Statement sleeves& Pretty Print
Bonjour, Bel Bonjou!!
I have made my dream dress!
It has purple, the right size flowers, a cheeky length, it’s flirty and comes with metallic fabric sleeves. All the things I like.
It is another pattern hack, on the sleeves and the neckline this time.
Here is its story…
The pattern came first. It’s Vogue 8948. I bought it as a base for a prom dress I made for a cousin last year (sadly not documented).
It has a 90’s high school feel to it. I imagine big hair, big earnings and ankle socks with stilettos.
Then came the fabric. I first had a glimpse of it on Twitter. I do have a mild obsession with purple and I just knew I had to buy it. It’s from Splendid Stitch and is described as:
“A stretch sateen with a beautiful floral print. This would make a lovely dress or skirt. As it’s a medium-weight stretch sateen, it would be particularly suitable for more structured designs.”
Composition: 97% cotton, 3% spandex
Width: 148 cm
The spandex element makes it soooo comfy and flattering.
I made a muslin!
The fabric was so precious to me that I didn’t want to risk it. I made a muslin for the first time ever.
The pattern has the type of sizing I struggle with. It’s American, I am French, I am influenced by the imperial unit of measurement of the UK, my country of adoption: a recipe for disaster!
I didn’t want to end up with a big dress, and having to resize later and waste some of my precious fabric. As for a dress too small, I don’t want to think about the desolation.
Making the muslin was very satisfying. I felt like a tailor and a designer at the same time, working on a very important creation.
I was very lucky, I had little to no adjustment to my muslin. It took 2 fittings to be satisfied.
But being me, I wanted to hack the pattern, again and a muslin is the perfect time to do it.
This time I hacked the neckline and the sleeves. I wanted a low decollete (I love that word) for my neckline. Easy! I cut it in the muslin, on myself, with the right bra on (Very important!!).
The pattern didn’t have sleeves I liked and I prefer to cover my arms.
I decided on ruffle sleeves. The fabric was a little heavy for true ruffles, specially as I wanted to line them in a metallic fabric and I knew they would end up being heavy and structured but that’s ok. I wanted this 90’s shoulder pad inspiration.
The metallic fabric is from Goldhawk Road and is a crushed lame. It shimmers between purples and blues. I am a space girl at heart. I love metallic shoes, garment details and full on space outfits. Silver is my favorite, rose gold my second favorite.
I measured how long I wanted them on my arms, the circumference of my dress’ arm holes and with those 2 measures I proceeded to cut my circles to fit in the arm holes. I didn’t do a muslin for the sleeves, it’s simple enough to do.
My only concern was bulky, lined sleeves. I pressed my seams open, loads! This was an important stage in the process. Structured is one thing, bulky is another. I basted at the seams too to keep my lining in place.
Et voila! That was simple enough!
One thing I want to change is actually add shoulder pads. That would really complete the structured look. Right now I find that it doesn’t do the shape justice. It’s a bit flat at the shoulder. What do you think?
For info: Measurement of the length of my sleeves is 22cm
The other side
We never show the other side of our garments, do we? The inside job so to speak.
Here is mine. For some reason it is the one inside I am really proud of. It is as beautifully made as the outside and it does raise the experience of wearing it.
I am not implying that my insides are normally messy but this one feels special. I took really good care of it.
And here it is!
I find this dress really fun, full of personality but still elegant and I definitely think it represents me well. I have worn it quite a lot already, mainly to parties. It does get a lot of attention.
Let me know what you think of the sleeves. Should they have shoulder pads? Are they not a bit half flat for the initial idea?
Next time: I’ll take on a simple plain cotton to make a sport luxe cocktail dress.