from the raw edge. Finish the raw edge with your preferred method. Then press the seam towards the sleeve.

how to sew the sleeves and side seams on the Sudley blouse and dress by Megan Nielsen PatternsHere’s the finished sewn-in sleeve, right side out, after pressing!

how to sew the sleeves and side seams on the Sudley blouse and dress by Megan Nielsen PatternsNow let’s finish up with the side seams.

Turn the bodice inside out, so that the right side of the fabric of Side A and Side B are facing each other.

how to sew the sleeves and side seams on the Sudley blouse and dress by Megan Nielsen PatternsLine up the side seams and underarm seams and pin in place.

how to sew the sleeves and side seams on the Sudley blouse and dress by Megan Nielsen PatternsSew each side as one continuous stitch from the underarm sleeve and down the side seam, 5/8″ from the raw edge. Finish your raw edge with your preferred method and press open or to one side.


LOOKING FOR MORE SUDLEY POSTS?

Here’s the full list of Sudley posts and tutorials:

Here are a couple of posts you also might find useful:

Don’t forget to tag your creations with #MNsudley and @megannielsenpatterns when sharing on social media, and check out what everyone else is up to!

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About Author

Holly writes part time for the Megan Nielsen blog– sewing like crazy, creating tutorials and sewalongs. She has been sewing since she was a little girl, and has her degree in apparel design. Now she’s a stay at home mama, and spends all her free nap times at her sewing machine.

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Sheila
Sheila
2 years ago

OK, so is it just me that struggles to ease sleeves in, can’t for the life of me do it without getting pleats. It happens on any pattern where sleeves have to be eased. Is there a secret method that I have somehow missed cause it drives me mad.

Michelle
Michelle
1 year ago

The instructions say press the sleeve/armhole seam toward the sleeve, but the photo above shows it pressed and pinned away from the sleeve for sewing up the side seams / bottom of sleeve. And if you’re doing a bodice lining, when you get to the part of hand-stitching the bodice to the armhole seam allowance, the seam allowance needs to be pressed/sewn away from the sleeve.

Meg
Admin
Meg
1 year ago
Reply to  Michelle

Hi Michelle!

You are absolutely right :) The instructions for the unlined versions instruct you to press the seams towards the sleeves, however for a lined version you will need to press the seams towards the body in order to enclose the raw edges in the lining. If you need some help attaching your lining you might find this tutorial helpful https://blog.megannielsen.com/2020/01/sudley-sewalong-how-to-add-a-bodice-lining/
Happy sewing!

Michelle
Michelle
1 year ago
Reply to  Meg

Thank you for the help! The sewalongs are great.