A gathered sleeve was the first long sleeve I ever experimented with adding to the Geranium Dress, and I knew it had to be a part of the Geranium Expansion Pack! I love the softer look that the the little gathers at the shoulder adds to the dress, and it’s even easier to add than a fitted sleeve!
The gathered sleeve comes with three length options: short, elbow-length, and long. The long sleeve has a gathered elastic cuff, while the two shorter lengths are hemmed without gathering, though you could definitely add elastic to those, too.
Here’s the short gathered sleeve, in the tiny newborn size:
I love the elbow-length gathered sleeve, which creates a lovely bell shape!
And finally, the long gathered sleeve with the elastic cuff:
For our cover sample, we combined the gathered sleeve paired the neck bow, the longer bodice (bodice extension), as well as a zipper in the back (not shown), and the result is absolutely lovely in this rose-colored double gauze.
You can see the contrast between the fitted sleeve and the gathered sleeve in the photo below. The gathered sleeve is wider than the fitted sleeve throughout the arm, but not too wide. I worked hard on this sleeve to try to get the width just right!
Choose a lighter fabric for the gathered sleeve
One thing I’d like to emphasize is that the gathered sleeve looks best when sewn in lighter fabric weights, such as lawn, voile, or lightweight double gauze or linen, just to name a few options. The gathers and extra width will make it stand out pretty dramatically if sewn with a heavier fabric like quilting cotton, so take that into consideration when you select your fabrics.
A beautiful finish, inside and out
Just like the fitted sleeve, the sleeves are sewn to the bodice before adding the lining, so that the finished sleeve is tidily sandwiched between the lining and the outer bodice for a truly professional finish. For more details and photos, see the fitted sleeve post LINK.
Level of difficulty
I find the gathered sleeve to be easier to add than the fitted sleeve, because the gathers allow you to adjust the sleeve easily to the size of the armhole. It’s a great place to start if you’re new to sleeves!