It is the attention to details and embellishments that make self-sewn garments look like ready to wear clothing. I decided to add some ruching to the sleeves of my wrap dress and today I will show you how I did it. This works best when applied to knit fabric that has some stretch and is lightweight. You can also add it to a plain sleeve for some pzazz.
Turn the sleeve wrong side facing out.
Starting 1" below the top center of the sleeve cap (meets up with the shoulder seam) draw a line perpendicular to the edge of the sleeve. Hopefully you can see my faint white chalk line.
Now, baste 1/8" away from the line on both sides with the longest stitch length. Make sure to leave the thread tails long, about 4". Wrap all of the thread tails on the sleeve edge into a knot. On the right side of the fabric, knot the two tails near the top of the sleeve cap together.
Back on the wrong side of the fabric, hold the remaining two tails (near the top of the sleeve cap) and gather the fabric toward the sleeve edge. When the gathers look how you like them, knot the two thread tails.
Taking a piece of clear elastic just longer than your gathers, pin it on top and take it to the sewing machine.
Using a stretch needle, stitch down the center of the elastic, making sure to backstitch at the beginning and end of your gathers.
It should look like this once you're done. I clipped the bottom edge into a 'V' so it wouldn't show from the other side.
Remove your basting stitches. Do the same for the other sleeve, making sure that the ruching is even on both sides. This process is quick and simple (it would have taken me less than 30 minutes had I not been taking pictures through out).
To win a cute retro apron, check out my giveaway on the previous post. (I removed the annoying code verification.) I will choose the winner at the end of the week!