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Caribbean Pirate Dress

 

Pleating the cuff edge

1. Pleat the cuff first. Measure around your arm at the elbow and add 1.5cm (0.5"), and measure the curved cuff edge by placing your tape measure on its edge to go around the curves.

2. Pleat the edge in the same way as you pleated the skirt, starting in the middle as before, so that the cuff edge ends up being your-elbow-plus-half-an-inch long when you're done. This won't be as simple to do this time, since the edge is curved. Take it one pleat at a time, keep the pleats fairly small (I made all the pleats on the top and cuff of the sleeves 1cm (0.5") wide when finished) and do the best you can - keep in mind that you'll be binding this edge so it doesn't need to be perfect.

3. After sewing the pleats down twice as in the skirt pleating instructions, bind the edge with a strip of fashion fabric cut "on the bias" (diagonally).

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Pleating the top of the sleeve

Image

The top of the sleeve, as we've seen, won't be pleated all the way along - in fact, it'll only be pleated in one small section at the back of the sleeve. As for the skirt and cuff, we'll use machine sewn knife pleats, but if you want authenticity you're welcome to use cartridge pleating instead (again, there's a great tutorial here.)

1.Measure the armscye on the bodice - note down the length along the bottom of the eye-shaped armhole from corner to corner, and then note down the length along the top. (They won't be the same, by the way, the distance along the top should be significantly bigger.)

2.When the sleeve is attached to the armhole, the split will come exactly at the front "corner" of the armhole. In order to make the sleeve fit, you'll pleat the section of the sleeve that'll be along the back half of the top of the eye shape. So now you need to find where that section is along the top of your sleeve.

Fold the sleeve into its finished position (as in the photo, above right) to check which sleeve you've got. Measure along the top of the sleeve, from the split over the top, and pin at half the distance across the top of the armhole that you measured in (1).

3.Now measure from the split the other way, down under the sleeve, and pin the distance around the bottom of the armhole.

4. Now you can measure the distance between the pins and pleat this section down to match the length of the back half of the top of the armhole. (Halve the distance around the top of the armhole to get your finished length.)

Don't bind the top of the sleeve yet - we're going to make the undersleeve and sew under- and oversleeve together around the top before we bind the edge.

Click to enlarge

 

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