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Cap sleeves, Sleeve caps, Broad shoulders and Narrow backs

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The first version of the Pastille Dress I made is still waiting to be transformed into an adorably wearable sleeveless dress. It has been waiting for a while because I’ve gone off and made three different garments out of 3 yards of red fake-linen. I’m still scratching my head over how I pulled that off.

The first project I made out of the red fake-linen was another Pastille Dress. After doing some research, I managed to figure out that the fit issue in the back was a result of a narrow back and thus could be corrected by a narrow back adjustment. I followed the helpful directions in the Threads tutorial found here. This involved scissors, paper, ruler, and tape which automatically means interesting and mildly  horrifying. It all came out fine, so I gave it a try with the red fake-linen.

I’m afraid there are no photos commemorating the strange results. It pulled the already too narrow cap sleeves in even more, so they just perched rather oddly halfway off my shoulders. Suffice it to say that it made the awkwardness of the first pastille dress shoulders look conservative. I wrestled with the problem, tried altering the seam line of the cap sleeve, fussed with the darn thing very patiently. Until finally, I lost my head a bit and just cut the cap sleeve off entirely. Yeah.

This kind of rash response to a long term puzzle is not unusual for me. I stood there for a bit looking at the now mutilated shoulder area and all I could think was, “but I don’t WANT a sleeveless dress.” Ever so helpful, that. My solution? I cut out a sleeve from a different pattern that I happened to have lying about and crossed my fingers that it would work. I used the sleeve from Simplicity 2211, the Lisette Market blouse. Defying all sense, everything I know about sleeve caps from knitting and the laws of trigonometry, the sleeve set-in and fit perfectly.

So, I ended up with this darling red dress. The fit is a bit Mad Men, so I’m not inclined to wear it on a day when I do a lot of sitting in the office, but otherwise it is charming and very, very red.

As you can see, the sleeves fit properly, if set in a bit too far because of my reckless cap sleeve removal. The narrower back fits correctly without a strangely wide seam allowance around the zipper, too. Hurrah!

 Stay tuned for further adventures with the red fake-linen.


About autumnyarn

I am a graduate student who sews and knits to satisfy the creative urge, makes clothing to keep the creativity useful, and writes about it to de-stress.

2 responses »

  1. I keep seeing this dress around and it looks great on everyone! I think I’m going to have to try making this. Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. What a beautiful dress! I love the colour.


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