It took me almost a month to get to this point, but it’s finally time to talk about the sleeves for this dress! I’m not sure why this project has dragged on so long, it’s such a simple design. But it’s almost done now! Which is great because I have new projects I want to get started on.
This is one of the sleeves cut out. The hem is thirty inches long which is pretty massive for sleeves!
Speaking of hems, they got turned under by three quarters of an inch and sewn down by hand.
The back seam was sewn as a half inch french seam. Even though these sleeves will be lined this fabric frays so much that I felt this was necessary.
I took a minute to rest the sleeves on the dress form and they actually looked pretty good! I really like the shape.
I pinned the fake fur trim onto the hem of each sleeve then sewed it on with a slip stitch. I whip stitched the fur together at the back instead of seaming it, which worked surprisingly well, you can’t even see it. I did this because the fur is super thick and I didn’t want to add the bulk by sewing it as a regular seam.
Now it was time for the lining. I cut the lining out using the same sleeve pattern. They were cut from the really thin cotton which was also used to line the bodice.
I also cut out two 2″ wide strips of cotton, which were cut on the fabrics bias. Then the edges got folded inward to create one inch wide bias tape.
Then the back seam was done up. This pattern had a one inch seam allowance included so the top layer could be sewn with a french seam. But the lining doesn’t fray much at all, so I sewed it as a regular one inch seam.
The lining was tucked inside the sleeve and they were sewn together at the top edge. After I did that I realized I had forgot something kind of important – the opening on the right sleeve. Without this you can’t actually get into the bodice…
So I pulled out my seam ripper and opened the top three inches of the sleeve. I ironed the edge so it was folded over and repeated the process with the lining. Then I whip stitched the lining around the opening to keep it in place. This opening lines up with the laced side of the bodice and gives enough room for the bodice to get over my shoulders.
With that fixed, I carried on by sewing the bias tape onto the tops of the sleeves. This was done just to cover the raw edge.
The bottom edge of the lining was folded inward and pinned to the top edge of the fake fur trim.
It got sewn down with whip stitches and the sleeves were done!
Here they are on the dress form. I think the fur trim should be a little wider, the proportions are a little weird in my opinion. But it’s being used as trim, not as a cuff, so I think it’s okay. I was originally worried about how the fur would look with this fabric, since there isn’t much contrast it could have really clashed. But I’ve decided that I like the combination, so that’s good!
The sleeves got gathered slightly at the top, then sewed to the bodice. The seam allowance at the sleeve tops got whip stitched to the lining so the interior looks super smooth.
The outside looks pretty okay too!
I like how this is coming out, and i’ve liked working on it, but i’m kind of over it. I have so many future plans (a couple which are from a similar time period) and i’m itching to work on those. So i’m a bit fed up with this project even though it’s going smoothly. Luckily it should be done soon, then I can start on wonderful new things!
Thanks for reading!