The sleeves, oh, the sleeves! They are one of the main reasons I decided to combine two patterns for this project.
Who wants a strapless dress when there are such sleeves to be had!!
Like the rest of the bodice, I underlined them with cotton. I was a tiny bit concerned that they might need more body, but the silk/wool is quite springy, so I hoped for the best. And everything worked out just fine.
The curved seam allowances were clipped, and catch-stitched in place.
To hem the lower sleeve edge, I stay-stitched just inside the fold line, clipped generously, and turned the raw edges to the inside.
Those edges were covered with a length of bias fabric which was fell-stitched to the hem edge, and the remaining raw edge was catch-stitched to the sleeve underlining to hold it all in place.
And then, of course, it was time to cover everything up with the lining. This was done entirely by hand. I suppose I could have stuck the pieces under the machine, but in the spirit of going the couture route, I decided hand stitching would be much more enjoyable, and give me a whole lot more control over the process.
I also tacked the two layers together at the underarm seam to keep things from shifting around.
The upper edge of the sleeves needed something to keep them in place. The limited references given on the tiny pattern pieces say to “gather” the upper edge.
Instead of following that advice, I pulled in the excess with some fabric-covered elastic.
What I came up with is a combination of a scrunchie and a garter.
Waistband elastic was covered with the dress fabric, the raw ends tucked inside, with a line of zig-zag stitching at each end to keep the elastic in place.
That odd looking thing was then attached at either end of the sleeve seam, and tacked in place again at the center point of the elastic matching back to the center point of the upper sleeve edge.
The process was repeated, halving the elastic and upper sleeve edge until the excess sleeve was corralled into place. After wearing the garment for an evening, I probably could have used a slightly smaller length of elastic, but the technique definitely worked!
This is definitely starting to look like a wearable garment!