Do you have a sewing pattern you’ve absolutely ADORED for years but haven’t sewn? Yep, me too. Ever since those puffy-sleeved blouses were featured in the mid 2000s and Vogue 8392 caught up with the trend shortly afterwards, I’ve hankered after a statement sleeve.
(Come on. If you’re a regular follower of this blog, you know about my love affair with bishop sleeves already. Hell, this is like a bishop sleeve XXL *swoon*)
I’ve toyed with making the ruffled-sleeved version, which seems to be the one most regularly featured online. But I followed my heart and made View B, in all its fabric-hungry loveliness (those sleeves need a goodly amount of fabric). I can confirm that, yes, it’s very user friendly; my little number went together with nary a word spoken in anger or despair.
Any changes to the original pattern (bar my usual bodice shortening)? Actually, yes.
I used narrower than specified elastic for the sleeve hems, ’cause it’s what I had to hand. I also discovered that I altered the armscye AEONS ago, using my own self-drafted sloper as the template. So long ago, in fact, that it was unclear whether the damn thing’d still fit.
I squinted at the bodice pieces. Man, that armhole looked weird. But there was nothing else for it; I’d have to use my sloper to alter the pattern’s sleeve head, too.
I pulled out some inexpensive ‘probably-bought-in-a-bundle’ blue and white gingham to create what would, if it worked, be an absolute winner and, if not, wouldn’t make me cry too hard as a ‘straight-to-the-bin’-er.
And the result? Ladies and gentleman, I present to you something that fits me perfectly.
(No, really, I’m as shocked as you are.)
The armhole is quite high but well-fitted, with the only future alteration being the angle of the shoulder seam (though it looks kinda stylish as it is). Plus, PLUS my major concern; I didn’t feel like The Incredible Hulk along the the upper back (I haz sticky-outy shoulderblades, y’all).
The bodice takes barely takes half a metre of 45″/115cms so, with a further judicious application of bias binding, I may have even found a future go-to sleeveless top, too.
I KNOW, hurrah AND huzzah!
The only thing I’ll definitely ignore in the instructions is the removal of the 1.5cm seam allowance from the neck edge prior to applying the binding. It’s pretty décolletage on me now but, hey, boat neck stuff suits me and I’m getting well practised at adding lingerie guards to things I’ve sewn…
This top has already been aired a couple of times. The casual gingham plus the dramatic cut makes it feel both elegant AND playful. I feel like I’m channelling a little Brigitte Bardot or am in pursuit of ruby red slippers and a yellow brick road; either way AM STILL WINNING.
I wore it on my recent trip to see Alexander McQueen’s Savage Beauty exhibition at the V&A and it was commented upon by a couple of other visitors; the sleeves and the gingham caught other people’s eyes.
(Yes, I was going to wear the McQueen jacket I made, but those sleeves wouldn’t fit under the raincoat I required…)
(And yes, the McQueen exhibition was astonishing. Such talent, such a loss.)
Sometimes good things come to those who wait.