I’m so excited to show you how to add a longer sleeve to the Washi Dress as shown in the Ruby Star Washi Dress post! I’ve made a pattern piece that you may download for free (yay!!). For your convenience, the instructions for sewing the sleeve are printed on the pattern piece in addition to this tutorial. Please note that the various sizes of this pattern are UNTESTED, so you use at your own risk. Feel free to email me if you have feedback. Thanks!


This pattern piece is provided with the understanding that it will be used in conjunction with the Washi Dress Sewing Pattern. All files and images are protected by copyright law. You may not distribute or reproduce this file. Please link to this post and not directly to the file itself when referencing this file. Thanks!

Download, print, and tape together the sleeve pattern piece
You will first need to download the sleeve pattern piece and print it out (at 100%, remember to check your scale, people!!) and tape the three pages together.


Adjust size of the pattern if needed
The sleeve piece is for a size Medium, but as you will see, the pattern piece is marked with a line that will allow you to size up/down the pattern piece quite easily just by sliding the two pieces apart/together.


For the larger sizes, where you slide the pieces apart, I would redraw the curve to smooth it out:


And for the smaller sizes, you can just slide the pieces so that the curve overlaps at top:


(but don’t forget to add length at the bottom then!)


It should be noted that the length of this sleeve pattern piece is long enough to come to about elbow length on me when my arms are bent. I have long monkey arms, but even so you may want to add a couple inches to the length of the sleeve if you want it to be a 3/4-length sleeve, just to be on the safe side!

Cut out sleeve pieces

Place sleeve pattern piece along the fold and cut out two sleeves. Transfer dots to fabric with a marking pen.


Gather sleeves

Using a long stitch length and high tension on your sewing machine, stitch between the two dots along the top of the sleeve


Pull threads to gather


Repeat for the other sleeve


Attach sleeve to dress

You’ll need to sew your shoulder seam (front bodice to back) before you attach your sleeve, so do that first:


Then, with the right side of the sleeve facing the right side of the dress, pin the sleeve to the armhole curve, starting at the armpits and moving toward the center. When you get to the gathered part, adjust the gathers as needed and pin excessively to keep your gathers evenly spaced at the shoulder seam. Once you have it pinned, sew the sleeve to the armhole with a 1/2″ seam.


HINT: I like to first machine baste (don’t forget to reset your tension) the sleeve to the armhole, check my gathering, then re-sew with a normal stitch length just to make sure my gathers look the way I want them to.

Now your sleeve should look like this:


Now continue the dress construction by adding the neckline facings (or a lining — check out the video series I made).

I chose to do a lining, so the next step for me was attaching the lining to the neckline. I used an off-white voile lining and cut out an extra bodice front and bodice back. I also made this neckhole slightly larger by stitching with about a 1″ seam allowance at the base of the neck to lower and widen the neckline slightly and about 1/2″ at the shoulders instead of the normal 1/4″ neckline seam allowance called for in the pattern.


In this version I also added an elastic casing to substitute for the shirring in the back. I cut the back lining piece 1/2″ below the lowest shirring line, then folded that extra 1/2″ under and stitched it down to make an elastic casing that ended where the lowest shirring line would have been):



Then I did the armholes using the lining trick shown in the videos, first rolling up the sleeves and sewing very carefully to keep them out of the way.

When it’s time to sew your side seams, you’ll want to sew up the side seam of the sleeve (in the picture below you can see my finished back lining with the elastic casing; if you go with facings you would see shirring there instead):


Once your side seams are finished, you’ll want to make a casing: fold and press under 1/4″ and then again 1/2″ at the ends of each sleeve. Stitch along the second fold, leaving 1″ open to thread the elastic through. Then cut a piece of elastic long enough to circle your forearm + 1″ and thread that through your casing. Overlap the ends of the elastic and stitch together, then stitch your casing shut.


OK, I really hope that makes sense! ENJOY!!!

Categories: clothes for women, tutorial, washi dress
Share |

Share |

23 Responses to Tutorial + Pattern: Long Sleeve for Washi Dress

  1. Lynn says:

    Thank you so much for posting this!! I’ll be ready to sew when I get back from Quilt Market.

  2. Brienne says:

    Hooray! Hooray for flattering clothes during the dark months! Thank you so much.

  3. Rochelle New says:

    Oooo thank you for this!! I love how you designed the sleeve pattern with the instructions right on it. That’s really ingenious.

