One of the greatest benefits of sewing for yourself is dreaming up creative ways to bring your own fashionable vision to life! The designers at Made for Mermaids do an amazing job of drafting patterns that you can easily customize and sharing the knowledge you need to make that happen.
One of the most asked questions in the Made for Mermaids Facebook group is, “Can I add these sleeves to that pattern?” Yes, you can! With minimal pattern modifications, you can swap most sleeves from one garment to the next.
For this make, I added Pepper sleeves to the Tai bodysuit:
What’s most important is that your armscye matches the pattern that your sleeves were drafted for. Here are the quick instructions to make that simple alteration.
It is helpful to have a large sheet of tracing paper available because you’ll be creating a new pattern piece. If you don’t have tracing paper, you can create your own by taping together copy paper, as I’ve done here. Make it work for you! I typically save misprinted sheets for this very purpose.
Print, assemble, and cut out the bodice pattern pieces from both of the patterns that you wish to mash.
Using your desired bodice, trace the neckline (1), shoulder seams (2), and side waist from the bottom of the armscye to the hemline onto your drafting paper.
Overlay the bodice from the pattern featuring the sleeves you wish to use. Trace the armscye curve (3) from this piece. Don’t forget to repeat for the back.
It’s important to note, if you happen to be adding sleeves to a tank pattern, you will want to adjust the shoulder seam to reflect the sleeved pattern – likely widening the shoulder measurement so that your sleeve hangs appropriately.
One popular mash among our fellow Mermaids is adding sleeves to the Jade, which is a tank-style dress. Here’s how you would alter the Jade bodice to accommodate the Adeline sleeves.
Assemble both bodice pattern pieces.
Trace the neckline, side waist, and bottom edge of the Jade bodice onto your tracing paper.
Trace the shoulder and sleeve armscye from the Adeline.
Cut and your new pattern piece is complete. Repeat for the back of the bodice. Select any of the Adeline sleeve options and sew away!
One final note… when exchanging sleeves, it it easiest to choose patterns with a similar fitting bodice. It is much harder to mash a garment with a lot of ease with one that is more form fitting.