1930s Sew-along with Norma: Bias bound sleeve hem

Hello everyone!  As promised, here’s how I’m using the new technique to finish the sleeves of the dress for the 1930s Sew-along with Norma.  The approach for the sleeve is the same as for the v-neckline:

  1. Stay stitch and stabilize with style tape.
  2. Support with lightweight woven interfacing.
  3. Add a facing to finish the inside.
  4. Bind the hem using bias cut strip from the fashion fabric.
  5. Pin and baste into place.
  6. Slip stitch along the tape on the right and wrong side of the fabric.


The length of lace tape you see on the right acts as a stay for the long vertical dart.  I used two rows of tiny running stitches to sew into place.  The tape holds the dart in place so that it faces the center of the sleeve.


Interfacing was cut and hand stitched to the sleeve slightly below the sewing line on the wrong side of the fabric.


Close-up of the lace tape used as a stay for the dart.  I made sure to position slightly inside of the machine stitched dart.


I then finished the seams of the sleeve by applying the lace hem tape to the wrong side of the sleeve.  I stitched one edge using a running stitch.  The edge was trimmed and hand overcast.  I did this to add a touch of stability to this very drapey fabric.  It also minimizes the shredding and makes the hand overcasting more durable


On the right side of the sleeve the pre-shrunk cotton stay tape was hand stitched slightly below the sewing line.


The facing of the sleeve was stitched, pressed and hand overcast at the upper edge.


Machine stitching was then used to sew all layers securely together.   I used a medium length stitch right above the top of the stay tape.


The lower edge of the sleeve is trimmed.  The seam was not graded.


The bias tape is pinned around the sleeve hen and overlapped at the sleeve’s underarm seam.sleeve20binding2011_zps2ydgoheh

The tape is basted into place and then slip stitched on the right and wrong side of the sleeve.


I pinned the sleeve to check how it will hang.  I think the bias tape and interfacing add just enough weight to give the sleeve a nice shape at the wrist and keep it straight once it is set into the armhole.

This entire process has to be repeated on the other sleeve.  It’s very slow going but it’s working out.  I hope you will get some ideas for finishing sleeves and necklines when using lightweight fabrics for which you need some extra support.


7 thoughts on “1930s Sew-along with Norma: Bias bound sleeve hem

    • Thank you! I think there’s a lot of improvement going on. BTW, how is everything in NZ? How are you? I’m still in a daze about what’s going on here. I’m so glad my job is keeping me very, very busy in a good way. It helps me stay anchored. Sending thoughts of strength and focus your way!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks Em. I’ll post a video link later today to give everyone an idea. As my city has had so much of this over the last 5 years, we have sustained very little damage; everything that could have fallen down has, and the things that haven’t have been repaired and strengthened. But the town to the north, which was the epicentre is a different story. They have had helicopters and a navy frigate taking people out for the last 2 days as they are totally cut off by road from the north and the south at the moment. It’s devastating for them, and I can really empathise with what they are going through at the moment. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.
        Working has been a good distraction, and I’ve done quite a bit of sewing each night too. Normally I sew on the weekends but this week it’s been a great distraction in the evenings.
        Thinking of you too, as the new reality sets in.
        Much love X

        Liked by 1 person

      • You’ve got the right approach Naomi. Stay focused and stay strong. Don’t neglect what your life is about and the people who need you. We all are called to fulfill special roles. Staying with our responsibilities and fulfilling them is an honorable way to preserve the peace and lessen more unwinding of the social relationships.

        There are some I’m in contact with who want to retreat or run out and search for a new position in the protest movements or help organizations fighting for social justice. I think if one can just pick up and do it then they should try. I just think that we each have to soldier on and get through each day as best as we can.

        It’s good that the people in the northern town can get out. Being without power and clean water and food leads to sickness and even more panic.

        Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.