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Puffy Sleeve Hack!

If you are loving the Bishop sleeve trend you are going to LOVE this hack! Better yet, it's actually super easy and you can adapt this method for any kind of sleeve. Let's go!

You can do this with the v or scoop neck, we chose scoop. Cut your whole pattern like normal until you get to the sleeve piece. I also chose to cut her sleeve on the shorter cut line on the bodice pieces. We live in FL and have very little need for long sleeves, but I know my daughter will still wear a 3/4 sleeve to church during the water months (aka the whole entire year) so this was more useful for us.

When you get to the sleeve, grab some paper. I like to use parchment paper for this, but honestly any kind of paper is fine.

Now you're going want to find the exact middle and trace a line. Lucky for you, ALD put a nice thick line down the middle of this sleeve. See the arrows showing you where I traced my line below. Fold in half along that line so you can create a half piece that you will cut on the fold. This will make sure your sleeve is identical on both sides. Go ahead and trace the top and bottom of the sleeve as well.

Now, see where I've laid my ruler? That's how you're going to trace out the side edges of your sleeve.

See where I've drawn a new line? That's what you want to do. Now you can cut our your pattern piece.

I'm going to add an extra optional step at this point. My parchment paper was not quite as wide as I would have liked it. So I folded my fabric once like this:

And then a second time like this:

Basically I had two folded edges. Then I laid down my pattern piece, so that I would be cutting two full sleeves at once. This is so you can make sure they are identical in width. We are, as they say, going to "wing" it. Which is funny, because this is a hack for arms. And birds use their arms to fly. So our arms are wings.

Please don't block me.

Now I'm actually going to cut a wider diagonal line than my pattern. I want more drama! I'll be honest with you. I cut out the middle man (the paper) most of the time and just double folded like I showed you above and cut out two sleeves at once over my projection. If you're comfortable for that, go for it friend! I just wanted to show you a more precise way of doing it. For science.

This is what that looked like. The top and the bottom are still in the same places, but the sleeve line has extended out on the sides. Be sure to cut out the cuffs as well. No adjustments are needed for those.

The picture above is what your cut sleeve is going to look like compared to the original version. As long as it somewhat resembles this you're on the right track!

Avengers, assemble! Sorry my husband watches a lot of those movies and when I was about to tell you it's time to start assembling the pattern that popped into my mind.

You're going to put this shirt together almost the exact same as the directions. Sew together the shoulder and neck band with no deviations. I'll show you how the sleeves are different. Start by sewing your altered sleeve (yellow in my tutorial), right sides together, like called for in the directions.

Unfolded it will look like this. Now along the bottom of the sleeve, sew a gathering stitch. You can sew two, but because this is such a short piece, and because I like to live dangerously, I only do one. *GASP*

Gather the edge of the sleeve evenly until it is the same length as the cuff. Then pin or clip the two together. Sew.

BTW, some of you may be thinking to yourselves right now, um, Michelle, that's the cheater's way of attaching a cuff! How dare you! To that I shrug and say, "Yep" and make no excuses for myself.

Serge or zigzag stitch the cuff.

Now just sew together the sides as normal.

And the rest of the shirt is completed as normal. This is SUCH a cute addition that can take your top up a level and it really only takes a few extra minutes. Did you try this hack? Tag us on Instagram @amelialanedesigns and @meeisele. We love seeing your work!

XO, Michelle

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