How to Draft and Sew a Sleeve Facing

arm flouncesHave I mentioned yet that I’m in love with my Mad Men Joan dress? So much so that I wrote a tutorial for drafting sleeve flounces so I can spread the love. The only problem with inserting these pretty arm flounces onto a dress sleeve is that when the flounce flops around, as it looks so beautiful doing, you are liable to catch a big ol’ glimpse of the seam where you sewed the flounce onto the sleeve, and that’s not as beautiful. So, sleeve facings to the rescue!

How to Draft Sleeve Flounce

The idea here is pretty similar to the idea of a neck facing, with which you’re probably quite familiar – a piece of lining fabric that is an exact mirror of a little bit of the main fabric. What you need to do is to trace the bottom several inches of your sleeve pattern and cut it out of your facing fabric. (I would mark what is the cuff edge of the sleeve piece as you cut as it’s easy to get it flipped vertically.) Sew the pieces along the seam lines, right sides together, as you would for the full-length sleeve, and finish the seam (if you’re into that sort of thing).

sew end of sleeve facing

Now make a clean finish for the top of the facing piece. I serged the edge and then folded it over into a narrow seam. I also serged the bottom edge of the facing but it will be hidden when complete so this isn’t strictly necessary.

sew facing to sleeve flounce

Sew the facing onto the sleeve with flounce, right side of facing against underside of flounce. (I recommend sewing the flounce on and then sewing the facing on instead of trying to do them together as it can be a bit much to handle both at the same time.) Turn the facing to the inside and press.

tack flounce to sleeve in seam allowanceTo keep the facing in place, you can tack the facing to the sleeve at the inside top, using the seam fabric so your tacking stitches are hidden.

faced sleeve flounceNow when someone looks up your flounce (oh my!) they’ll see a pretty bit of facing instead of a seam.

Make sure that you select a lightweight facing fabric (lighter than your main fabric) and it shouldn’t be visible once it’s in place.

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