Adding a cap sleeve underneath an existing sleeve for added coverage is easier than you think, and it's a great alternative to wearing an undershirt.
I found this CUTEST dress at TJ Maxx a while back and I knew it HAD TO come home with me!! The fit was great, the length was perfect, and the price was irresistable!
The only drawback was that the armholes were very big and you could see my underclothing whenever I moved my arms. I'm far too animated and expressive to keep my arms by my side at all times, and who wants to hold as still as the guards at Buckingham Palace? Although I am of British descent, that is not for me! I'm also not into showing off what is underneath my clothing. This simple cap sleeve addition is the perfect solution for such an issue.
Here's the dress BEFORE I added the cap sleeves. It seems like there wouldn't be a problem but the armhole really was far too large for comfort.
Here's how I added a cap sleeve underneath-----
1. I first cut out my favorite CAP SLEEVE pattern piece in a matching colored knit fabric. (I love this pattern piece from McCalls 6755 which I also used on the Traffic Stopper jumper found here.)
It was important to use a CAP SLEEVE pattern because I wanted to just barely cover the shoulder area and fill in the underarm area the was gaping open. I didn't want to take away from the beautiful detail of the butterfly sleeve on the dress because that is really the eye-catching feature of this dress. Can you imagine a short sleeve hanging out underneath that? It's not attractive is it? You don't want to go there.
2. With the right sides together, I sewed the front and back edges of the sleeve together (The short edge)
3. Then I hemmed only the bottom edge of the sleeve.
4. Then next step was to insert the sleeve into the dress.
Now, try and picture this with me because I didn't take very thorough pictures along the way on how to do this.
So here's the picture for your .....imagine you have the dress on. Are you picturing it? Now you grab that cap sleeve you have just finished and put your hand through it, then pull it all the way up your arm until the raw (unfinished) edge is lined up with the sleeve seam (where the bodice and the sleeve of the dress are sewn together). In this case, you have just pulled the cap sleeve UNDER the butterfly sleeve. Are you imagining this? You should have imagined that the WRONG SIDE of the cap sleeve is against your skin. In other words, both the existing dress and the cap sleeve are both right side out, and the cap sleeve is underneath the butterfly sleeve, only they're not attached at this point. How did you do with the imagery? I love a good imagery practice. It's good for the brain!!
Still clear as Mud? Continue...
5. Once I had the cap sleeve where I wanted it, I pinned it in place and stitched it in place on the OUTSIDE of the dress in the ditch of where the butterfly sleeve and the dress connect.
That's it! This new cap sleeve sits just under the butterfly sleeve and you don't notice it but it gives a little extra coverage and the freedom to move around without the concern of underwear hanging out.
Here's the BACK view:
The view from the FRONT:
The SIDE view:
And the view STRAIGHT on:
***This technique can be applied to almost any top that needs just a little more lining or coverage and it keeps you feeling comfortable. I've used it multiple times for lace sleeves, sheer sleeves, and of course, more butterfly sleeve tops because I have so many of them in my closet the whole thing is going to up and fly away one day! I suppose it's a representation that I am always evolving and going through metamorphosis. Here's to becoming a butterfly!!
Create a Beautiful Life