I have a feeling I’ll be showing a lot of finished sewn garments this month. I’m off to a strong start with two new garments already complete and two more within inches of completion.
Here’s the first. This is the wrap dress from Favorite Things, and indie pattern company. This is literally a wrap dress in the truest sense, held closed only by ties at the waist.
I chose this pattern because I love wrap dresses and because the flounce at the skirt really seemed to give it an extra dash of fun. I really like the skirt, and the body of the dress came together beautifully. Other than my standard FBA, I didn’t make any adjustments — though I wish I had lengthened the flounce by about an inch. It doesn’t quite reach the waistband in the front, and no amount of pinning and fiddling and basting could get it closer than a half-inch. This is a minor detail and might be by design, but I did want it to be just a whisker or two longer in front. Overall, the body pieces — skirt, bodice, flounces, facings, ties — came together very smoothly and easily. It’s a well-drafted pattern in those respects.
But the sleeves, you guys. I just don’t know what to make of these sleeves. I was curious about these flutter sleeves. The pattern has two sleeve options, these flutter sleeves and sleeveless with a facing. Here’s the pattern image showing both options, and even a casual glance will let you spot the fact that the cross-back is fairly wide. Look at the fit of the shoulders on the blue sleeveless version. That sleeve cap extends out over the arm, past the point where we would normally expect the sleeve seem to fall. But I also think that’s cute — this isn’t a criticism, but an observation. I like the placement of the armscye on the blue version very much.
I kept dithering over the sleeves. With a broad cross-back, I thought it likely that the sleeve cap would need adjustment to accommodate my slightly narrow shoulders. I don’t usually do a narrow shoulder adjustment, but I thought I might need to do so here. But the flutter sleeves might mitigate that, as long as they draped in a pleasing way. This matters to me because I don’t like tinkering with a narrow shoulder adjustment or with an armscye re-shaping. I just know from experience that I’m likely to be frustrated with the results when I start down that path. I’m better off picking a pattern size that fits my shoulders and upper bust, adding an FBA, and making any other adjustments through the torso as needed.
And the pattern piece for the flutter sleeves made me curious about how they would sew and drape. The pattern piece is shaped rather like a baby bib. I’ve already put the pattern piece away, but this is a picture of a baby bib template that is almost identical to the sleeve.
Have you ever seen a sleeve shaped like this before? I haven’t, and I can’t count the number of sleeves I’ve sewn over the years. So I knew I had to sew it just because, you know, it’s something different. I have just enough of the red micro-chevron fabric left to cut a facing if I decide to remove the sleeves. And I just might. I enjoyed sewing them, but I am not crazy about the appearance of the finished sleeves. They’re not terrible, but they pull on the shoulder and armscye a little and prevent a smooth line there. I fitted this dress without the sleeves, and I can tell you, those wrinkles from the bust point to the sleeve cap didn’t exist until I added the sleeves. So I’m kind of leaning toward removing them for an improved fit, though I like the overall look of them. they’re a little playful, right?
I don’t know. What do you guys think? Sleeves, yea or nay?