Wednesday 6 March 2013

Customising the sleeves on the GPD - tutorial

Want to change the width of the sleeves on the GPD?  Here's how...
Cut out the sleeve pattern piece, and draw a few vertical parallel lines.  Cut up to but not through the seamline at the sleeve cap.
 Now, if you want to make the sleeve narrower, simply move the pieces toward eachother so that they overlap.  Or, spread them apart if you want to widen them.
Below, you can see how I've narrowed it slightly.  Tape up the loose pieces.  (If you are widening, you can use a glue stick to glue the strips onto another piece of paper, when you are finished you can trim the excess away.)

If you are narrowing, the sleeves should be no smaller than the circumfrence of your elbow when it is BENT.  Also, remember that you have to factor in 3cm of seam allowance, as these are included in the pattern already.  The end width should be your preferred measurement plus 3cm. (1.5cm seam allowance on each side)
 Glue or tape the bottom edge onto another piece of paper and straighten it out, using a ruler.

 Trim away the excess and you have your full pattern piece.
NB: Not shown here, you also need to redraw the grainline at a right angle to the sleeve hem.

If you are widening, straighten out the bottom by lengthening the sleeve at each side, then draw a line across the bottom so that it meets the centre of the pattern piece, or your preferred length.
I hope you find this tip useful for any pattern you sew!


  1. Hello - I just discovered your fab blog today via Pinterest. Love those dresses you've created. That lace insert is really cool. You have inspired me! Thank you for making patterns available and for giving tutorials on making changes. And also thank you for a list of other really great sewing/creating blogs. Look forward to reading all your posts.

    1. Hi Nessy thank you so much for your lovely comment! It makes me really happy that you like it. Thank you for reading :)

    2. I just made absolutly same steps!) Pinterest- GPD- blog- SSEWWWW GPD in EVERY COLOR))
      Already have a question: seams in armpits feel wierd and tight, and to low. I sew 16 size. I have big bust and non-stretch fabric, may it be couse of the problem? Should i add wight on the center or on the sider of bodice front detail?

      Thank u for you blog, and good luck from snowy russia!

    3. Hello and thank you for your comment! Fabric with some give does help because this pattern doesn't have a great deal of ease. Have you tried version number two? The sleeves are wider on that version. I'm sorry I can't help with grading up the bodice (that's not my area of expertise!) but there are plenty of internet tutorials out there that should help. If it's just a little bit, I've always extended at the sides and that's worked. Hope this helps and greetings from rainy London! :)

  2. Useful! Thank you for sharing your technique. And I can't wait to see the different versions of your very cute GPD!

  3. Kalimah Yusuf04 September, 2013

    Hello, I love your dress! I cannot download it for some reason :( can you tell me is there something special I need to do as I really want this pattern. Thanks so much.

    1. Hi Kalimah, thanks for your nice comment! Have you tried clearing the cookies on your computer? If that doesn't work send me an email and ill forward it to you.

    2. Hello,
      I was having the same issue, but was able to downloaded once I used the Google Chrome browser.
      Hope this helps.


  4. thank you for these tips