BB Dress Sleeves

I am determined to finish the BB dress today or early tomorrow. Then it will be moveon.bunny. There are a lot of gathers  where the sleeve meets the sleeve band. To space them out properly I used my oaktag pattern piece, aka template. Little clips came in hand to clip the ends down and then spread out the gathers evenly. I have one row of gathers (2)  riding each side of the 3/8th inch seam line, NOT on the seam line. This will allow for more even pleats that stand up nicely.

Next, I lay a strip of Wonder Tape to one side of the piping. The ends of the piping get snipped off to fit. I can now remove the sleeve from the template. All is to the correct size. The piping gets sewn down but not snug up to the cord, maybe a couple of needle widths away. Then the band is placed on top. Yay, it fits just right! Flip the pieces over so you can see the stitching line you just made to attach the piping. Stitch the band on going a needle's width closer to the cord. I find an edge stitching foot can help here as you just run the blade down the first stitch and move your needle one click to the left towards the cord. Now inspect your work. Do you see what I see? 

Yes, I have already ripped out a section of stitching. Do you see how the print snuck out of line? That looks nasty. So I unstitched, pulled the band back to where it was supposed to be and stitched the line again. It worked. My point here is something I have found out about piping that nobody ever mentions. After stitching you must inspect your work. Is some fat, some thin? More than likely it is. Even with today's great machine  feet I still almost always have to do some adjusting to the width of the piping. Don't get mad and walk away. Just expect it and just redo it. To me, if you want tiny piping you need to work at it till its just right. So inspect and redo. That's the piping game. Now I know some of you, I won't mention any names, can do it all perfect the first time around. But for us more mortal sorts this is the reality. I also find piping requires slow sewing so don't do this when you are in a hurry. I love doing piping and sure hope I haven't discouraged you. Now two sleeves are complete and it is back to my cave to keep moving on....Bunny


  1. Gorgeous fabric... and piping!

  2. Agreed - I expect to have to rip some of it out and resew it to get it perfect. This is just part of working with piping and if you can get over that mental hurdle, then the ripping and redoing is just part of process. BTW, the dress is going to be spectacular - love the fabric/color combos.

  3. I love piping too - and especially love your red one inserted here!
    The dress I am making at the moment has a piped waistline seam, which is quite a nice effect. And yes, I had to restitch a few areas!

  4. Gawd, they're gorgeous! You're an inspiration, Miss Bunny!

  5. I agree... picking out is much better than having something screaming at you forever after. Even if most people would not know the difference, there are those who have sewn for years, will know about the missteps.
    Do I see a bit of a unique color? It's going to be beautiful.

  6. The red piping is such a lovely burst of color in a subtle shaded dress. I love it! Of course you had to fix it. It would have looked horrible if you didn't.

  7. I love piping as well. Your choice of the vibrant color against the tonal print is stunning! I can't wait to see the finished dress. I have to agree - piping can be a pain to get just right, but it's worth the effort - it can make or break the outfit. Yours looks great!

  8. What a great way to manage the gathers evenly & to also attach the piping, Bunny! I don't think I've EVER gotten it attached exactly right the first time. LOL
    I'm off to gather some of those black clips from the den drawer & steal them away to my sewing room.

    Thanks for the example!


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