We are ready to sew the short puff sleeves (View A). The construction is the same for the Wren & Mini Wren for the short sleeve option. If you are sewing the Mini Wren long sleeves (View B), you will use these same instructions. The Mini Wren long sleeve is also finished with an elastic hem. If you are looking for the long sleeve instructions with a cuff, you can find them here.

Gather the Upper Short Sleeve Cap

The short sleeve has a puff cap. To prep the sleeve cap, change your stitch length to the longest possible length. Sew two parallel baste stitch lines at the sleeve between the set of three notches at the cap. Make sure not to backstitch at the beginning or end of your stitch lines and leave long end to your threads.

  • The first line is 1/4″ (0.6 cm) away from the fabric edge
  • The second line is 1/2″ (1.25 cm) away from the fabric edge
  • Pull the bobbin threads to gather the sleeve cap gathers.

Attach the Upper Short Sleeves

With right sides together, pin the sleeve to the armhole. The gathers are centered at the cap, 2″ on either side of the shoulder seam. Sew the sleeve to the armhole.

Finish the seam, remove any visible basting stitches.

Press the seam towards the sleeve. The seam allowance at the cap will give the puff a bit of height.

Sew the Side Seams

With the right sides together, sew the side seams. Start from the sleeve hem and sew towards the bodice hem.

Finish the seam and press towards the back.

Sew the Lower Short Sleeve

With the right sides together, sew the short ends of the lower short sleeves. Finish the seams and press towards the back.

Sew the Short Sleeves Wrong Sides Together

To clean finish the seam and add structure to the sleeve, sew the upper short sleeve to the lower short sleeve with a French seam. There is an alternative (faster) method below. The underseams will match and the seams will both be pressed back. Turn the blouse inside out. With the wrong sides together, pin the lower sleeve to the upper sleeve, matching the notches. Sew at 1/4″ (0.6 cm). Trim the seam allowance to 1/8″ (0.3 cm) and press toward the upper sleeve.

Sew the Short Sleeves Right Sides Together

With the right sides together, sew the seam at 1/4″ (0.6 cm) to create an enclosed French seam.

Press the seam towards the upper sleeve. A pressing ham is helpful when pressing the curved seam.

Alternative to a French Seam for the Short Sleeve

If you prefer not to sew a French seam for the short sleeve, you can sew the upper and lower short sleeve together, right sides together, with a 1/2″ (1.25 cm) seam allowance. Finish the seam and press. I used this method when I was sewing fit samples as I was going for speed. Finished sample below for reference.

Sew a Fold Guide on the Sleeve Facing

Sew a fold guide on the outer (longer) edge of the sleeve facing just under 3/8″ (1 cm). Press the outer edge in 3/8″ (1 cm), wrong sides together. Unfold the pressed edge.

Sew the Sleeve Facing

With the right sides together, sew the facing under seams. Press the seams open and then fold the pre-pressed edge, wrong sides together.

Sew the Facing to the Sleeve Hem

With the right sides together, pin the facing to the sleeve hem. The facing seam will match the underseam. Sew the facing to the sleeve. Press the seam towards the facing.

Understitch the Sleeve Facing

Understitch the facing by stitching a line 1/16″ (0.15 cm) away from the seam on the sleeve facing. Make sure to catch the seam allowance towards the facing when stitching.

Edgestitch the Sleeve Facing

Press the facing towards the inside of the sleeve and pin, using a lot of pins to keep the facing in place. Sew from the wrong side during this step, edgestitching the facing in place at 1/16″ (0.15 cm) and leaving an opening to insert the elastic. When stitching from the wrong side, make sure your bobbin thread matches the right side of your garment. Press neckline.

Insert 3/8″ (1 cm) Elastic

Measure your bicep and cut the elastic so it’s 2″ (5 cm) longer than your bicep measurement. Thread the elastic through the hem facing, being careful not to twist the elastic. Overlap the edge by 3/8″ (1 cm)on either side and pin in place.

Test to make sure the elastic is comfortable and secure with a zig zag stitch.

Close the opening of the casing to enclose the elastic. Repeat for the other sleeve.

If you are sewing the Blouse, you are ready to add the center front buttons and hem your blouse. If you are sewing the Dress, you can add the center front buttons next or add the skirt ruffle and add the buttons last.

Wren Sew Along Posts: Getting Started | Staystitching, Sewing Darts & Shoulder Seams | Sew the Facing | Sew the Short Puff Sleeve | Sew the Long Sleeve & Cuff | Hem Blouse, Sew Buttonhole & Attach Buttons | Sew Dress Skirt & Hem


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