Tuesday, December 7, 2010

THE CHRISTMAS DRESS - The Sleeves

Before we get started, I'd like to address the comment made by Katie with regard to pinning satin.  Katie, you are/were correct.  There was a time when you had to be careful pinning satin.  Old satin looked like satin because the finish was put on top of the fabric.  It sorta glued the fabric threads together much the same way as a feather zips together.  Once you put a pin in it, it broke the finish and created a hole which could not be fixed.  The satin I am using in this dress is a modern synthetic, so it doesn't have this problem.  Can you imagine how much care they had to take while constructing those beautiful satin gowns the old Hollywood starlets used to wear?

The dress is getting very close to finish.  Let's prepare the sleeves and put them on.  Here are the pieces.
I put the gathering thread on when I did the skirts.  The gathering thread should be run between the notches on the sleeve shoulder.

To finish the bottom of the sleeve run a line of stitching 1/4 inch from the bottom, press and stitch.
Then add the lace.   Notice I left the 5/8 inch seam allowance.  Again, I hand stitched the lace.
The directions were written to form a casing at the edge of the sleeve for elastic.  I have always found elastic at the elbow to be very annoying and, since I wanted the lace to lie flat, I moved the casing so the gathering would be above the lace.
Isn't that ribbon pretty?  Ivory with little red poinsettia and just the perfect size.  I measured on the outside and pinned the ribbon on the inside.  The casing won't be seen.  More's the pity, LOL.
Stitch the ribbon down on both sides.  The casing is ready.  Done with this part.  Now the sleeve.  Lay out the dress so the armhole is flat.
Pin the center of the sleeve cap to the shoulder seam.  Then pin from the edge of the sleeve and armhole to the notches on both sides.  In this case, the notches on the sleeve and the armhole do not match.  (Remember the sleeves are from another pattern?)  Not to worry, use the notches on the sleeves as your reference points.  There is no gathering under the arm anyway.
Secure the gathering thread on one side and pull the gathers up to fit just as on the skirt.  Pin by halves.

Ooo, lots of pins, LOL.  Make sure there are no tucks or puckers on the back, then stitch your 5/8 inch seam.
Run a second line of stitching 1/8 inch above the seam stitching.  (This is another seam I used to tear out.  Get the impression I was hard on my dresses?  You don't know the half of it, LOL.)  Now trim the seam to just above the second row of stitching.  You can clip the curves if you want but I don't.  It never seemed necessary.
Now repeat for the other sleeve.  This is what the dress looks like now.
All that's left to be done is insert the sleeve elastic, install the ties, join the side seams and hem.  That's for the next post.  Let me know if you have any questions!

Love from Liri

3 comments:

  1. That little dress is adorable;) I love it!
    Happy Quilting!!

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  2. What a beautiful dress! You make it look easy.

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  3. All the little details make this dress extra special (like the pretty ribbon casing). I can't wait for the finish.

    Sandy

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