Nov 062013

Today we’ll be finishing up our Sugar Plums by setting the sleeves, attaching the buttons and hemming the skirt. We’re so close!


Place your sleeves, fashion and lining together for both sides, together, and stitch across the bottom of the sleeve.


Turn your seam allowance toward the lining and press. Stitch at about 1/8″ to the seam, on the lining side. This will ensure that your lining doesn’t roll toward the outside of your sleeve and show while you’re wearing your Sugar Plum.


Put wrong sides together and press. Then, stitch at the gathering markings at the end of your sleeves with long stitches so you can gather them. Pull the long tails you’ve left. Secure them on the wrong side of your sleeve. You can also leave your sleeves without this gather. Both ways look quite nice.

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Stitch at the underarm seam.

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Turn your sleeve right sides out and press. The underarm seam will be completely enclosed.


At this point, and to make sure your sleeve and lining are lined up and ready to set in, you can baste the fashion and lining together. You can also opt to serge your sleeve now although you can also serge/finish it after your sleeve is set.

Baste the fashion and lining fabrics together with a long stitch. I like to do two rows of basting stitches. I find I get a more balanced gather that way. Gather cap sleeve between notches B and H.


 Matching notches, pin your sleeve to your bodice with right sides together. (I wanted to add a couple more pictures so I made up a muslin to illustrate setting the sleeve.) Even out your gathers. 


Stitch around your sleeve and take out your basting stitches.


Finish your sleeve seam with a serger, zig zag, pinking shears or binding. Press the finished seam allowance toward the sleeve.

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Press from the right side careful not to crush your gathers.


Waistband finishing

With your dress wrong side out, fold under the raw edge of the waistband at 1/4″ and pin in place. Turn your dress right side out and edgestitch at the top and bottom edge of the waistband, removing the pins as you go. Make sure your edge-stitching catches the inner waistband.

In the case of my leopard print Sugar Plum, I stitched on the inside waistband …

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…and on the right side I got an invisible stitch in the ditch. Either over both layers of the waistband or in the ditch work.

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Hook & Eye/Buttons

Attach hook and eye above zipper.

Sew on buttons.


Fold your skirt hem under 1 1/4″. I like to mark it on my fabric so that it’s even all the way around. If you’re new to doing a blind hem or would like a refresher, check out our tutorial.

Below you can barely see my blind hem stitching from the right side. I’m pointing out one of the more noticeable stitches.

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Congratulations! Your Sugar Plum is done! No hand stitching and an all enclosed bodice.

We’d love to see your finished dress. Head on over to Flickr or Facebook and post pictures proudly!

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