  4. Kristin says:

    I love that you added sleeves! I’m not a sleeveless person so I wasn’t interested in the beautiful dress right away; now that I see it with sleeves I’m in love!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. kristin says:

    Yay! Thank you so much! Printed. Now to finish this dang Halloween costume (and start/finish a flower girl dress) so I can finally sew Washi 3…

  6. Chloe says:

    Thankyou Rae!!! I made my first Washi, (in fact, first ever garment for myself!) a couple of weeks ago but coz it’s a bit chilly now here in UK I’ve been wearing it over a ls t-shirt. Now I can use the AMH fabric i ordered for Washi2 to make a beautiful Autumnal version. You rock :) xx

  7. Erin says:

    Thanks so much! Can’t wait to try this :)

  8. anna says:

    you are the coolest rae. :)

  9. Julie says:

    You sold me with the sleeves! I just bought the Washi pattern yesterday. I can’t wait to make my first dress with this pattern! If only there weren’t so many Halloween costumes to finish right now.

  10. Caila says:

    Yayyyy!!! I think my next Washi is going on the cutting table TONIGHT!

  11. Beth says:

    Wow – thanks for sharing a Washi sleeve with us!!! I LOVE my Washi pattern! My first version was a top, but I can’t wait to make a dress with sleeves!! Thank you, thank you!

  12. Thanks for the awesome tutorial! I am getting so interest in making one…I think I may need to order the pattern…

  13. Michelle says:

    Love this sleeve! However, I’d also like to mention how much it always stuns me that people do not use their iron to press pieces before sewing. Not just so photos of the process look nicer, but so that the finished project turns out better. Ironing fabric before cutting is integral to cutting pieces properly. Pressing pieces before sewing is integral to ensuring a good fit.

    I love that more and more and more people are turning to learning sewing and taking hold of the handmade movement for themselves. However, I think it is great to encourage people that following the steps will help you enjoy your finished garments better down the line… no wonky seams!

    Hope this doesn’t sound mean, I don’t mean it to.

  14. Teresa Block says:

    I’m wish Kristen on this… I don’t go sleeveless any more, but bought the pattern awhile back because I liked the dress so much. Now I can actually sew one up for me. Thanks bunches!!

  15. Jennie says:

    Ack! Just printed out the PDF and the rectangle is measuring 7 1/4″ x 9 3/4″ instead of 7 1/2″ x 10″. I have no idea how much to adjust the to get it right.

    Wondering if anyone else has run into this?

    • Kristina says:

      Hey, Jennie, I would love to know if you have found a solution to the problem by any chance? My scale is 100%, but still, every “inch” on the pattern only measures 7/8″. Help, anyone??!?

      • Gretchen says:

        I was able to fix the problem by opening the PDF in Preview (on the Mac) rather than through Adobe Acrobat. I think Preview is a basic photo editing program so if you have a PC equivalent it might work, too.

  16. Jane says:

    How much extra fabric should we purchase if we want to make a dress with sleeves?

    • Rae says:

      Hi Jane,

      I don’t know exactly, but I would guess 1/2 yard or slightly more. I’m pretty sure the pattern piece is around 18.” It really depends on whether or not you can sneak it into the current yardage (between other pattern pieces) or if you’ll have to add more fabric.

  17. Holly says:

    Wondering how you measure the elastic for the back of the dress as you did here, omitting the shirring. Thanks!!

  18. ambar says:

    i really interested to make this dress,please email me pattern and tuttorial of this dress, my size is M, Tank u so much..

  19. Yvette Scott says:

    I have been looking at this dress and am now ready to make it. I also love all of the different fabrics and am wondering where can I puchase the record fabric for starters.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

seller’s program

I offer licenses for handmade sellers who would like to sell items made with my patterns on a small scale. To see all of the available licenses, visit the pattern page. For more information on the seller's program, please visit the seller's page.

My free patterns or tutorials are intended for personal use only. Thanks for respecting my wishes and supporting my shop!

Too busy to sew? Purchase a ready-made item from one of these sellers:
Big Butt Baby Pants Sellers List
Bonsai Bag Sellers List
Buttercup Bag Sellers List
Charlie Tunic Sellers List
Itty Bitty Baby Dress Sellers List
Lickety Split Bag Sellers List
Peekaboo Bonnet Sellers List
Pierrot Tunic Sellers List
Showoff Bag Sellers List
Toddler Backpack Sellers List

Please support the sellers listed here!

grab a badge

Copy and paste the button code below into an HTML widget or post editor: