Infinite A-line Hack: Pintuck Yoke and Puff Sleeves

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I’m back!  We’ve had serious computer issues around here (finally leading to buying a new one- boo!) and I’ve been DYING to show you this latest hack of the Infinite A-line Dress!  I’ve had a great response to the pattern release (thank you!!) and am looking forward to some exciting things on the horizon for this pattern.  If you don’t have your own copy yet, you can find it HERE.

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I found inspiration for this version of the dress on Pinterest (where else??) and have been saving it forever!  It was so fun to figure out how to put it together and create a whole new dress from the same pattern.  Read on for the whole tutorial…

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My favorite part of this dress is the fabric and buttons!  I’m all about chartreuse lately so when I saw this Swiss dot at Michael Levine in LA, I grabbed it without any sewing project in mind.  It ended up being perfect for this and definitely needed a full lining since it’s so thin and delicate.

Ready to get started?  Let’s do it!

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First you’ll need to use the pattern pieces for the basic A-line silhouette with sleeves: bodice 1 & 2 and sleeve 7.  Cut all pieces out of your main fabric, plus pieces 1 & 2 out of your lining fabric.  I used a thin cotton voile for this lining.

SLEEVE TIP:  In order to get a decent puffed sleeve, I went up two sizes when cutting out my sleeve (i.e. the dress is size 4 but the sleeves are size 6).  I then gathered the sleeve cap to fit the armscye (armhole) and after adding elastic to the hem, I got the desired effect.  You can also add more puff to your sleeve by cutting the bottom edge of your sleeves slightly wider than the pattern shows.  Here’s a diagram to give you an idea:

puff sleeve line drawing1

Now that all your pieces are cut, we’ll need to create the pintucked yoke.  Lay your front bodice piece out and decide the size and shape you want your yoke to be.  My finished yoke piece (on a size 4 dress) was 4″ W x 3″ H (10cm W x 7.5cm H).  Subtract your seam allowance from this measurement to determine the U-shaped piece of fabric that you’ll be cutting out of your bodice front (a 3/8″ or 1cm seam allowance made my hole dimensions about 3.4″ x 2.4″ or 9cm x 6.5cm).

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Now take those finished yoke measurements again (4″ W x 3″ H or 10cm W x 7.5cm H) and ADD a seam allowance to it (4.4″ x 3.4″ or 11cm x 8.5cm).  These are the measurements of your raw pintucked yoke piece (pintucks added but before it’s sewn onto your bodice).

Creating the actual yoke piece requires a little thought.  You’ll need to cut out a rectangle of fabric that is as high as your finished yoke piece but about 2.5 times as wide (mine was 9″ x 3″ or 23cm x 7.5cm) to allow room for the pintucks.  Flip your rectangle over and find the center; draw a vertical line down the middle using a fabric pen or pencil.

Now decide how much room you want in the center of your pintucks to allow for buttons and how wide you want your tucks.  Leave a bit of space on either side or your center line for buttons (I just eyeballed it) and then draw vertical lines every 3/8″ (1 cm) on either side of the rectangle (see diagram).  These will be the guides for your pintucks.

pintuck guide

Beginning on one side of the yoke, fold your fabric along the first drawn line, wrong sides together and press.  Stitch parallel to fold.  The distance between your stitching and fold will be the width of your pintuck (mine were 1/4″ or 5mm).  Continue folding, pressing and stitching until all pintucks are done.  You can make as many as you like and whatever width you choose!

Remember those measurements we came up with for the pintucked yoke with seam allowances? (mine was 4.4″ x 3.4″ or 11cm x 8.5cm)  Re-measure your yoke (now with pintucks) and cut down to the right size.  You will be trimming the sides as well as curving the bottom and top to match the hole in the bodice.  Use the piece you cut out of the bodice as a guide for the curves, just remember, your finished piece will be considerably bigger to allow for seam allowances!

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Lay your bodice front out right side up, and place your yoke piece on top, right side down.  Align the right side (when on the body) of the bodice hole with the right side of the yoke piece and pin.

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Now begin stitching the two together along the raw edges.  I chose to only pin this first straight edge because it got too tricky after that.  Continue stitching the two pieces together around the curves, bending the yoke piece as needed to match the bodice.  Trim the seam allowance and clip curves.

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Press seam well, add buttons and you’re ready to finish the dress as usual!  Isn’t that pretty??

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The only thing you’ll be doing differently to your sleeve construction is adding a casing and elastic.  Fold up raw edge of sleeve hem 1/4″ (5mm) and press.  Fold up again 1/2″ (1cm) and press.  Stitch close to fold, leaving a small opening.  Measure your child’s bicep and add 1/2″-1″ (1cm-2.5cm) depending on how loose you want the elastic to be.  Cut two pieces of 1/4″ (5mm) elastic the length of this measurement.  Insert elastic into each casing , stitch raw elastic edges together and stitch opening of casing closed.  Attach sleeves to bodice as usual.

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Doesn’t it feel amazing to add a few fun details and create an entirely new garment?  Hope you enjoyed this Infinite A-line hack and I can’t wait to share more!

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Comments

  1. Hi Bonnie

    I love this dress and really like that you add more modifications on your blog. The pattern says that the keyhole closing can’t be used with sleeves but I noticed you used it here. Can it be used with the short and long sleeves after all?? I’m hoping so because it would be much easier. If not, could you explain why.
    Thanks!

    • HI Liz! Good question! When you add sleeves to the A-line dress it requires a wider opening to get your little girl’s arms in and out which is why I suggest using the the placket opening instead of the keyhole (which is a smaller opening). I did the keyhole here cause I’m a rule breaker and lazy like that 🙂 and because my little Kira was skinny enough to get it on and off without a problem. I’d recommend trying it on your little girl after cutting the slit for the keyhole (but before finishing the opening) and, if she doesn’t have a problem, then you’re good! You could always size up around the chest to avoid this issue too. Good luck!

  2. Thanks for the explanation – that all makes sense now!

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