I have sleeves!
They are not yet attached to the main gown, but will be tomorrow. I began to set them, scoffing at the people who call sleeves sleevils. And you know what happened? THEY TURNED SLEEVIL. It’s really awkward getting in there and I kept catching the lining in the seam allowance and enough was enough. Tomorrow I’ll tackle it with a fresh head.
I started with my own pattern, I used the tracing fabric to draft it and then drape it onto the main gown, hoping to get it right. I did get it right, but only after much fussing and wondering if her itty bitty wee little biceps would be swimming in there. Probably, but there are ways they can tighten it up when it gets to her. She’s a dancer, and probably wouldn’t enjoy a tight restrictive sleeve anyway.
I am sooooo out of fabric. I have no room for mistakes, which scares the shit out of me, because I always make mistakes. Usually big ones. Yikes. But, I cut the sleeves anyway, my very last pieces of size. *large exhale*
Cutting the lengths of lace I need for the flounces. This lace isn’t wide enough, so I had to get fancy to make it work.
First I marked the first layer to follow the curve of the sleeve cuff while gathered, then cut. I love my rotary cutter. Swoop!
Then I layered an uncut piece underneath and then just sewed it down. Yes, there is a visible stitch line, but when it is all gathered up and stuffed under the fabric flounce, no one will ever see it. Sneaky!
Gathered it all up with my favorite magic coated upholstery thread. The real-deal flounces of yesteryear were prettified along the curve with the plain straight edge gathered… I did it backward and have a fancy straight edge instead. Because, yeah, there’s no finding a pretty correctly curved lace and I’m NOT making one. This method actually works beautifully to make a nice cascading flounce.
Gathered up and pinned to the sleeve cuff edge.
Sewn down and then the lining is sewn on top.
Flipped,clipped and graded seams…
All the edges neatened up with the serger and ready to be a sleeve!
Are you wondering what kind of fucked up method I’m using to make these historical sleeves yet? I just made it up. It has no basis in historical reality at all.
Here are the triple layer fabric flounces, smeared with fray check and clipped with scallopped scissors. The photo below horrifies me because the fraycheck blares out at you and shows you what a crap job I did. But it is only in some light! Other angles and lighting it just disappears. I hate that it shows at all, but at least it’s only part-time . I have no more fabric to do it again or figure out another way– as it is, I had to piece one middle layer. Hopefully none of this will be obvious when it’s all gathered up and surrounded by googahs to distract the eye. *hoping* There’s a lot of “hoping” in costuming, isn’t there?
Gathered up with magic-coated thread.
Pinned to the sleeve cuff and sewn down.
Then the pretty puffs tacked over the top of the raw gathered edges…
And look! Pinned to the main gown and looking soooooo pretty!
I am *this close* to finishing this dress. Excited!
Your Dresses are gorgeous and I have been stalking this site like a fiend as I am about to make my first robe a la francaise. I did have a question about the sleeves. You said that you marked the lace to follow the curve of the sleeve when gathered. How were you able to do that since the lace does have to gathered? did you gather the lace first then mark it off? or did you do some sort of math to figure out how much to gather into a dip or curve? I hope that makes sense.
Hi Ashanti! Thank you for your kind compliments!
I did it mathematically– divided it into quarters, and then each quarter was marked to a different depth, with the most deep mark being at the center front, where it hits at the crook of your arm. Then I just rotary sliced in a long swoop. What you see in the photos is the deepest dip off center, because I wanted the lace seam to be hidden on the side, since the inside of the lace can be seen at the back of the elbow. Hopefully that made sense?
Thanks Angela that does help a lot. I can see what you mean. when I look at the pics now. May I ask, How long was the length of the lace you gathered? I am using the j.p ryan pattern but the lace flounces are constructed differently so I want to make sure I buy enough lace.
Thank you again,
The lace was about 40 inches long. (what you see in the photos is actually two 40″ lengths sewn to each other to make a wider width– what I had was too slim, so I just overlapped. Be sure to buy very wide lace ! (around 9-10 inches wide) otherwise you will need to overlap as I did.
Good luck! Send me a pic when you are all done– I’d love to see!