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HOW TO SEW: elegant dress with bishop sleeve

Bishop sleeve dress

Hello Darlings,

While we are still in the middle of winter, my heart is already longing for spring warmth and beauty. Once January started, I started to day dream about spring clothes and couldn't resist creating something light, something floral - and this is how this dress came to be.

This dress was such a fun and easy project to make, and I have prepared a tutorial, so that you can create your own version, too! This dress can be made in just one evening (yes, that quick!) and is very beginner friendly, so why not give it a try!

Before we move to the tutorial, I also want to say thanks to partners of this tutorial - needle industry experts Organ Needles.

Organ Needles are one of the leading brands in needle industry, with over 100 years of expertise in needle making. Thanks to accumulation of excellent processing technology, Organ Needles create beautiful and accurate stitches and wide product range allows to find perfect fitting needle for any project you are working on, whether it's embroidery, serging or sewing difficult materials like leather. Sewing machine needles are our tiny helpers that have tremendous effect on sewing quality, so knowing which needle to use when and why is one of the sewing knowledge essentials. In the tutorial, we will learn about various Organ Needles and we will learn which needle to use, when and why.

Now let's start our tutorial! Click below to watch full tutorial and scroll below to read more about this dress and techniques that were used to create it.


This dress is made using self-drafted pattern. To create this pattern, you will need a basic dartless pattern block, suitable for knit fabrics. Here is my tutorial how to make dartless pattern block - it's very simple, fits like a glove and you can use it over and over again, for many designs:

In the tutorial, we will learn how to transform basic block into this dress, by creating boat neckline and adding Bishop sleeves.

Bishop sleeve pattern

While this is a relatively easy dress, we are still going to use some beautiful sewing techniques!

One of my favourite and go-to techniques for sewing knit fabrics is finishing hem using twin needle, to create elastic hem. I use Organ Needles Twin Stretch needle - this needle works great with my sewing machine and I can sew stretchy fabrics trouble-free. Watch this short video to see how I create elastic hem using Organ Needles Twin Stretch needle, or watch this short video to learn everything you need to know about Twin needle.

Organ Needles Twin Stretch needle (2.5mm and 4mm)

I made this dress using elastic crepe fabric, because I just love how comfy, yet durable this fabric is. When sewing knit fabrics, it is important to use appropriate needle. I use Organ Needle Jersey needle that has rounded tip - thanks to this, the needle slips between fabric threads, instead of cutting through it, and smooth quality seam is ensured. If you ever experience difficulties sewing knit fabrics, my first tip is always to check if you're using the right needle. I use Organ Needles Jersey needle on both my industrial and domestic machines. I love sewing knit fabric, because they are extremely comfortable to wear, to I always keep a few packs of Jersey needles in my sewing toolbox.

Organ Needles Universal needle (left) vs Organ Needles Jersey needle (right). Notice the rounded tip on Jersey needle

The sides of the dress and sleeve cuffs are sewing using 4-thread overlocker - this creates an elastic seam and neatens seam allowance. On my serger, I use Organ Needles ELx705CR needles - these needles are made using chromium finish, to ensure durability and performance. I get asked if serger needles are suitable for sewing knit fabrics and the answers is yes, they are! Same as with universal sewing machine needles, remember to choose needle size baste on the fabric weight and change serger needles frequently for best results!

Organ Needles ELx705CR serger needles

I wanted to add a floral element to my dress, so I added embroidery to sleeves. Doing machine embroidery on such delicate fabric like mesh is quite difficult, so here are steps I took to make the process easier:

  • I used water-soluble interfacing (it vanishes after wash);

  • To temporarily bond mesh with interfacing, I used spray adhesives (if you haven't used spray adhesives for machine embroidery - I highly recommend it, it's game changer!);

  • On my embroidery machine, I used Organ Needles Anti-glue needle, to ensure that adhesives don't stick to the needle. Thanks to this needle, smooth embroidery process is ensured and I didn't need to re-thread broken thread even once! That's a big success!

Organ Needles Embroidery needles - I used ANTI-GLUE needle when working with spray adhesives

For embroidery, I chose gorgeous lavender design. This is an Etsy shop I bought this design from (proceed with caution - this shop has a lot of beautiful floral designs, you might want all of them, ha!)


Here are a few looks of my finished dress:

Thank you for reading todays post!

Wishing you creating week ahead,



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