Hi everyone, Holly here again! I’m here today with a fun Jarrah hack for you, creating a sweatshirt dress with bishop sleeves. It’s a two-in-one! I’ll be showing you how to lengthen the pattern to dress length (secret pyjamas, anyone?), as well as alter the sleeves to voluminous bishop sleeves. Two very simple hacks that create such a different look for Jarrah! And bonus – it’s really cute on Mini Jarrah as well.
For the bishop sleeves, you will need to use the sleeve view with the cuffs.
For the dress length, I suppose it would work with any of the views, really. Straight hem, banded hem, and even a tie hem, could all be cute as the bottom edge of a sweatshirt dress. But I personally think the curved hem works best! So that’s what I’ll be showing you today.
One more note – for this tutorial, I’m going to use Mini Jarrah for the step-by-step photos. Only because it’s easier to work with and photograph on a smaller scale. But just know that it is the exact same process for both the adult and mini versions. I will note anytime there is a difference between the two (just in measurements).
Ok, let’s just get started!
Altering the bodice pattern to dress length
On both the front and back bodice pieces, cut straight across the line that says “lengthen or shorten here”.
Starting with the front bodice, tape the upper half to a blank piece of paper, so that the centre front edge lines up with the straight edge of the paper. Tape in place.
Determine how much you want to add in length. I can’t give you an exact measurement, because it will vary by size and personal preference. For reference – I added 6″ to the mini pattern for a 3-year-old, and 12″ to my women’s version.
Once you know how much you want to add, measure that far down the straight edge of the paper from the bottom of the upper half. Draw a horizontal line at this point, so that it is parallel to the bottom edge of the upper half.
Place the bottom half of the front bodice along this line, again making sure that the centre front also lines up with the straight edge of the paper. Tape in place.
Using your ruler, connect the upper half and bottom half together smoothly at the side seam.
Cut out along your new side seam.
Repeat the same process for the back bodice, making sure that you are adding in the exact same amount.
When they are all done, the side seams should still line up perfectly.
Altering the sleeve pattern to a bishop sleeve
Divide your sleeve pattern into 6 sections by drawing 5 parallel lines evenly divided from the top edge of the sleeve.
Cut along these lines. Start cutting at the bottom edge up towards the top edge. Cut to, but not through, the top. This leaves a “hinge” to move each section around.
Place a large piece of paper underneath. Starting at one side, tape down the first section.
Spread each section an equal amount, taping as you go. How much you spread each section will determine how full your sleeve is.
For the mini version, I spread each section 1″.
For the adult version, I spread each section 2″.
You can see in our finished photos what each of those resulted in.
Once you have each section spread and taped down, connect and smooth out the bottom edge.
Cut out your new sleeve pattern.
As you can see, the new bishop sleeve pattern (right) is now a different shape than the original sleeve pattern (left). It actually looks like an inverted version of the original.
This part is optional. But if you want your bishop sleeve to be really blouse-y and balloon-y, you may want your cuff to be tighter on your wrist. To do this, I removed an inch from the cuff pattern piece. (I did this on the adult one only and not the mini. I knew she wouldn’t like it being tight on her wrist.)
Sewing the bishop sleeves
Sew together the shoulder seams and neckband (or funnel neck) as directed in the instructions.
Attach your sleeves to your bodice as directed in the instructions. Just remember that the shape is different now, and the shorter edge is the edge that you sew to the bodice.
Now also sew the side seams together as directed in the instructions (are you sensing a theme here haha).
Now for the fun part- bringing the bishop sleeve to life!
Set your machine straight stitch to the longest length and sew a line of basting stitches around the bottom edge of the sleeve, 1/4″ away from the raw edge. Starting at the seam, sewing around, and finishing on the other side of the seam. Do not backstitch, and leave long thread tails.
Sew your cuffs together as directed in the instructions.
Gently pull on the thread tails to gather the bottom edge of the sleeve until it lines up with the width of the cuff.
Place your cuff over your gathered sleeve, with the right sides together, lining up the raw edges. Pin together
Sew, using a zig-zag stitch, 1/4″ from the raw edge. It’s easier to sew from the inside/gathered sleeve side.
Finish the raw edge with your preferred method.
Turn the cuff the right way around and ta-da! a perfectly blouse-y voluminous bishop style sleeve.
All you have to do now is hem your dress according to the instructions and you are good to go.
Here is a good look at the mini version! As you can see, her bishop sleeves are not as blouse-y and pronounced, because I didn’t tighten the cuffs around her wrist. Still super cute, though! Very comfy and casual.
And here is the tighter cuff around my wrist! I love how this little detail dresses up a comfy casual sweatshirt dress.
I hope you enjoy it, and we would love to see if you make a version for yourself!
LOOKING FOR MORE JARRAH POSTS?
Here’s the full list of Jarrah posts and tutorials:
- Pattern Tester Round-up
- Mini Jarrah Pattern Tester Round-up
- Inspiration + Ideas
- How to Lengthen the Pattern
- Neckband and Funnel Neckline
- Sleeves with Cuffs (A&C)
- Split Sleeve and Curved Hem (B&D)
- Hem Band (A)
- Tie Hem (C)
We absolutely love seeing what you make, so don’t forget to tag your creations with #MNjarrah or #MNminijarrah and @megannielsenpatterns when sharing on social media, and check out what everyone else is up to!