Betty Bodice Dress – Capped Sleeves

I have finally found the time to get the sleeve pattern sorted for you.  A Busy school holidays and far too much baby sitting taking up my time!  On the upside it makes me sure my decision to stick with just two kids was the right one!  I have two slightly different sleeve options for you.  These are designed to be used with the Betty Bodice Dress Pattern and Tutorial (Free!!).

Betty Bodice Dress Capped Sleeves b

A slightly larger elasticated ruffled edge capped sleeve.  In order to go larger I have had to add an elasticated edge to the gathered sleeve, so that it will go on easily and not restrict movement.

Betty Bodice Dress T1  (1)

And the original smaller gathered bias bound edge sleeve.

Betty Bodice Dress T1  (5)

What you will need,

  • Fabric to match or contrast your dress.  Scraps/off cuts should be plenty!
  • Bias Binding – Width is up to you.
    • 18cm (7”) for the smaller capped sleeve
    • 39.5cm (15.5”) per sleeve for the larger size
  • PDF Pattern – PDF has both styles, page 1 for the smaller capped sleeve, page 2 for the larger elasticated capped sleeve.
  • Elastic – 3mm (1/8”) width.  You can use wider if your binding is larger.  Not needed for smaller capped sleeve.

*I am writing this tutorial for the Larger Elasticated Capped Sleeve.  You can follow the same instructions for the smaller sleeve, but instead of elastic you gather the curved edge of the sleeve using your machine, before adding the bias binding.  The rest is the same.

**For the lined dress insert the sleeve in between the two layers of fabric.  You will need to make sure the gap left is large enough.  You can use your cut sleeve pieces to see how large the gap needs to be.  Only sew the small section of the armhole (not 2/3 of the way up as in the tutorial) near the side seam.  If you would like a full tutorial let me know!

Step 1 – Cutting Fabric

Cut out your pieces.  Pretty self explanatory, but be careful of which way up your pattern will end up if using patters or stripes.


I cut these two as one piece on the fold then cut in half.  Just a little quicker than cutting the curve twice.  But do what you feel comfortable with!

Step 2 – Prepare your Bias Binding

Cut and gently press open your bias binding.


You want to just press out the binding lightly, not remove the creases altogether.  It also helps to fold out the bias with your fingers first, sometimes the folds are almost stuck down.

Step 3 – Attaching Bias Binding

Pin the binding on the wrong side of your sleeve piece, line up slightly in from the raw curved edge.  Sew down the crease closest to the raw edge.  You can check out my Bias Binding Tutorial for clearer instructions.


Step 4 – Inserting Elastic

Fold the bias edge over around to the other side.  You may like to gently iron this if it is not sitting nicely.


I am inserting the elastic when I fold the bias binding over, making sure to keep it as far to the outside edge (away from where I’ll be sewing) as possible.


You can feed the elastic through if you are using larger binding, or have a smaller safety than me!

Step 5 – Sew Elastic in place

Sew the bias binding in place.  You will be sewing on the right side of the fabric so use a matching (or contrasting can be great too!) thread.  Secure one end of the elastic, by stitching over it, as in photo below.  You want to be sure you haven’t caught the elastic in the seam before sewing off one end.  Don’t panic if you have caught it, you can still pull both ends of the elastic to even it out!  As long as it isn’t caught in more than one place.  Just don’t pull the elastic through by accident!


Trim off the extra elastic from attached end.

NOTE: I don’t cut my length of elastic from the spool (reel, card etc.). I leave it attached and cut at the end so I’m not wasting elastic by creating off cuts.

Step 6 – Gather Sleeve Edge


Pull on your long end of elastic to gather the sleeve, you may need to feed the gather along a bit as you go.  Gather until the sleeve measures 18cm (17”).  Sew the end just like we did for the first side.


Here you have it right side and inside out.

Step 7 – Attach Sleeves to the Dress (Unlined Version)

Firstly find the centre of the sleeve edge.  Hold the bias edges together to find the middle, and mark with a pin.


Line the pin up with the shoulder seam on the dress.  This should be done with the right sides facing each other.


Then carry on pinning till the sleeve is attached.


Cut your bias binding for the arm hole seam to length, allowing a little for overlap.  ( See this Tutorial for the single fold bias binding I used to finish the seams in the unlined Betty Bodice Dress).  Starting from the underarm seam pin the bias onto the armhole a little way in from the raw edge.  Once you get to the sleeve edge pin all three layers together.  Take care to catch the edge of the sleeve properly.



Now it’s ready to be sewn together!

Betty Bodice Dress Capped Sleeves a

Start sewing on the folded piece of binding, again in the crease closest to the raw edge.  Sew all the way around.  This bit is a little fiddly, so be careful that another part of the sleeve/dress doesn’t get caught underneath!  The overlapping piece of bias will go over top of the folded piece.  By not joining these two first it allows you to adjust it if you haven’t pinned it perfectly flat.

Betty Bodice Dress Capped Sleeves (30)

If you fold the sleeve out it should look like this!

Betty Bodice Dress Capped Sleeves (31)

Turn the dress inside out, fold the binding over (fold the last crease over first then fold over the whole piece of binding).  You can see more on this step in the unlined dress tutorial.

Betty Bodice Dress Capped Sleeves (32)

Sew the bias binding down near the edge, ensuring that the seam is laying flat.

Betty Bodice Dress Capped Sleeves (33)

Again it’s a little fiddly but as long as you go slowly you should be fine!

Betty Bodice Dress Capped Sleeves (34)

Repeat for the other side!

Step 8 – Finished!!

Betty Bodice Dress Capped Sleeves b

Betty Bodice Dress Capped Sleeves c

I still have a few more ideas up my sleeves Winking smile so more to come shortly!

Any requests for other additions for the Betty Bodice Dress?

2 thoughts on “Betty Bodice Dress – Capped Sleeves

  1. Love it! It looks so cute. Have you tried using fold over elastic (aka elastic ribbon). So much quicker and easier than inserting elastic inside bias binding 😀

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