Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Labor (on Sleeves) Day

Well, vacation couldn't last forever. So, on Monday, it was back to the Craft Lounge to work on the Project dress.

Before I left for vacation, I set in the sleeves and realized they'd need some work. I didn't realize quite how much until I tried the muslin on again. I must have set the sleeves in 50 times on Monday; it took all day to get right. Initially, I had some pulling in the front (both on the dress/armskye and on the sleeve itself) and a lot of bagging in the back.

I'm not all that experienced with fitting sleeves, and diagnosing the problem(s) was challenging. I'm pretty sure I tried every sleeve alteration out there - rotating, making larger, making smaller, raising the cap, lowering the cap, changing the armskye...  Honestly, it was a struggle, but I think the sleeves are now looking pretty good.

Hurray!! A vertical grain line!

This dress is pretty much all about the sleeves, and there were a few unhappy moments when I was thinking that I should give up. Ultimately, I added 1/2 inch to the front of the sleeve, tapering to nothing at the cap/shoulder seam, I made the matching part of the armskye smaller/tighter so there was less pulling across the bust/arm pit area, and, last, I made the back of the sleeve about 3/8 inch smaller tapering to nothing at the cap to get rid of the bagging. After I took this picture I took a teeny tiny tuck on each side of the bodice neckline to tighten it up and stop it from doing that little dip in the front.

Since I added/subtracted nearly the same amount to the front and back of the sleeve, I shouldn't have problems sewing the flower and ruffles on to it. I'll just shift the design to the front a tiny bit.

So, it's on to cutting and sewing the dress, which I am a bit nervous about. I plan to underline the sleeve in organza so that I have a very stable base for the hand stitching and something to transfer the flower pattern to that will not risk marking the outside fabric. Wish me luck!


Sheila said...

Your muslin looks great.

Meg said...

Your muslin is in such good shape that your dress is bound to be a home run. Yay!

Karin said...

Ooooh, I do wish you lots of luck! The muslin looks good. I can't see any faults with the sleeves at all.

Kimbersew said...

ooooh pretty pretty!
Good luck!!

Tanit-Isis said...

Oh, I hate it when sleeves do that! Although so far I've been lucky and only had problems when I really stuffed something up (or was mashing sleeves from a different pattern in, but that's a whole nother issue). So glad you got it figured out!