When I learned to sew, I was taught to sew sleeves separately and then insert them into the armhole on a dress or shirt. This is the method I use most often and the method outlined in the 90 Minute Shirt Tutorial and Beach Robe Pattern.
But there’s always more than one way to do things. So I thought I’d share an alternate method for sewing on sleeves. This is the same method used in the Shirt Dress Tutorial. The top of the sleeves are sewn to the armholes before sewing the sides of the dress or robe closed. So if this method makes more sense in your creative mind, use it for all your shirts, dresses, and robes!
Okay, let’s get started. We’ll try it out on this cute striped robe, made for my friend’s new baby (striped towels from IKEA).
Following the Beach Robe Pattern (or other tutorial), cut out your pattern pieces.
Sew the fronts and back of the robe together at the shoulders, but do NOT sew down the sides of the robe.
Lay the Robe flat on the table, and you can see that the sleeves fit right inside of those semi-circle armholes.
With right sides of the fabric together, pin each sleeve to the armhole curve. The fabric will bend/curve up as you pin (since a sleeve is round). Sew each sleeve to the armhole.
When you’re done it should look like this. Simple, right?
Now fold the whole thing in half (with right sides of the fabric together). And its starting to look like a robe.
Pin the sleeves and side seams together. Remember, if you’re using partial ties (outlined in the pattern), you need to add them into the side seam now.
Then start at the end of the sleeve, sew all the way down, around the armpit, and down the entire side of the robe. Do this for both sides of the robe. When you get to the armpit, stop sewing, leave your needle down in the fabric, and lift the presser foot to shift/turn the fabric. Then continue sewing. For stronger reinforcement, forward and back-stitch a few times at the armpit.
Continue sewing the robe as outlined in the pattern. And you’re done!
One cute robe ready to wrap up and gift away.
And I have to say, I was on the fence about the white bias tape (vs. navy blue or red). But in the end, I love the white. Feels fresh and clean.
Have a great Thursday!