Now we’re finally on to the sleeves, and soon you’ll be able to try on the blouse!

In the original Romy Instructions, finishing the sleeve placket comes prior to attaching the sleeve to the bodice. It is easier to assemble the sleeve placket first because the sleeve is still flat. However, I like to save the sleeve placket for after the sleeve is attached so I can check the sleeve length while the blouse is on. If you’d like to do that step first, see the next post in the Romy sewalong.

Also, if you decide to omit the sleeve placket and cuffs, then you’ll skip that step altogether anyway.

Let’s get going!

Prep the sleeve

Optional: Before you cut a slit for the placket opening, mark a line where the opening will be. Staystitch around the sleeve placket opening line, starting at the base of the opening location with about 1/4” (6 mm) allowance. Taper the staystitching to the apex of the placket opening, then pivot and staystitch on the other side, tapering back out to 1/4” (6 mm) allowance.

Baste two rows of gathering stitches between the notches at the top of the sleeve cap. It's most helpful for gathering if one stitch is inside the seam allowance and the other is just outside the seam allowance (so that the stitches are on either side of the armscye seam). However, if using a delicate fabric, sew both stitches inside the seam allowance, so that there are no holes left behind on the shoulder after the basting stitches are removed later. Leave the thread tails long.

Gently tug the threads to gather the sleeve cap between the notches.

Attach the sleeve to the armscye

Open the bodice assembly so that the armscye is laying open and flat, with the exterior of the bodice assembly facing up. Align the sleeve cap face down with the armscye, distributing the gathers of the sleeve cap within the finished edges of the yoke. Align the rest of the sleeve cap with the armscye, matching the notches at the front and back (double notches indicate the back of the sleeve and bodice).

Sew the sleeve cap to the armscye with a 5/8" (1.5 cm) seam allowance. Finish the seam allowance with your desired method (serging is recommended here for maximum comfort in the armscye). Press the seam toward the bodice.

Sew the side seam and sleeve seam with a french seam

Wrong sides together, pin and sew the sleeve and side seam at 3/8" (1 cm) in one continuous seam, taking care to align the peplum/skirt seams at the bodice. Repeat for the opposite sleeve and side seam.

After the seam is sewn (hard to see in the photo below), trim the seam allowances to 1/8" (3 mm) and press the seams open.

Turn the garment wrong side out and fold/press the sleeve and side seams in the opposite direction. Make sure the seams are fully extended when folding over and pressing.

Now sew the sleeve and side seams again, this time from the interior, with a 1/4" (6 mm) seam allowance to conceal the first seam allowance. Press the finished seams toward the back bodice/back of sleeve.

Repeat for opposite sleeve and side seam.

Note: If you decide to finish the sleeve and side seam by serging, the total seam allowance is 5/8" (1.5 cm) and you will sew with one seam, right sides together.


Hem the bottom edge of the blouse or dress with a narrow hem by turning the hem twice by 1/4” (6 mm) and topstitching in place.

August 01, 2021 — Casey Sibley