It’s Lauren from Blooming Leopold back with this month’s DIY project. This time around, we’re working with vintage again. As I’ve mentioned before, changing a vintage garment doesn’t have to be intimidating; it can be as simple as shortening a skirt, or in this case, removing sleeves and finishing the armholes with bias tape.
I recently found and fell in love with a nude colored silk jumpsuit via Salt Valley Vintage. When it arrived on my doorstep and I put it on, the puff sleeves overwhelmed my frame and I channeled Rosie the Riveter a little too strongly – so using this Pinterest image as inspiration, I decided to cut off the sleeves in an attempt to modernize the one piece.
What you need.. single fold bias tape, your item of choice, sewing machine, iron, and scissors.
First step: Cut off your sleeves. It’s important to use a vintage item that doesn’t have super deep armholes, such as a dolman sleeve blouse (unless you want large, gaping armholes). Be sure to leave about a 1/4 inch for the finishing. Try it on and see how the new armholes lay, then trim as necessary.
Next step: Sew your single fold bias tape, right sides together, to your new armhole. Begin at the armpit seam and sew around, leaving about an inch of extra bias tape at the end so you finish it neatly. You will need to sew the small 1/4 fold of the bias tape to your garment as shown in the photo, leaving the majority of the tape loose (you will be folding this into your garment to finish).
Using an iron, press the bias tape into the garment, wrong sides together, keeping the edges flat and pressing very close to the bias tape edge (where it is sewn to the garment). Also fold the remaining inch at the end of the bias tape inward at the armpit and press it in place.
Then, it’s time to sew the tape in place! Sew on the outer edge of the bias tape and you’re finished. As you sew, keep the fabric fairly tight and pressed to the tape.
The bias tape will allow the armholes to lay flat against the body, resulting in a professional finish. You can also use double fold bias tape to face armholes and necklines, as seen in this DIY.
As the weather grows warmer, I hope this project comes in handy for you all. Happy May! – Lauren (DIY Sew Contributor)
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