Sew the Giselle with me: Sleeves or armholes

Welcome back! Today is sleeve day, so we’ll be binding off the armscye if you’re going sleeveless, or attaching the sleeves.

If you’re making view A, I’m afraid I can offer no assistance, as I’m making view B. Follow the instructions or use your preferred method for inserting them. Personally, I always try to insert sleeves in the flat, because I’m lazy, it’s easy and life is too short and my to-sew list too long for setting in sleeves. I’m keen to hear how you tackled it – share with us in the comments below please!


If you’re making view B like I am, then I have a trick for you. I did follow the instructions of attaching the binding first, then sewing the side seams closed. but actually found that the binding made the top of the seam very chunky, because you’ve got loads of fabric (like six layers?) squeezed into one hem.

Instead, I unpicked the side seam and my bias binding, and started fresh. A while ago, I saw this tutorial on the Coletterie, and I decided that it’d be much easier. So I sewed the side seams first, then the binding using the same technique as I described on the 20th.

Armscye binding. A bit wrinkly because my iron was at the wrong temperature. And untrimmed threads. Oops.

To summarise the Coletterie tutorial: sew your side seam first (yes, eating my words here about sewing in the flat as much as possible, but this isn’t as infuriating as setting in a sleeve, promise!). Now, attach the binding to about 90% of the seam, leaving long ends at each side. Sew your binding on, starting about 3 cm away from the side seam, and finishing on the other side a similar distance away. Then carefully align the binding to the remaining bit of armscye, pin and sew the binding into a loop and trimming off the excess. Attach the remaining binding to the armscye, before pressing the binding to the inside and sewing. It saves on bulk and as long as you take your time and pin, you’ll be ok.


Your bodice is now done! Try it on, do a little dance, and I’ll see you tomorrow for the skirt!

2 thoughts on “Sew the Giselle with me: Sleeves or armholes

  1. That’s too funny. I had to re-make my Giselle because it was entirely tooo big for Mori, (you know my daughter). Well I said I’ll be damned to heck if I was going to take apart the bodice, but I needed to take in the shoulders a little. Since that neckline was done with the binding I was trying to figure out how to take it in at the shoulders and still have my neckline binding look nice. This is exactly what I ended up doing to the binding at the shoulder seams!


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