A few weeks ago I decided I wanted to make a short summer version of our 241 Fifties' Fit and Flair Dress for myself. This pattern can go through all the seasons depending on the fabric and neckline you choose, but you can also shorten or lengthen it (we show you how here) for the season. I also wanted to make short sleeves and add cuffs for my version. And, I am going to show you how I did that here.
Shortening the sleeves
First, I wanted short sleeves, so I literally just marked where on the front and back pattern pieces where I wanted the sleeves shortened to, keeping the new line parallel to the original cuff line. I also took into account that I wanted to add a cuff which would be about 1-1/2" wide, so shortened the sleeve to accommodate that cuff. The new line I drew is really the seam line (where I want the sleeve ending), so I added 1/2" (13mm) back in for the seam allowance to make the new cut line.
Since the sleeves are dolman sleeves, I wanted the curve a little higher so that the short sleeve wouldn't be too wide on my arms. I used a curved ruler to narrow the dolman sleeve and connect the underside of the sleeve with the side seam. Make sure there is a 90 degree angle from the cuff cut line to the seam line before curving the pattern piece.
I did all this on the front pattern piece, and then did the same to the back pattern piece. It is important to make sure the front and back shoulder seams are the same, as well as the side seams. You can measure them to make sure, or put the pattern pieces up next to each other to make sure the seam lines are going to match. If one is off, adjust it so they are the same. The opening of the front and back sleeve at this point was the same. Below you can see the front and back shoulder seams are pretty even.
Once my sleeves are the way I wanted them to be, I drafted a cuff. I wanted a 1.5 inch cuff so I traced a 2.5 inch wide cuff to be the same length as the cut line on my sleeve. Then I added in my seamlines and a center fold line down the middle. Below you can see the draft cuff placed on the front piece at the sleeve to make sure it will fit. Cut lines and seam lines are labeled, and the foldline is marked.
Then took out 1/2" on the top short side of the cuff because I wanted to cut one cuff piece and not sew cuffs together at the shoulder seam also (like the sleeve is done). I made sure my seamlines matched with the cuff and I was ready to cut out the cuff from my fabric.
I cut two cuff pieces, on the fold.
When it came time to finish the dress, first I folded down 1/2" on one long side to the inside of the fabric. Then, I sewed each cuff piece, right sides together, at the short ends (opening the fold when I did that). I re-pressed the 1/2" fold.
With right sides together, I sewed the cuff to the dress sleeve, matching the cuff seam with the underarm seam of the dress.
I pressed the seam toward the cuff and trimmed 1/4" off the seam allowance and the folded-over edge. Then I pressed the cuff at the center fold line to the wrong side of the dress and hand stitched the cuff to the inside, over the seam line. If you want to, you could stitch the cuff to the wrong side of the dress (right side of cuff to wrong side of dress) and fold it to the right side of the dress and topstitch down.
Other considerations: If you want a deeper cuff (one you could fold up again), cut your cuff piece at least 3" wide. Also, depending on your fabric, you may want to interface at least once side (above the fold line) your cuff. My fabric was fairly stiff, so I did not interface my cuff.