Elastic thread, I think I love you...
My new favorite thing to play with just so happens to be... elastic thread.
I a project soon to arrive in bloggerland I found my ultimately amazing (thus far) thing to do with it: Gather a Sleeve.
I especially love this technique when using knits. This way, there is no need to remove basting stitches since the elastic thread will stretch with it. And, to top it off, there is no distorting your fabric as you gather, since the elastic thread does it automatically for you. Bonus!
Starting with the pieces of the bodice within a top you are making and the sleeves already cut and short sides sewn (the seam that runs from you armpit towards your wrist on the underside of your arm).
I like to judge where the gathering will start/stop on the top of a sleeve this way:
Simply lay your sleeve on top of the bodice of the garment, lining up the seams like this:
(Side note: there's not a stain on my sleeve, it's just super poor lighting at 4:45am)
Now, at the point where the sleeve begins to arc the opposite direction is where the gathering will start/stop. Place a pin at this place on both the front and back of the sleeve.
Next, make sure that your elastic thread is wound onto your bobbin and ready to sew with. Since the gathering stitches will not be seen, it doesn't really matter which side of the fabric the elastic thread will be on.
Just pin the now gathered sleeve into the armhole right sides together and sew it in. Done and done.